In the Autumn of My Life

A few days ago at home, I found myself driving on the freeway, with leaves rushing in the wind towards my car.  It became a constant barrage of leaves of all shades landing for an instant on my windshield before being deflected back into the wind.  I realized I was behind a landscaping truck. 

But more importantly, I realized the symbolism of these leaves was so apropos to my life.  I was about to face a great challenge by returning home after a year of absence filled with physical, mental and emotional challenges that led to familial strife in an otherwise tight-knit family.

Children are returning to school, and I am reminded of my own emotions facing the Autumn school beginning.  The feelings of change, and renewal, as well as the daunting feeling of the unknown events of the year to come.  I remember the air gaining a chill, and a crispness that felt clean, and to me, like the promise of a fresh start.  I found it exhilarating, but hard to let go of my favorite time of year, Summer.  I have always had trouble accepting change.  

This is an Autumn of my life.  

When I arrived home, the leaves were even beginning to change.  I could see their green fading into bronze on the trees, as we whooshed down the highway from the airport to my old home.  Everything around me seemed so foreign, yet familiar.  It is such a strange feeling to be somewhere which was always such a constant, and yet to take in so much change.  But it isn’t just the outward change that is jarring, but the inward change of my family members, and of myself.  I am also staggered by the lack of change, mostly for the negative.  

This is a journey in itself.  Yes, I am traveling, but the outward travel is far less important than the inward travel.  For the first time, I feel like an adult returning home.  I miss so much of the past, but it is gone.  Now I have to decide what is left here in my hometown, with my family, and is worth fighting for.

 

It is all so surreal, but I am somehow taking it in stride, the way each individual leaf on a tree grows, flourishes with the sun and the rain, and then so beautifully accepts the change of the season, until it is cast to the wind, to start a new adventure.  One. Moment. At. A. Time.

Cheers,

QuarterCentenarianAbroad

 

August. East Coast, USA. 2014.

In the Autumn of My Life

A few days ago at home, I found myself driving on the freeway, with leaves rushing in the wind towards my car.  It became a constant barrage of leaves of all shades landing for an instant on my windshield before being deflected back into the wind.  I realized I was behind a landscaping truck. 

But more importantly, I realized the symbolism of these leaves was so apropos to my life.  I was about to face a great challenge by returning home after a year of absence filled with physical, mental and emotional challenges that led to familial strife in an otherwise tight-knit family.

Children are returning to school, and I am reminded of my own emotions facing the Autumn school beginning.  The feelings of change, and renewal, as well as the daunting feeling of the unknown events of the year to come.  I remember the air gaining a chill, and a crispness that felt clean, and to me, like the promise of a fresh start.  I found it exhilarating, but hard to let go of my favorite time of year, Summer.  I have always had trouble accepting change.  

This is an Autumn of my life.  

When I arrived home, the leaves were even beginning to change.  I could see their green fading into bronze on the trees, as we whooshed down the highway from the airport to my old home.  Everything around me seemed so foreign, yet familiar.  It is such a strange feeling to be somewhere which was always such a constant, and yet to take in so much change.  But it isn’t just the outward change that is jarring, but the inward change of my family members, and of myself.  I am also staggered by the lack of change, mostly for the negative.  

This is a journey in itself.  Yes, I am traveling, but the outward travel is far less important than the inward travel.  For the first time, I feel like an adult returning home.  I miss so much of the past, but it is gone.  Now I have to decide what is left here in my hometown, with my family, and is worth fighting for.

 

It is all so surreal, but I am somehow taking it in stride, the way each individual leaf on a tree grows, flourishes with the sun and the rain, and then so beautifully accepts the change of the season, until it is cast to the wind, to start a new adventure.  One. Moment. At. A. Time.

Cheers,

QuarterCentenarianAbroad

 

August. East Coast, USA. 2014.

Why (Me)xico?

I have spent ten months running from my new reality.  While barely keeping my world intact as a recent college graduate finding my place in the world and paying bills while following a creative passion, my entire world was shattered, literally.  I was biking on a clear, sunny afternoon, feeling more alive and engaged in the world than I had in a long time.  I had just arrived back in the city from three weeks in Paris where I had established a this travel blog, outlined a clear plan for how to approach my art, and how to change my life in the city in order to achieve a higher level of happiness in my day to day.  One part of that plan was to mimic the Europeans and their joie de vivre lifestyle of biking and life experiencing on their commute.

So when I was hit by a 5,000lb SUV, I literally and figuratively had the wind knocked out of me.  My sails deflated, I can recall the seconds that seemed like eons, rotating through the air, as I heard my mind exclaim, “Why now!?”  For some, memories of trauma feel like gazing at a scene on a screen with petroleum jelly spread over it.  For me, though, everything is crisp and clear, and I was aware in that very moment that my life was going to change irrevocably.  I wasn’t capable of knowing how bad my injuries would be, and what life-altering physical disabilities I would suffer, until my body fell from the sky, impacting on the dark road beneath me.  “This is going to hurt.  Just don’t die.” I heard my mind desperately warning and pleading with itself.  Add insult to injury?  The man who hit me left me in the street, injured, questioning whether I would live or die.  

Three days in the hospital, four pelvic fractures, a separated shoulder, two months in a wheelchair, multiple x-rays, MRIs and torn cartilage demanding hip surgery, ten months of physical therapy re-learning to walk and therapy re-learning to feel later, I was about to turn twenty-six.  Where did twenty-five go?  Oh, yea.  I just covered that.  Feeling a piece of my life had been stolen, I set a goal to travel to a new country before I had to say goodbye to my quarter-century milestone.  

In my new reality, I’m trying hard to let go of fear.  Rationality is one thing, but fear is a monster that consumes your life and prevents you from living fully.  Even though I had lived for years within hours of the border, I had never traveled to Mexico.  Growing up on the East Coast, Mexico was a distant country, with a bad reputation (putting it mildly).  We saw news stories about tourists who had been arrested and subjected to human rights violations, or people who had been scalped by drug cartel members.  After thorough research, listening to multiple personal anecdotes (some again deterring me from Mexico), I decided that symbolically this trip was too important for my life.  I needed to escape the confines of medical appointments, bills, criminal court proceedings, and civil attorneys.  Mexico was my ticket to freedom and renewal, and I was not about to let twenty-six pass without an epic welcoming.  Goodbye, twenty-five! 

(Written June, 2014)

Back to the Abroad!

Heylo everyone!

Wow.  What a long strange trip it has been, as the Grateful Dead said.  I actually have been up and writing for a month or so now, but I haven’t been able to log into my account here.  Magically, I tried again a moment ago, using the same password I had previously tried, and this time, it worked.  Whaddya know!?

I have been craving an update like you would not believe!  Firstly, during my absence, my blog turned ONE YEARS OLD! Wahoo!  I would come down on myself more for not maintaining a constant presence on here, and not having more followers, but I can’t very well blame myself for being the victim of an accident, and recovering from surgery.  The ONE YEAR mark for the accident has passed as well.  Believe me, that day was well remembered through a celebration of life party amongst the friends who have supported me through all my challenges.  But, I do apologize to my readers for the silence, and hope that you will continue to be interested in my blog.

In the past month, I have been fortunate to travel to multiple destinations.  I traveled to Mexico (where I celebrated my birthday!), the U.S. and British Virgin Islands (which had served as my light and dream at the end of the dark tunnel of pain post-accident), and took a short jaunt to Mammoth Lakes and Yosemite, CA. 

My travel pieces have all been written, so that I could take part in Camp NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in July, which means my readers can look forward to consistent posts!  Each piece has a different tone.  Some are more geared towards a hotel or destination review, some are more lifestyle pieces, and some have a more narrative flow to them.

I hope you enjoy the journey as much as I have.  I am so grateful to be alive, and to have the continued opportunity to create, love and explore!

photo-13

(The closest thing you will get to a picture “of” me. Yosemite, Summer, 2014).

Cheers!

QuarterCentenarianAbroad