Today was finally the first day of summer here in Milwaukee. At 10am it was at least 74 degrees out and super duper humid — this runner’s ideal running weather! After a good 6-mile trot, the clouds still hadn’t rolled in so I grabbed my bathing suit and headed to the beach.
Bradford beach is the go-to beach if you live downtown but there’s something about the tiki bars, volleyball and general infestation of people that turns me off. I think of a beach and I think of quiet. Well, reasonable quiet considering water never stops moving. My beach of choice is just south of it; rocky and not quite inviting.
Today’s sojourn really got me reflecting on my trip to Sayulita, which I just realized I never wrote about. I suspect that’s because I refused to connect to the internet while in Mexico and when I got back I was still processing the whole experience. Sayulita was one of those rare moments in your life where you do a lot of subconscious unwinding.
The less connected I was to things and the more connected I was to people the clearer everything seemed to become. The days were longer, the moments more significant and easier to recall, the stories we told more memorable and most of all, the sleeping was completely restorative. I can’t stress this one enough because I did a LOT of sleeping on that trip because I hadn’t been letting myself actually rest before it.
In addition to the obvious Mexican charms of this little surf village (like Coronas on the beach, donuts on the beach, whale watching and frozen bananas) my comrades and I spent the mornings and evenings together, literally digesting breakfast and dinner after 2 hour yoga classes twice each day. I stood taller, the stress lines melted away from my face and I felt in sync with my surroundings.
With afternoons by the pool or at the beach, dining and exploring the town it was easy to get to know my fellow yogis. There were some similarities in age groups but largely we all came to a common place from completely different paths. But the real familiarity was done on the mat.
At first there was certainly that familiar air of “What’s she doing? I can do that better! Please don’t touch me, you’re breaking through the 4th wall!” and the more we ate, drank, shared, sweat, and explored our practice, the easier it was to see my friends for who they really are. (The best part of yoga is some days it’s easy, some days it’s impossible, but there’s always going to be part of class that humbles you and a part of class that frees you.)
Anyway, the point of the retelling of this trip is because it was very similar to my trip to Montana in 2010; it proved to be one of those experiences that changes you when you least expect it to. When you’re in it, food is food, sleep is sleep and the surroundings are only surreal as long as you let them. But when you come back out of it, the sum of the trip solidifies and embeds itself within your person. Because of the experience, considerations you hadn’t given weight to become more prominent in your everyday decision making as you’re moving more and more toward what you actually desire.
Or at least, that was the case for me.
I find myself at an uncomfortable crossroads. Where I’m lead has yet to be determined but I can no longer ignore my innate desires to help people, write and travel as often as possible. Now I just have to figure out exactly how to do that and, if I’m not mistaken, that’s what’s called adventure.
We’ve all seen the Pixar movie Up at this point, have we not? If that film taught us anything it’s that adventure is out there.