Yesterday some friends and I hopped in the car and drove east to Cleveland National Forest for a camping trip. This little trip reminded me, yet again, that I don't belong in a concrete jungle. I need to see the stars at night, breathe fresh air, and enjoy open spaces.
This trip was also the maiden voyage of my tent and sleeping bag - I'm proud to say they performed very well! One day I want to drive north up PCH, and I was planning to just take my tent and sleeping bag instead of having to pay for hotel rooms every night. I think this will work out quite nicely.
After we pitched our tents and gathered some firewood, we went for a hike on Lightning Trail. This took us to through the woods and spit us out on the top of a hill. The view was amazing! We were looking down upon the most beautiful little meadow, and we could see the rest of the forest stretching out before us. There was also a crazy-looking dome behind a security fence. Being the trouble-maker I am, I hopped the fence - barbed wire and all. Dan eventually followed suit, and tried to pick the lock on the door. I was hoping the he would succeed because I wanted to walk down the stairs and see what secrets the alien dome held, even though it was probably something completely normal. Like a water holding tank.
But, Dan wasn't able to trip up the security pin, so we scaled the fence a second time and came back down the mountain.
Later we went on a quest to find the unbelievably beautiful meadow we saw from on high. And find it we did! It was serenity in the purest form. After a bit of a walk along a trail, I split off from the group and stepped off the beaten path. Then I laid down in the grass, stared at the sky, and absorbed the soothing sounds and smells of nature: the wind in the trees & the tall grass; the birds overhead; the clean, fresh air; the aroma of pine. I wish I could experience that every day when I step out of my door.
This amazing and remarkable day eventually came to close. Dan and I lit a fire (finally!) and heated Sally's awesome Campfire Beans, and the drinking ensued. It was a great close to a great day. Oh - until I woke up sobbing in pain because my tooth was throbbing. I woke up my camping buddies, and probably a neighboring campsite. Sally and Alycia rounded up some asprin, and with the left-over whiskey I managed to numb my gums. What great timing, huh? Me with no job and no dental insurance.
But things will get better - a welcome turn of events will occur soon - and until then I know I can tough it out. I'm wondering if this chain of events is a sign for me to make a change in my life. Maybe the economy going to shit and me losing my job is the universe's way of telling me to get out of California? I mean, I've been considering it for some time now. Portland is my first choice, but now I'm thinking more family-oriented moves. Minnesota. Texas. Kentucky. Portland would be more for me - that move would be me proving to myself I can take care of myself and I don't need to depend on others.
Maybe I'm just not ready for that. 24 yrs old is still pretty young - I just thought I'd be in a different place by now. Still, I guess life never gives us what we expect, does it? I wonder what tomorrow will show me...
I wonder what I'll learn about my own happiness. :)