I have a bad habit of dropping everything and driving away when I was deep in thought and frustrated. I leave, hop on a bike, walk into the woods, get in the car and drive away instead of just going to the gym or knitting or some sh%t like other people do when they have something on their mind. My anxiety continues to rise if I don’t just grab my keys and walk out of the door. I have to go out and be anywhere else but where the trapped feeling started from, and I leave with the intention of figuring everything out on my spontaneous trip.
This time, however, I drove from where the anxiety originally started, went back to the place where I was currently staying at, and continued further on into the place where I used to call home. I grabbed a few bags filled to the brim with clothes and just took off in hopes of gaining perspective on my life and to just get a break from it all. I broke free from the city and returned to my small town country roots grabbing my “okay-to-ruin-jeans” and my old T-shirts. I left hoping that the breath of fresh air that I loved about nature would clear my mind enough to rejuvenate my spirits and calm me down, and of course, seeing my good friend since second grade didn’t hurt either.
“So it’s okay if I come down and spend about five days at your house right?” I said after a lengthy phone conversation with my friend Jessica. I had recently driven about an hour from where I had met my boyfriend earlier and decided that I needed to go somewhere other than the place where I was staying at.
“Yeah sure! It will be so much fun getting to see you again! We haven’t met up in over a year now. It’s totally overdue.” She responded. I could hear her smile slowly spilling out the burst of excitement that she held for my homecoming. I couldn’t help but catch the happiness that she emitted over the phone for my inevitable return to the town that I grew up in.
That afternoon I began packing for my spontaneous trip to the country, and within about a day or so I grabbed my bags and continued my journey north toward the flat lands of the agriculture-based valley. I first stopped at one of my other friend’s house who I had met back in Kindergarten. Her strict parents didn’t allow me to stay the night at her place, but we managed to spend the day catching up with each other around town. We stopped for lunch at a local pizza place to really catch up with everything that we had missed since we had gotten together over a year ago. I let the encounter begin with a couple of bites from a delicious pizza pie before I got down to the tough questions.
“So, what have you been up to?” I asked wiping the little bit of flavorful tomato sauce from the corner of my mouth.
She looked at me and put down her slice of pizza. “It’s sort of all the same,” she said to me as she gazed off into the corner of the restaurant.
Her situation was a complicated one. Like me, I could tell that she wanted to be living off on her own and doing what she wanted to do. She had a lot of time left at school to finish and she was lacking the funds in order to move out of her parents’ house. I took a bite out of my pizza.
“I looked at how I was a few years ago, and I see myself now, and I’m just trying to figure out how I could be more like how I was back then,” Natalie said looking back in my direction.
I couldn’t help her with her complicated situation since I was in a somewhat of similar one. All I could do was hang out with her for the rest of the day and promise that I would keep in touch with her before I left her house that evening.
“Oh, before I leave, could you give me directions to this ranch?” I asked Natalie and her dad.
They started giving me the most complicated directions that I have ever received in my life. “The person I was meeting up with said that it should only be about five minutes away from this area,” I said with a puzzled face.
“Who gave you those directions?” Her dad asked.
“Umm, Jessica,” I mumbled under my breath. A look of shock and anger shot out at me from Natalie in response to just the sound of Jessica’s name.
“You guys are still talking with her?” Natalie’s dad asked.
“Uh, I am.”
I eventually got the directions from Natalie’s house to the ranch and shuffled quickly out of the door. Obviously leaving the house was the most awkward thing now knowing that Natalie was a little upset at the fact that I was departing from her house to go visit someone that she sort of hated, and in that instance I couldn’t help but flash back to a time when we were all friends just trying to take a trip to Oregon.
We just never made it there.