Back To The Real World

It took literally getting hit by a small boulder in my left leg to check back into the “real” world mentally. You know, the one where people live indoors and are accustomed to interacting in spaces with more than two other people in them. The amount of time I had spent on my own in the outdoors allowed me to nearly escape the pandemic entirely. The hiking buff that covered my face reverted to its intended summer use as a shield between my mouth and nature’s most annoying flying insects (sorry entomologists). However, a recent hike with a friend helped knocked me back to reality.

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From California To Texas Again

A Mountain Woman’s Thoughts On Getting Laid Off During A Pandemic

Jasmine wears a mask sunglasses and workout gear. She stands in the middle of an empty road flashing a peace sign.

It happened slowly, and then all at once. One moment I was completely fine hiking with my friends in the woods after weeks of recovering from a bout of actual flu and pneumonia, and then the next I’m stuck in the house again for fear of dying from a new illness—Covid-19. I had started a new job the week of the beginning of the stay at home order in the middle of March in California.

I was completely fine that week, but then something happened when they closed the hiking trails to minimize the spread of the Coronavirus. I couldn’t think or figure anything out until they opened them up again with social distancing guidelines. It all clicked again when I went back out into the woods, this time with a mask on my face. When many offices planned to reopen their doors and end working from home, I was laid off.

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The Road Trip From California to Texas

Me at the Grand Canyon
Making my parents nervous since 1990.

Four years ago, I found myself sitting in the driver’s seat of my brand-new car with my best friend in the passenger seat. We drove from Southern California to Oregon, camping and visiting with friends along the way. What started as some sort of cheesy rom-com where a friend tried their best to reunite two old friends with a bit of history became a cheesy story of friendship that we still talk about until this day.

My best friend and I found ourselves, once again, traveling by car across the country. However, instead of heading north, we traveled east so that my best friend could move the last of her things to her new place in Texas. We traveled with two well-behaved dogs in the back seat of her newer truck next to our luggage piled off on to one side and a trailer full of nearly everything my best friend owned with her new husband. I didn’t need to, but I jumped in the car to spend the last few days that I will have for a while with my best friend. I was also craving adventure, and I knew that we were planning on seeing the Grand Canyon. Continue reading “The Road Trip From California to Texas”

Two Thousand Miles In Two Days

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Two thousand and two miles and seven states in twenty-nine hours. My sister and I drove that distance in a small Hyundai Sonata from Tennessee to California. We celebrated as we passed state lines, posed in front of state signs, and nearly killed each other in the last eight hours before we made it to California.

My sister and I agreed to help our cousin by driving her car back to California from where she lived in Tennessee. She and her newborn baby were to take a flight back home as we tried not to crash her car while moving at top speeds across the country. However, after we began to see historical signs and interesting billboards, we decided to make a couple of stops along the way. Continue reading “Two Thousand Miles In Two Days”

In Response To “Well Oregon… “

Oregon road trip adventureWell, Oregon…

Nearly a decade ago a group of my friends and I decided to take a trip to Oregon. We would go and solve the mystery of our lifetime, up to that point, and enjoy the trip in the process. However, due to a number of complications, the trip to Oregon became an impossible thing, and over the course of the planning, we had lost friends and lovers along the way.

My best friend and I eventually made it there together after a long road trip from Southern California and kept blogging about the journey along the way. I didn’t fully know it then, but the trip that came on the precipice of a new beginning for our futures would change both of our lives forever.

It’s only natural that now, three years after the trip, the first car that my best friend ever bought would have Oregon license plates. I have seen it as a reminder of the trip and what we have taken away from it. There’s no doubt in my mind that we have grown and closer and wiser since then, and I’m sure the reminder is to keep progressing as both individuals and as friends of more than twenty years.

As we approach the final months before my friend’s wedding and the series of projects that I am hoping to tackle around that time as well, I can only think back to the trip as encouragement to do my best, leave my comfort zone, and continue moving forward.

It was once an obsession, a drive, and a journey both physically and mentally. It became a story that spanned many blog posts and a memory that I never want to forget. For some reason, the state of Oregon was a white whale that in time just became a shared state of mind between two people. It became a place that my best friend and I would share forever, and I’m okay with that.