There is a beauty that comes from driving away…
And perhaps that very beauty is that in driving away, you are ultimately making a decision, a choice, to drive towards something else. Something different. Something new. Familar scenes fading in the rearview. We sit sometimes paralyzed by the notion of making choices. What if we choose the wrong thing? This is why I advocate that a choice to change direction, to chase a dream as one would chase the perfect last sip from a coffee cup, to take what you have and set it ablaze to fuel what you want to become, is the right choice, regardless of outcome.
I spent last week in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. The drive down was scenic, but breathtaking views were sandwiched between mundane long strips of road and restroom breaks at questionable gas stations. It’s important to know that not everything in life will take our breath away, but we endure the everyday for the moments that do. And the moments that do aren’t always what we expected. Sometimes they are big and bold, but most times they are simple and serene and are brief but still leave traces of color far extending across the sky like that of a setting sun.
I drove here to stretch my legs, to appreciate the silence of a starry night in the middle of nowhere, to hike and feel the leaves crunching at my feet, to embrace a solitude that I’ve strangely come to enjoy. But maybe that’s not so strange at all. My partners in crime include books by household names such as James Baldwin and Anne Lamott, along with debut memoirs from Saeed Jones and Cristela Alonzo. I read them with smooth jazz in the background, paired with glasses of wine, and next to a blank notebook with hopes that some of their carefully crafted words will inspire my own.
The end of the year is upon us, dear friends. It’s the express train and it’s not stopping, whether we are ready for what comes next or not. My definition of slow living isn’t expensive organic cotton sheets or a sustainable outfit equal to my cost in rent. It’s appreciating each day, whether I’m running around, staying in, or driving south for the mountains. Each day holds choices that cultivate our lives, moments that both chisel and soften us in all the right places. Here’s to turning pages and crossing into the next chapter, whatever it holds.