This was Chelsea's Birthday celebration.
But I managed to learn a few things about myself too.
Over the last year I have been filled with a lot of turmoil over deciding to leave Oregon.
I was pretty miserable at times up there.
But that was mostly because I wasn't being honest with myself about what I wanted.
And because I missed my peeps.
I don't necessarily regret coming back. I've learned a lot about what I do want in life.
I've been able to observe bad patterns I set for myself when I am comfortable.
It's been a huge learning experience and has allowed me to grow so much.
There are things I can now say I am definitely ready for.
I couldn't say that about those things this time last year.
That alone, makes moving back worth it.
But guys, my heart aches everyday.
I miss the rain.
The clean air.
I miss every single thing about it.
Even that awful couple of days when it rained after the snow and the streets were turned into giant ICEE's.
I miss walking everywhere.
I miss coming home and taking off my shoes and putting my cold wet feet in front of the heater.
I miss woolen socks in May.
I miss people who warmed my heart and became incredible friends.
I have been seriously sad, heart heavy, and achy as the 1 year anniversary of my leaving came nearer.
I've just been unhappy.
Maybe not all the time, but the majority of it, I just feel sad.
I felt dry and crackly. Hot and sticky. Unsure and wary of what lies ahead.
We drove up to Julian after our stop in Santa Ysabel. Julian has a lot of the same charm my beloved Oak Glen does, but I think I almost prefer Julian. I don't know what it was about it, but everything just felt so homey and happy.
It had lightly rained while we were in Santa Ysabel but on the way up to Julian the rain got heavier and I had Delaney snap some photos while I drove, happy as a clam.
When we parked the cars in Julian the rain started to really come down.
I didn't even mind the almost unbearable humidity between rain showers.
Speaking of which, wth is up with becoming Georgia this summer CA?
Stahp with the humidity.
You can either be 115 or have 70% humidity.
I'm dying here.
We'd walked a block down to the main drag in Julian and each of us were soaked.
Grace stood under a stream of water coming off of a building and just let in cover her whole body.
She walked away in sopping jean shorts and did not care.
We were all rosy cheeked, frizzy haired, happy campers.
Some of us had jackets.
But none of us minded.
We walked into stores and bought peppermint sticks and cap guns.
I talked to old ladies who were so very grateful for the rain.
"The ponds were getting pretty bad up here and that's our only water source. Should be a nice Apple Harvest this year."
I liked these people.
We drove through a cloud, past scorched forests teeming with new life.
We wound our way up and down a mountain.
I saw plenty of cows to make me happy.
And also bought fifteen houses in my imagination.
They all had a wood burning stove.
I climbed a rock and looked down into a valley and signed and lifted my head up to feel the cool water falling on my face.
I closed my eyes and breathed in deeply all the smells around me.
I etched in my memory those smells, the feeling of cool, wet skin, of peaceful stillness, and of unmistakable happiness.
Isn't there a quote about making sure you take the time to acknowledge the moments when you feel truly happy?
It was wonderful.
It was exactly what I needed, and when I needed it.
I guess it sounds silly, but I don't really care.
It was a wonderful day.
I felt so much more alive.
My soul was awakened.
I know, I know.
But it's true.
It was such a refreshing, renewing day.
I got so used to being able to count on the rain. Anytime I needed to think, or to stop thinking, to just go for a walk and get my feet wet, to clear my mind, to hear the voice that often gets drowned out, I had that.
But deserts don't do that for me.
And that's okay.
Sometimes I pretend I know exactly what I am doing all the time.
I never know what I am doing.
I make a plan and I make it sound really good, like I know exactly what I want, and why I'm doing whatever I am doing.
But that's okay.
I feel like people have this idea of life being a series of paths and we choose one and maybe sometimes they cross other paths and maybe we change direction.
But maybe life is more like a big open field.
Surrounded by trees and mountains and rivers and oceans and deserts.
And we pick a direction.
No one has ever lived our life before, so no one has made us a path.
Sometimes we get lost, so we go back.
We re-group, we collect, we observe, we decide.
We head out again.
Sometimes we meet a fellow traveller and decide to journey together.
Sometimes for life, sometimes for a season.
We have to cross rivers, go through a desert, spend some time in an icy tundra.
But we carry on.
I guess what i am saying is maybe the idea of a destination is a load of crap.
Life is what we make it.
We have to decide where we go, what we do, and how we get there.
We can lead with our heads or our hearts.
As long as we go.
Maybe some people stay in the field.
Maybe there are different fields for different people.
I don't really know where I'm going with this analogy.
But maybe it's okay to say,
"I'm not happy here."
Maybe we have to figure out why we aren't happy.
Is it because of the season of our life?
Or because we were not meant to stay in the field?
Maybe there are no rules.
No such thing and being a serial screw up.
Maybe we get beautiful days to remind us to leave that field.
To make a new path and just see where it takes us.
Because anywhere we go, we can find something that rejuvenates our minds and hearts.
That's what it was.
I felt at peace with everything.
It was a beautiful day.