Do you ever feel like you’re just chipping away at something you can’t see, not really sure that what you’re doing is making any difference?
That’s how I feel most days, like I’m just doing what I perceive to be the right thing, in blind faith that it is meaningful, but still kind of unsure.
Fortunately, sometimes life stops for a brief moment to show us that whatever we have been working on has not been in vain. This has happened to me a few times in sobriety, during birthdays and other big life events such as college graduation, relocation, etc. I get a glimpse of how far I’ve come.
Recently, I left California to go to grad school in Georgia, where I’m from originally. Having only been in California for 8 months, I didn’t think my presence made any impact. Yet, the last few weeks I was there, I was overwhelmed by the love and appreciation I felt from the people at my workplace, my friends, and my family.
I could go on about the incredibly bittersweet feelings that accompany leaving a place, but I have to save room to tell you a little bit about my road trip!
I spent the first night in Palm Springs (the photo up top shows the sunset there that evening). I stopped to have dinner at a Mexican restaurant. When I sat down and opened the menu my last name was all over it! I snapped a pic and sent it to my best friend and she said, “Confirmation. God is with you on this journey”. Wow, did I mention I have great friends?
I hit the road in the morning and made my way through the empty desert. I took a couple roadside selfies to chronicle that eerie alone in the desert vibe.
I made it to Flagstaff, AZ in the late afternoon. I was famished and had to use the bathroom, so I got off at the first exit even though it was the wrong one. I passed a bunch of restaurants until I randomly stopped and pulled into a shopping plaza. I noticed another Mexican restaurant called “El Capitan”.
I couldn’t believe it!
Just one month prior, one of my best friends who lives in NYC fell in love with marine conservation, specifically with sharks, and told me about this restaurant owner she spoke with over the phone for a long while about the implications of selling shark meat.
The waitress gave me a skeptical look when I asked for the owner and told her about the shark meat conversation.
“She wasn’t the one who called in death threats, was she?” the waitress asked.
“Oh no, definitely not. She told me they had a beautiful conversation” I replied, starting to get nervous.
A few moments later the owner came and sat with me. He told me that my friend was one of the only callers that talked to him like a human being, with kindness and compassion. I thought to myself, “My friends do some amazing things from a place of love”.
We took a picture together, sent it to her, and he wished me well on my trip. I made a new friend in Flagstaff.
I stayed in Airbnb’s which was a really fun experience. My host in Flagstaff was lovely. I stayed in her little boy’s room and the two of them slept in the loft. There was an open window overlooking the golf course and in came a calming, mountain breeze. I felt so safe and tranquil in that space of pure innocence. I read the children’s books that were on his bed and slept so good that night.
Before I set out on this adventure, I meditated on what my message for this trip would be. I kept getting, “Be your own best friend”. That was the mantra that kept me company along the way.
Off I went to Sedona, just south of the mountainous national forest that is Flagstaff. The drive was terrifying but breathtaking. The first leg of it was downhill through the forest, and the second half went up into a rocky mountai. I was winding around cliffs and peering into the deep canyons, pine trees the size of splinters.
Then, all at once, the rocks turned red and the trees opened up into an expansive desert canyon landscape. It was a magical moment.
Sedona has a magical reputation, in fact. I knew I had to go when a friend told me they had a “spriritual experience” in Sedona.
I put the coordinates in my phone to an energy vortex at the Bell Rock. Before I had reached my destination, I felt a warm sense of peace come over me. In this particular area, for whatever reason, I did feel a subtle shift in energy. Ever skeptical, I wasn’t sure about these “energy vortexes”. But ever curious, I had to find out.
A perfect sitting spot was carved out for me against the Bell Rock, in my own little private vortex. I sat there and listened a moment. I got the same guidance I had been receiving about self-love. “Be your own best friend.”
I decided to see a psychic on my way out, because it seemed like the “When in Sedona” thing to do. I had never done this before.
She prayed before she did my reading and I appreciated that. I felt at peace with her.
Coincidentally, (or not) the message she told me the universe had for me was the same one I was getting for myself. “Love yourself. Feel the love you have for yourself. Treat yourself the way you would want a partner to treat you. Your life is so precious”. Gems, right?
She told me a few other things, something about the color aqua and someone named Brian, none of which rang any bells, but it didn’t matter. The experience was to reaffirm that my channel to God’s guidance is working just fine. I appreciated the confirmations, and the knowledge that I didn’t need to pay someone to talk to God, I can trust myself and the guidance I receive.
I could go on and finish describing my life changing road trip, about how funky and down to earth Austin is and how New Orleans has been able to maintain its authenticity amidst all the chaos, but I’m pretty sure those blogs have already been written.
So I’m going to leave you all with the message from the universe, of which yes, I know books and blogs galore have already been written, but apparently us humans still haven’t listened. Be your own best friend.