Day 28: Oct 2, 2013
We are flying over mountains right now. And an enormous lake. It could be the great Salt Lake. Once my husband and I drove through Utah on the way to his parents' house in Colorado. It's a beautiful state characterized in my mind by enormous red rock. I also remember driving from Seattle to New Orleans after college gawking out the window, marveling at the scenery and my aloneness. I have a deep dark secret which is that I love to be alone. It's not that I don't love my family and friends and feel great joy and happiness in them, because I do. It's just that I love the feeling of being in control of my own destiny. I enjoy, "doing my own thing," which I know drives my husband crazy because he is not programmed in this way, and "doing your own thing," when you're part of a family is not always convenient (or considerate.) I think I do a good job finding an appropriate ratio of alone time and family time when I'm at home, and when I find myself alone (like I am now (!!)) I marvel in it and savor it.
Part of it for me is that I'm not a quick talker. I'm not particularly eloquent and I often forget what I want to say right before needing to say it. When I'm alone, I don't have to talk to anyone! I can people watch, have all kinds of enjoyable thoughts and not have to speak, unless its to perfect strangers which for some reason comes easy for me.
One of my all time favorite solo experiences involved backpacking on the pacific crest trail for five nights before my kids were born. That summer I was on the PCT for a little over two weeks, part of the time with my dad, part of the time with a friend, and six days by myself. All three segments of the trip were rewarding, but the solo time was surreal. Just me on the trail, setting up my tent every night, hiking all day through awesome beauty and talking only to myself. Of course when I'm alone I spend a lot of the time thinking about the people I love, planning what I will say to them when I see them next. And at the same time, when I am alone, I am lonely. I miss my family a lot. But it's ok to be lonely sometimes. And in the mean time, you might learn something new about the world and about yourself that you can share with your loves once you see them again.
Coffee: a decaf in the airport in the cup that I carried in my purse! It helps that I have zero diapers and zero wipes with me.
Cups and Bags Challenge: not sure what the status is today so for now we'll leave it at $25. Send me a message (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you use your own cup to buy a drink and I'll send a dollar to Bring Recycling!!
Watercolor: painted on the plane after the flight attendant asked me if I was hiding an animal under my seat since I asked for a tiny cup of water. (This is a photo as opposed to a scan, just so you know.)