Having grown weary of a seemingly endless string of flights for the past two weeks, I opted to drive from Northern California to Southern California (and back) this week. It was illogical, really, and many of my friends told me so. But I reasoned that I'd neglected to buy a plane ticket, and now it was too expensive to fly.
I was writing down directions for the way home (I get annoyed trying to use my phone to navigate, and I do not have GPS, so yes, the world and all of its advances have passed me by), and scrawled down "then drive up I-5 until your eyeballs fall out." It is a straight shot like that. And even though it is a long, almost interminable drive, it is also mindless, and thus allows your mind to wander.
It was much needed. I had to exorcise a bunch of negativity and demons, reset my brain, examine what lies ahead. I didn't arrive at any epiphanies, not even close.
California is beautiful. There is no state like it. But then, there is no place like any other. California, I realized, has become home for me, and that long drive up and down I-5 reminded me that this might be a swan song. A goodbye, or a farewell for now. The only thing that changed along that drive is that I became more comfortable with all of the uncertainty. Take a deep breath, breathe in the sunset that tinges the sky purple against stretches of farmland and mountains, stretch that imagination and consider a different life, a new dream. But I'm just not sure of anything.
I came home, and slept, and when I woke up, I was a year older. So busy with the plates sliding beneath my feet that I didn't have time to acknowledge the passing of another year. I could have made cookies or a cake, some sure fire, trusty standby. But that's not the kind of space I'm occupying these days. So I revisited macarons, which are the most temperamental m*@!$* that a person can bake. I've already previously accepted that macarons are one of the few items that I think are worth shelling out the cash for, rather than trying to recreate at home, because they are so involved.
But I was feeling up for failure. I was feeling that sense of daring-- that willingness to roll the dice for high stakes. I was feeling extreme- I could have gone for a good, hard cry or a joyous victory dance. I was ready to accept my fate. I was ready for it to all be for nothing. And only, only when I feel like that, I think, is this possible:
There were some happy feet in my house that day.
It's not a long drive, or the baking of macarons, or any one thing that will help make this all clear. I see that much now. It's just the necessary turning myself inwards, filtering out the background noise, the external voices of right and wrong. And if I stand very still, while the macarons are baking, while the sun is setting, while the music is playing games with my heartbeat, then I'll feel the right path.
* Maybe because I am old and so an 80s vibe does nothing but make me giddy, the new Killers' single Shot At the Night is owning me right now.