Two months on the road.
I have learned a lot about myself. One of those things is that I really do genuinely enjoy being alone. I am super thankful for the dozens of people that have opened their doors to me during this journey. I feel like I don’t have many friends back home, at least not ones that I get to see or speak with consistently, but I definitely do have friends all across the United States. There have only been two cities that I have visited thus far where I did not have a connection. Colby, Kansas and Beaver, Utah; where I am not sure anyone lives at all.
This trip has consisted of driving (so much driving) and then stopping to hang out for a few days, and then more driving. When you stop to visit, you are mostly on another person’s schedule. When they go to sleep, when they wake up, when they stop to eat and so forth. I have discovered that I pee A LOT more than most people do. This was something I never realized before I had to ask for bathroom breaks. Sorry guys, gotta go. AGAIN. I seriously have felt so impressed and in awe of the strength of some people’s bladders. I’m talking full day hikes and they are like desert camels.
Before heading over to a conference in Santa Barbara, I checked myself into a campsite for two days of complete solitude. Vlad will be here by the end of next week and while I am super pumped to have him by my side, I knew this was the last chance for just me. I cannot express enough appreciation for all of my hosts, but I severely needed some alone time. To just lay on the beach and ride my bike and turn off the wifi. As soon as I pulled in and got everything hooked up I became overwhelmed with a feeling of pure bliss. Staring out at the sun setting over the ocean and letting the reality hit me.
Two years ago I remember having a panic attack creep up on me while across the state of Michigan on a girls trip. I never did well with being far from home, as a kid, or as an adult. It’s a constant internal battle. What if something really bad happens. What if I fall and break my ankle and have to go to the hospital, or catch a case of e. coli and almost die and there is no one here to save me. You name it, I’ve considered it. But here I am, on the opposite side of the country, completely alone. Still not free of anxiety, but whatever, I did it. Conquered the fears, pushed myself further than I thought I would ever go. Dipping my toes into the Pacific, I fucking DID IT.
The true test of independence, really the sole purpose of this adventure. Just to prove to myself that it could be done, that fears and “what if’s” will not limit me. And even though I get to share life with another incredible human, I am still completely content doing it on my own. I am not dependent on anyone to generate happiness or help me achieve my dreams. If I can make it this far, I can make it anywhere. The possibilities are endless and the excuses cannot exist anymore.
I am already so excited to share this story with my children and my grandchildren. I pray that they will stare at me like a crazy hippie and will be inspired to make their own journeys. That they will always be thankful for every single day and will take advantage of it.
We only get one chance at life, and I am determined to live the shit out of it.
Side Note: I did have the chance to photograph a quick styled session in Malibu this week, there are a few of my favorites here, but please head over to the “blog” tab on meliabelle.com’s header to see the full session. It is definitely worth a peek. Much Love! <3