When My Mind is Miles From My Finger Tips

11:16 pm. I’m willing to write anything and everything other than the writing assignment I’m to turn in tomorrow. You’d think as a communication studies major this would be cake….sadly, in a very uncharacteristic move, I’ve pushed this assignment off until mere hours before it’s due. We’ve all been there right? Ok, good. Well, right now I’m dreaming of my favorite places in the world.

The Ocean brings me peace like no other. It’s 3 hours to the coast from my hometown, which is nothing in Texas Time. I’ve driven farther and longer, but somehow I’m not able to cope with this drive. We’ll start seeing palm tree about 2 hours in and suddenly I’m clutching the edges of my seat in anticipation, rolling down the windows to catch a breeze. Don’t even get me started on actually driving in Corpus. It’s so close! Why are we still in the car, yall??? The summer before my first year of college, I went with my three best friends and my lovely boyfriend for a day trip. We finally made it to Mustang Island, and one of my best friends wasn’t happy with the beach, so she made us find another one. The only thing I wanted was to stand before that massive expanse of water and feel small as the water rushed over my feet. About an hour later I got my wish. As irritated with her as I was, it only took a few minutes of sea-therapy to return me to my absolute state of bliss. With my love by my side we explored the shallow waters, even daring to venture out to the first few sand bars. Floating along with the sea weed and white waves feels like home. I will miss it when college is over.

Have you ever found yourself in a valley surrounded on all sides by towering mountains? Did they still have snow? Did you feel close to the sky? Have you stood on those mountains and felt such pride over the land before you? These visions are such treasures to me. Wyoming was a treasure. I don’t even mind driving through the mountain passes….scratch that…I don’t mind driving through the mountain passes as long as my mother is not there too scream and cry. Oh, but it was so worth it to come out of the pass and take in the land Jackson sits on! It was so flat! I could pretty much see from one side of the valley to the other. And the sky was so blue! Is that an altitude thing? I thought the Texas skies were massive and glorious…but a mountain sky definitely takes the cake. It’s spectacular. And the stars at night. The sounds of wilderness. The animals. Where I come from, we’re lucky to get snow during the winter, much less in the middle of summer, but it was there. It even snowed in the mountains while we were visiting the lower parts of Yellowstone. Had we chosen that day to ride the tram up the mountain by our cabin, we would have witnessed snow in summer! What a thought!

The Hill-Country just doesn’t wow me now that I live in the Piney Woods of Texas. I used to enjoy our occasional drives into the hills to visit our family cabin, and I still do, but it’s more pleasurable when the lands sport their annual wild flowers. Then the rolling hills of color rival my beautiful pine tree forests. I don’t know why I find them so attractive, I just do. I love the way they dance in the wind and tower over the city. They sway like I do when I’m in a dance-y mood. It’s a rare day that I won’t have some sort of piney-woods-sunset picture on my snapchat story. I get so caught up in the beauty of the moment and I just want to share it with the world! Even though the woods are my least favorite natural point, they still hold a special place in my heart. Even when I leave this area, I will return often to enjoy the green figures and the sun light shining through their leaves.

I sit and dream and long for and remember such special moments. It’s so much better than writing abstracts about critical essays over modernism. I just have to take deep breaths and remember that this is only a pre-req for the class I do want to take….and it doesn’t hurt that this is only worth a third of an essay grade, but dwelling on that only makes me not want to write it. I just want somebody to teach me how to be a better writer!

11:51 pm. I don’t care how modernism affected Chinese literature, but here I go to write the damn abstracts. Ocean. Mountains. Piney Woods. Ocean. Mountains. Piney Woods.

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Perspective from the Road

Something about the woods here always makes me recede into my thoughts. Staying inside too long makes me feel like I’m in a cage. As I didn’t have a balcony last year, I often descended the stairs to a landing between the 2nd and 3rd floor, where I could think in peace. There I could watch cars pass on the street below and breathe in as much fresh air as I needed. Now, I find myself drifting to our little balcony when my mind wanders, but it’s still wrapped up in the confines of the apartment. When the balcony can’t ease my unrest, I go to plan B. Driving.

If you’re a fan of the TV show Supernatural, you’ll understand what I mean when I say my truck and I have a profound bond. (and in case you were wondering, I ship Destiel. It is most definitely a thing!) Every drive is an adventure, even if it’s across the highway to wreck havoc on Walmart. It’s hard to match the elation I feel when I drive, especially when I’m alone. I usually turn the volume as high as it will go, because it makes me feel cozy and surrounded by my favorite music. That phrase “so loud I can’t hear myself think” doesn’t apply in this situation, for some reason. See, this moment is where my best inspiration comes from. It’s like the combination of the road flying by and the blasting lyrics releases all the pent up thoughts and worries in my brain.

Now that you understand my therapy methods, we can dive into the gorey details. My therapy began last year (obviously) when I didn’t need to drive as much as I did back home. I was helped to discover the winding back roads and freedoms of our town, and I used them frequently. Then, I left for the summer and I welded the door to the fidgety 18 year old shut. I abandoned my “aimless drives” as my roommate would call them, honestly, because I no longer needed them. I went out more than before, I found my own peace, and I thrived.

In a town so small, everywhere I turn I’m thrown into a memory. Cars I don’t know take my mind to another time. I make turns in intersections then immediately look in my rear-view mirror for that familiar figure, just in case they might be near. The more errands I run, the more I’m drawn to the back roads to stay out a little longer. My brain scolds me with thoughts of my dwindling bank account and the needle that drifts closer to ‘E’ every time I turn on the engine. My heart needs to fly. I need to watch the towering trees pass in a blur. I need to feel speed. Most of all, I need to feel connected. I don’t think I’m ready to admit what to. The emotions, the suffocation associated with my trips was buried so deep, and with my return it’s slipping out like smoke.

It’s part of my Wanderlust, and one day it will be satiated. For now I battle with life. And small spaces. Did I mention I’m claustrophobic?