I was in my early thirties searching for something I had lost without knowing what it was. I packed up my car with some clothes and things I would need for a few days road trip and headed north. North was all I knew about where I was going and the further north the better. There is something about running away that feels empowering when you embark and interestingly, it is a hallmark of depression.
I needed a break from my living situation, my life that was going nowhere and the loss I was experiencing; I needed a break from myself and all the bad decisions I had made leading me to that moment. So I took Highway 1 up the California coast stopping north of Mendocino, just before the highway heads east. The next morning I headed further north, driving most of the day until I hit the redwoods. The drive was an amazing experience, like recovering part of my adulthood I should have already experienced before but had never stopped long enough to embrace. After a couple days of hiking around the trails, I went north again, this time stopping in a little sea side town called Trinidad. I drove along the main road, Patrick’s Point, and decided on a quaint Bed and Breakfast with an ocean view nestled in the trees. I unpacked. I was staying.
The coastline here is truly magnificent, it is breathtaking. After getting some rest I hiked down to the beach and began walking along the shore. The rocks surrounded by water were a challenge to climb but it’s amazing what determination and freedom from one's self can generate. I picked my rock, climbed it and took in the view of the horizon in front of me, the water surrounding me, and the trees behind me.
It was here, atop this rock where it began to come together. The beauty and peace of this place is palpable and I experienced it as liberating. I didn't know it then but the action of climbing that rock was a significant movement that began to push me forward from my place of stillness and sadness; the metaphor of the rock working its way toward my conscious led to the clarity that would soon become my future.
Of course I had to get down and that too was an adventure.
A few days later I returned to San Jose. I called my friend, Glen, and we met for dinner. I told him I was planning on returning to school in the fall to get a degree in psychology, but that I wouldn’t be staying in San Jose, I was moving north to enroll at Humboldt State.
What kinds of life experiences helped you moved from a stuck place toward your future? Is there a living metaphor you are aware of?
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