I drove up from Arizona to Washington these past few days. Along the way I met up with old friends, stayed in some fun cities, and slowly watched the scenery outside the car change.
It’s old hat at this point to draw the parallels between slowly changing scenery and the changes in ones life but I did find it very interesting how different and startling that change was. The trip began in the hot, hot, hot deserts of Arizona – a place that I find very beautiful – and slowly changed as we approached the Inland Empire of California and the cities that came with it. Eventually, lush farmland pasted by and was replaced with more cities – San Jose and San Francisco – before reaching to the jagged mountains of Northern California and Southern Oregon, a very foreign sight to a flat-lander like myself. Then the stunning green of Central Oregon and Washington – another odd image for my desert rat eyes – which I will be calling home for a short time.
The vastly different landscapes are so odd to think back on. How can one roll into the next in such a short time without there being a break for the scenery to be rearranged for the next environment? How do all these starkly different but stunningly beautiful worlds exist within a 25 hour drive of each other?
If I wasn’t a college educated lass I would have half a mind to believe small gnomes and woodland creatures are hard at work behind the scenes re-arranging things to suit their whims. As it is, even with the college education it’s not too much of a stretch of the imagination to believe it could be real… maybe.
Knowing that there is a world that exists between the desert and sprawling cities intrigues me, as does the idea the somewhere there is a land between farmland and mountain. I don’t think I’ve ever consciously been aware of this in-between land, just the knowledge of it makes me wonder what it’s like to live between two distinct environments inhabiting certain traits of both. What does this gray area look like? Who lives there? Do they consider themselves city-folk or mountain dweller?
I know that there isn’t a conscious realization of this change and that the technical definition of the in-between land I imagine doesn’t exist in reality but I would love to see the city-dwelling mountain man (though, I feel like he/she might look like a flannel loving-hipster and I can’t decide if I’m a fan yet or not). The people that thrive in the margin.
Now the world has stopped spinning and I’m off the road for more than a night. Sitting still is sometimes the hardest speed to travel by. Still, if nothing else, it means that I can study the environment around me and know that it’s not going to change too much any time soon.
I’m in the prolonged process of moving out of my apartment and it’s so stressful. This isn’t my first rodeo, I’ve been in a constant state of moving between apartments, cities, and countries for the past few years and am used to packing up my few belongings, throwing them in the back of my car (and the truck of my brother), driving across down, and uploading.
This time, though, it’s not a quick and frantic move. Instead I’ve been packing up boxes and labeling them for either my parent’s house or directly up to Washington then moving them to my folks’ to be slightly unpacked or not depending on their destination.
It’s a nightmare. A giant headache. An absolute mess.
I look forward to being able to unpack boxes and settle back into normalcy, until then, I will suffer through the stress of living in a chaotic apartment, half packed and half not.
I always seem to return to this space whenever I’m approaching a big change in my life and the recent up tick in blogging activity is simply because of another adjustment for me. This is my way of documenting and commenting on what’s happening.
So what exactly is happening? Well, I’m graduating college tomorrow (*gulp*), beginning a new internship, and MOVING. Yep, I will no longer be based in beautiful Phoenix, Arizona – I will be in green Washington.
While I’m very excited for the change, and for not being in Arizona during the miserable, triple digit summer months, I can’t help but be nervous about moving. The unknown has always scared and excited me. I’m a firm believer that people should know and expose themselves to fear and uncertainty – so much can be learned in pushing yourself into an unknown environment – but I still am a planner at the end of the day and not knowing what I’m walking into scares me. Try as I may, I will always struggle with uncertainty… but that’s OK so long as I continue to push myself.
What’s next is a good question to which I have no answer, but I will try to be as accepting to this lack of answer and unknown as I can be. I know ignoring the palm sweat enduring anxiety this change accompanies will not help so I will instead try to acknowledge and accept whatever is to come.
This past weekend my roommate and I had the opportunity to visit a close friend of ours in the Los Angeles area for college. From where we live it’s about a 4-5 hour drive and since we only had Saturday and Sunday to visit we woke up early and used the hour time difference in our favor arriving around 11 Saturday morning. After a quick tour of the campus and lunch we headed out to checkout LA. We ended up exploring Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) before grabbing a quick dinner at some food trucks and heading to the Santa Monica pier to sit on the beach late at night talking. Quick note: the beach gets a little sketchy late at night but it’s still beautiful.
The next day we visited a new church in the area then went to Victoria Gardens – an outdoor mall that was packed with people! We had to get on the road way too quickly and head back home.
It was a great mid-semester/weekend break and while I was exhausted the next day, I’m thrilled that I was able to go and spend time with my friends and explore a new city (one of my favorite activities). Personally, the highlight of the trip was probably sitting on the beach talking – I treasure the time I have with my friends and to be able to sit on the beach, sharing life, and soak up each minute I had with them was beautiful.