Living in the city, it’s so easy to lose yourself.. at least for me it is. I was born in South Carolina and moved here when I was pretty young so I’ve pretty much only grown up in Eugene, but I still feel like a part of me will always remain in the country. Maybe it’s because almost every summer since I was eight years old, I always went to my grandma’s house up in Spokane, WA. Actually, she lives about an hour away from Spokane, out in the “boonies” as my mother likes to refer to it. She has a lot of property and is totally secluded.
It’s one of those places with a two-mile-long dirt road “driveway.” It was always my sanctuary because of how rough things were at home. There is no doubt that the walls of all the houses my family lived in both heard and saw a lot of nasty fights. I felt like all that ever happened at home was yelling; the only time there was anything close to silence was at night when we were all sleeping. But even then, in the stillness of the night, I could hear the echo of that day’s arguments ringing in my ears, and I guess I feel like that never fully went away.
I am in a better place now, physically and emotionally, and I love my roommate, who also happens to be my best friend, but like any person, there are still personal issues I struggle with every day. Whenever I feel overwhelmed with school and homework, I put life on pause, grab some new music, and head out for a drive in the country. I used to drive around Greenhill and the road out to the coast, but that got old and it was always really heavy with traffic. So I switched to driving around Veneta, Cheshire, and Alvadore. This is how I became an expert at wasting a tank of gas.
If going for drives is my therapy, it’s expensive therapy, but so worth it. I’m a writer, right? Well, going for drives and freeing my mind refreshes whatever state I’m in and brings me back to “center,” however cheesy that sounds. Tonight I drove a little past Lorane Highway and found Blue Rooster Inn B&B, 15 miles away from Eugene. It’s tucked back into the woods off the main road, located smack-dab in the middle of an area of greenery so peaceful and rural that it almost made my heart ache. As I was driving alongside the field across from it, I saw a lot of black and white cows. I actually said aloud, “Why can’t I live out here?!” I’m so completely jealous of the people whose houses overlook that field and the mountains behind it. It’s impossible for me not to feel some sort of inspiration out there, and of course, a little bit of jealousy.
On Thursday, I will drive seven hours to the boonies. I am eager to get on the road already. I’m a little nervous for the drive, partly because 1) I’ve never driven that far of a distance alone, and 2) a lot of the area I’m driving through looks like this:
So if my car broke down, it might just be reminiscent of a certain scary movie… er, movies. Anyone seen Jeepers Creepers? The Hitcher? I know you have.
This vacation away from hippie Eugene will give me a break and a chance of coming back to myself again. I’ll still write, lovies, not to worry. I’m sure I will have many stories to tell. A wise man once said, “One cannot travel to a distant land, and return unchanged.” That has always been true for me and I’m looking forward to who I am when I come home.