Image: A friend who rode some of CA with me and reintroduced me to the magic of the BUS. (Confession: I bussed some small legs of wretched, heat-wave-scorched California and feel precisely zero guilt over it.)
Yesterday evening, I rolled merrily into Oakland, California, the home of my wonderful childhood friend, Ashley, and her rad husband, Tiger. The two of them hosted me and a friend graciously, fed us well, and reminded me what it looks like to “adult.” And sure, I mean that in the way that their apartment is lovely, their careers are meaningful and impactful, and they’ve even got a little one on the way. But I mean that much more so in the sense that they exude an easy, well earned self-possession and groundedness, individually and together. It’s a gorgeous thing to see.
This trip started out of a few places, a few reasons, but central to it all, in fact, was some existential fretting over whether I was doing enough in this world, making good and meaningful change and honoring the gifts and talents I possess. I’m closing it out with more questions than answers, but better questions, I think, and a happier, more ambitious little heart. I’ll Amtrak it back to Seattle later this week and work on next steps. (Yes, I had wanted to do more of inland Oregon after this Seattle-to-Oakland leg, but I’m honestly done for a good long while with wildfire smoke and heat waves, all. Maybe in a little bit. Anyone wanna redo the Oregon Coast with me? Or something around Bend, once it clears up??)
Meanwhile, I’ll quote Ashley herself, who, upon learning of my initial reasons for taking this trip, describing myself as feeling “mindfucked and heartfucked” (my crude words, not hers), told me: “Okay, maybe ‘mindfucked and heartfucked,’ but NOT SOULfucked.”
No, indeed, old friend, and feeling all the more powerful and thrilled for whatever the hell comes next.