About a week ago, Luke, surprised me with a week getaway. He knew that by the end of March our life will begin to change in some ways (he starts his job) and we had said that during his in-between season we would get away together. But as life changed so much in 2020 with the pandemic, the ideas of a getaway became less likely and my apathy was rather strong too.
But about 2 days prior to our road trip he said, “I’ve been thinking we should try to get away for a few days to celebrate our two-year anniversary early since we don’t and won’t know my schedule until we’re living it.” I got so excited at the thought of getting away. I also think it was fun that it was a surprise because I didn’t have expectations for the trip, just an exciting idea to getaway.
I am big on expectation which has previously left me disappointed in life when something didn’t live up to how I thought or imagined it would. As we prepared for our adventure we saw the weather was showing it was going to rain for the entirety of our time in Rosemary Beach / Alys Beach area. This is the same place we went for our one year. One of my favorite places I’ve ever visited. It’s so peaceful and happy feeling there. I knew that I wanted to read on our trip but I wanted books that would be happy or lighthearted. I recognized the majority of my books I’ve read in the past 5 years have been about suffering, self-care, or trauma care. Although those have been life-changing for me, I recognize the necessity for balance and books on joy or a bit of imagination and hope. My personal bookshelf doesn’t have any of those books other than ones I’ve already read. So I went to my sister’s and found fairytales, fiction, and books I’ve never thought to read. She has Narnia, Harry Potter, Ink Heart, and original Fairytales. I’ve never really been a fan of fiction, but possibly because I haven’t truly read them or given them a chance. So I pulled the big case of Narnia books and decided I would give them a go. I love allegories and so I figured I would love them too. I’m on the third book now and I can already say that they’re amazing. They are light enough of a read to feel happy but deep enough to feel captivated.
We drove about 7.5 hours to Atlanta and stayed the night before we finished the last stretch of 7 hours the following day to Rosemary Beach. It was chilly and rainy as we ate burgers, sipped on coffee, read our books, and explored with our umbrellas. I never felt sad about the weather. Probably because I didn’t have expectations for the trip, but also because I used to strongly despise rain…now I see it as God being with me.
I wrote short stories (some on instagram) and others in my mind and iphone notes.
Luke finished more books than me. But that’s no surprise he seems to always be an achiever. He read the Ruthless Elimination of Hurry by John Mark Comer. The last several months we’ve been learning how to minimize our material items, be intentional with our space, and have been obsessed with Tiny Home Living. Along with that we have been hearing, seeing, talking, and watching endless subjects of Sabbath. Sabbath seems to enter many conversations, many moments and thoughts…that we know it’s God speaking to us. Sabbath isn’t something I am good at, while assuming my life has been a sabbath in other ways. But what I have been learning is the distinct difference between sabbath vs lazy scrolling and filling my mind with distractions. Am I doing something because it creates a moment of rest and pause or is it to mindlessly distract my aching heart? I’ve recognized it’s usually the latter.
We talked about many ideas of what we thought Sabbath looked like for us. We recognized reading for Luke is his sabbath. For me it is writing and reading. If I am in a space of sabbath I am so deeply encouraged and long to read and write. But if I am mindlessly distracting and in a process of hurry to numb…I don’t and won’t rest.
We were going to visit our friends in a couple states over but my best friend got sick so we were unable to see them. It was sad and I missed seeing them. But I couldn’t imagine going and causing less rest for them to just entertain. Luke and I both talk a lot about how we want our presence to be rest for others, joy, and encouragement….not the opposite. We have already started planning when we can see them soon and that makes me very happy. They make me happy.
But due to the change of plans, it actually created a space to dream more and think about life with the two of us. We went the route of CRNA schools to look at potential towns we may live in within a couple of years. We visited Panama City FSU first and the anesthesia wing was right on the water. Quite a beautiful place to visit or study I would think. I can’t imagine my classroom looking out to the water sound. The town however would be an adjustment to live in and I’m not sure it’s a place I would want to raise a family.
We drove to Greenville South Carolina to stay for 3 nights. I have never been to South Carolina outside of driving through. I’m not sure if I am so used to the business and chaos of a bigger city like DC but it was so refreshing and sweet to visit a smaller town like Greenville. People were kind, happy and in no hurry, it seemed. Greenville has 67,000 people…our town (not the city) is 1 million. Of course, the geographical area of Greenville is much smaller than where we live, but just to give you an idea of how different it feels for us to visit a place like that…it’s quite fascinating. To think of life in a space with only 67,000 people brings an element of excitement and peace to me. Whether we one day move there or not, I would love to go again. And if Luke doesn’t go to school there, maybe we could retire in South Carolina or move there for a job. I’m not sure…but the state itself felt homely. I can gage the feeling of a place pretty fast. I think that the gift of having suffering and anxiety is the discernment I have gained. I can tell if a place is welcoming or if it feels like a threat. Some places we’ve visited immediately feels like a threat. It’s not the people that give me the feeling, sometimes it’s the lack of trees or lack of town friendliness. If that makes sense? Some places just feel cold internally. It’s hard to describe unless you too have felt it.
Sometimes my own hometown feels cold internally and like a threat. So it definitely can be seasonal or due to mess / chaos. In other ways it’s the most home I’ve felt. It’s familiar and exciting. Maybe it depends where I am mentally. Maybe it’s a spiritual battle, or maybe it is because of the political hub of DC. It could be the amount of people, it could also be self-perceived threats.
We visited the University of South Carolina Greenville and it was quite a beautiful place. I especially loved that it was so close to the downtown or essentially inside of it. The coffee shops we visited were SO cute and good. We went to a coffee shop called Methodical in downtown and then another one closer to where we stayed and it was decorated differently.
On our way home we stopped in Winston-Salem to see Wakeforest and Greensboro to see UNC Greensboro. I don’t see myself living there but we also only saw the downtown spots. But it felt too small for me. It would be a massive adjustment for me to live somewhere like that. Same for Luke. I’m not sure we could do that.
We then drove to Duke in Durham and both were jaw dropped shocked at how fancy it was. I could probably do that. HAHA I think the idea of Luke going to a school that looks like a castle would spark excitement in my mind. I would probably also like going on the campus to read and write while pretending I am some fancy author with my coffee and gluten-free nasty stale pastry that I would pretend to love. But if we’re being honest, I would probably rather stay home with Roy and drink at home lattes with my plants. Anywhere we go I will probably be a homebody but I would like to go somewhere I feel safe to walk around in the town.
We then drove through the dark to get home. I was starving so we stopped by one of our favorite Peruvian Chicken places and got home to watch the Royal Oprah interview with Meghan and Harry. It was fascinating and eye-opening. Probably the saddest and most interesting interview I’ve ever watched.
Home can feel like a place I want to escape so often and a place that is easy to not appreciate. Until you’ve been on the road for 14 hours and you dream of your own bed. When I got into our bedroom I couldn’t help but smile. I am truly happy right where I am, and I hope to have more sabbath here and remind myself of how happy I am.
I always long to get out while also battling apathy. Maybe you have too, sometimes it’s good to just get away for a bit, dream of ways to sabbath and regain a sense of gratitude before returning.
Thanks for reading,