Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Loving 2011

Last year bloggers Gwen Bell, Kaileen Elise, and Cali Harris created a passion project they dubbed Reverb 2010. It was an online community initiative with daily prompts for the entire month of December. I didn't find out about it until mid-month and for whatever reason that kept me from joining in. I guess I felt like I was already too far behind. I enjoyed reading other people's responses to the prompts on their blogs and thought "oh, I'll do it next year." Not my finest example of seizing the day- carpe diem!

I had forgotten about it until I saw an article on Elephant Journal today which reminded me. I became a bit frustrated after doing a little digging online today to start my first Reverb response. Then I found out that for whatever reason the original creators are not hosting the project this year. They did however encourage former Reverbers to host their own version of it. That's when I realized that that must be what one of my favorite bloggers Lori Lynn Hurley must've had in mind with her Loving 2011 project. LL has described her version as "a project of remembrance." I have also seen it described as "reflecting on 2011 and manifesting for 2012". I LOVE the idea and will not be content to sit on the sidelines this year. I will do my absolute best to answer each prompt-though I am already 6 days late so I am not promising to finish on time! 

Loving 2011 prompt for December 6th, 2011: Share an image that you created this year.

This photo was taken in Golden Gate park in August of this year. My boyfriend and I had dreamed of driving the Pacific Coast Highway so we decided to do it for our 10 yr. anniversary. We knew we would have to stick to a very tight budget and with me being back in school I was not able to contribute as much financially as I would've liked. There were several times before we left (but after flights had already been purchased) that I honestly didn't know if that trip was gonna happen. I just couldn't see how we would be able to come up with the money we would need to travel from L.A. to San Francisco over the course of 11 days. But my amazing honey, in his easy breezy way, assured me that there was no way we were not going, and all would be well. 

Sure enough he was right and we (mainly he) was able to amass the amount of money that we thought would allow us a fun, yet frugal adventure. In the spirit of adventure, or procrastination, we only made reservations for our first two nights in L.A. and that was it. We were craving a sense of freedom and wanted to pace our trip based on heart and intuition rather than the fact that we had reservations somewhere on a particular day and had to be there. We planned on camping in state parks all along the coast and from what we had researched we found that campsites were typically available as long as you checked in to your desired campground by 9:00 a.m. Needless to say, this wasn't necessarily the case and many of our days were spent racing other campers to desirable campgrounds only to be told there was no room at the inn-so to speak. I would work myself into a panic each day worried that we wouldn't find a vacancy at a campground and would have to sleep in the car in some dangerous roadside situation. So here I was driving one of the most beautiful stretches of road in America, with the love of my life, and I am sitting in the passenger seat consumed with the scary stories my mind was telling me instead of allowing myself to surrender fear and drink in the moment. 

Now luckily, I became aware of this irony within the first day or so. I thought to myself, "hmmm, isn't this a golden nugget of wisdom just presenting itself on a silver platter." And it was. It was a total lesson in several ways. The first thing was, surrender. Sometimes we just don't have control over certain situations and sometimes we should just roll with it knowing that we are safe. The next thing, and maybe the more obvious, was to remain in the present moment, however challenging that may be, and not let those voices in your head scare you. The third is faith, blind faith. Things don't always look the way you think they will or should (nasty little word, that should), but in the end, every little thing is gonna be alright, in the wise words of one Bob Marley. While I knew early on that a huge lesson was making itself known to me on that trip (as with all travel and one of many reasons I love it so) that didn't mean that I relinquished all worry and completely chilled out from there on out. But I am grateful that I at least recognized it for what it was as it was happening. 

The photo above was chosen too, in honor of my boyfriend. My anchor, and safe harbor. There were times during that trip when I thought to myself, "we should have just rented a beach house with friends in Florida, that would have been so much easier!" Not that there is anything wrong with beach houses in Florida, but looking back I am so so so grateful for our PCH adventure. And there is no one I would have rather experienced it with than him. 

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