Today, in this makeup post from the weekend, I am thankful for road trips and the space they offer.
Recovering from an abusive relationship, it took me a while to realize that I can still do the activities I enjoy by myself. Going on drives was one of the few things we used to enjoy doing together. But I bought a used car last August, quite handy during the pandemic, and slowly realized I could drive it for pleasure as well as work.
Doing activities by myself is also challenge for me as an extrovert because everything seems more fun with others around. However, one of my best friends pointed out that I would lose out on many opportunities by passing them up if I’d have to go alone.
I can still drive north in hopes of witnessing the aurora borealis even if my friends are unavailable for a spontaneous late night drive. I can still go to the park or the beach even if they are occupied with midday plans. I can still decorate for holidays and sit under the twinkly lights with hot chocolate and a fake fire blazing even if my housemates aren’t the festive type themselves.
Some days I go cruising by the lake so I can get out of the house, listen to the radio while meandering around the city, pick up some tater tots from Sonic, and hear the waves crash until the chill sets in.
This past summer, I had the opportunity to use some vacation time and had a short break between jobs, so I travelled across the country to see everything I could in the Deep South. A former road trip buddy and teacher was still finishing up the school year, so I headed out on my own.
Turns out, even as an extrovert, I love road trips by myself.
Working a couple jobs and attending grad school, I don’t have much time to process my emotions and deeper questions, try as I might. Road trips allow me to do this because I simply cannot work. My hands and eyes are on the wheel and the road, so I can’t text clients or edit articles or study for class. It is beautiful.
I can travel, escape the weighty stresses of regular life, think, rest, explore, listen to audiobooks and favorite playlists, and be refreshed. And the quiet that is usually so rare allows suppressed thoughts to surface. Road trips are handy for having revelations in that regard.
Space — that is part of what road trips offer. Space to explore both internally and externally, space to rest and just be. Space to take my time. May God grant you the space you need as well this month.