Letting go of worry. Letting go of stress. Letting go of time and deadlines.
I’m in Lynchburg, Virginia right now visiting my college campus, Randolph-Macon. I left for my trip on the 28th of March. So today is day 16 of my travels. I arrived in Lynchburg this past Friday for Senior Dinner Dance weekend, a weekend for the graduating seniors. It’s a weekend characterized by dancing, drinking, and a good time.
A lot of Macon alumnae visited during that weekend, including some of my best friends I hadn’t seen in almost a year. Most of my friends who graduated left Macon this past Sunday and went back to their daily lives.
That day I felt disconnected. I felt disconnected from my school and from my friends. It was a similar feeling that I felt when I first traveled to Spain when I was studying abroad. I felt alone.
I still had friends who attended the school, but I began to feel like the school was no longer mine, and I felt like I didn’t belong. I became closterphobic, felt exhausted, and felt like I needed to be back home in California.
The next day I realized that those were foolish thoughts. I only felt disconnected because I made myself feel that way. The following day I made sure I got work done, and I locked myself away in my friend’s room, but then I got out of my comfort zone and left the room and began to reconnect with people. I only needed to feel comfortable in my own skin, and then everything just fell into place after that.
I got two important things from that mini Lynchburg trip: If you can be comfortable with yourself and being with yourself, and if you can reach out, connect with others, and be comfortable with yourself when around others, you’re set for life.
Something that helps for the above, being in the present. If you can let go of your worry, and just be in the present, with yourself, with your surroundings, and with others – it makes life so much easier and enjoyable.
When I was able to drop the thoughts that I didn’t belong, that my alma mater was no longer a place I was able to call home, and when I dropped my feelings of isolation and not belonging, I felt at home. I felt at home with myself, and with those around me. I left Macon in a good place. I strengthened and formed new relationships, and by reaching out to others, I connected deeper with myself.
Richmond and Norfolk, VA
It’s taken me about a week to finish this post. 🙂 After I left Macon, I went to Richmond, VA. I stayed with my friends Josi and Amy for a day and night, and I felt at ease, at home. The power of a human beings’ energy amazes me every time I feel its affect. My friend Josi is one of those people with amazing energy. Have you been around someone like that? When you’re around them you feel at ease, relaxed, energized, happier, comfortable, and at home – like you’re with family. It’s a great feeling.
That week, the 13th, was one of my best friend’s birthdays, Caitlin. So the day after I trained into Richmond, Josi and I drove to one of Caitlin’s best friend’s house, also in Richmond. I had a blast. I met Caitlin’s best friends, and I got to meet a whole bunch of their other friends. I also got to see two of my other friends from college while at Richmond, Ashley and Olivia.
I love meeting new people, which has resonated with me during my time in Norfolk, VA. There’s something about being able to connect with any individual, with being able to turn a stranger into a good friend, into someone you trust and feel comfortable with.
I felt at home in Richmond, VA, and now in Norfolk, I feel at home, as well.
Norfolk was fun and interesting. I edited this book set in the 60’s, Flowers in Their Hair. It was about the journey of this “typical hippy”. A lot of it revolved around travel, new experiences, and self-exploration, but what stood out to me the most was the way of travel and living, a communal environment. I felt that at Norfolk.
I came to visit one of my best friends, Dinah, for her birthday, which is actually today, Monday. It’s 1:25am on the East Coast. She is 23 today. 🙂
The cool thing about this trip is that I felt like I was living in an environment similar to a commune. My friend Dinah was working for a good chunk of my visit, so I spent most of my time with her friends, and their friends, and friends of friends. I knew her best friend before I visited because she visited Macon once while Dinah and I were still in college, but I didn’t know anyone else, but that didn’t matter. I felt like I knew everyone. I connected with everybody and felt at ease. It was like a small family was created. It’s cool when you can connect with people on a comfortable level, but then there’s another level where you feel like you connect with their soul. I may or may not see some of these people again, but if I do, it will be comfortable, like I just saw them the day before.
It’s now 1:59am, Monday, 4/18/11. It’s the beginning of my 21st day of travels, soon going to be the beginning of my 4th week. I’m excited for sleep, and for waking up and heading off to DC with Renee, Dinah’s best friend. We’re going to see her art (I believe it’s her art) at an art museum, and then from there, I’m going to find a Starbucks for the internet (and the coffee), so I can have a Skype meeting with some of my classmates back in California, then I’ll probably do work or school work until the evening when my friend Bree gets back into DC or until my friend David gets home from work. I’ll be staying with them for a week in DC. I’m excited. I’m going to another one of my homes, and I’m going to be spending a week with another one of my families, Bree and David. I met Bree and David in my first year of college. She was a senior my first year. David was a brother of another ’07 almuma, as well as Bree’s boyfriend. Now they’re just David and Bree.
My plans for the week are to get a hell of a lot of work and homework done, as well as soak in my surroundings, and David and Bree.
Some other cool updates, I got my first email from someone asking to pay me to advertise on my creative writing site. I also sent in an application for a paid web intern/internet marketing position in San Fran, and the next day I got an email asking for an interview, so a day or two ago I had a Skype interview. My fingers are crossed. 🙂 Other good news, this upcoming week, I should be taking and passing my XHTML certification test via online. Also, my sister, Kristina, just Facebook messaged me about doing a half marathon in October, so now we’re doing one together. And at the end of June, I may be making my first trip into Washington (on the West Coast) and see two friends from school I haven’t seen since December of ’08.
My Favorite Thing About This Trip
I have definitely liked the self-exploration. I have liked going out of my comfort zone, creating a comfort zone within myself, wherever I am, or with whoever I am with, getting to see all of my friends, getting to meet new people and make new connections, getting a glimpse of different people’s lives, and being able to live it, seeing new places – I have liked it all, but I do have a favorite among it all.
My favorite thing about this trip is that I have learned that anything is possible. The only restrictions on my life are the ones I make for myself. The only limitations in my life are those that are self-imposed. If I want to make something happen, I only have to want it, and then make it happen.
Emelina Minero writes for Curve Magazine and EDGE Media Network. She’s working on launching her own progressive LGBTQ publication. She’s a Connection Connoisseur, Networking Maven and Self-Love Enthusiast. She founded Community Bucket List and co-founded the Love Warrior Community. Find her on Twitter, @CommKr8veWriter.