June 15, 2017
Dear Darkened Rose,
I know bloviating my stories from traveling may seem unnecessary. The fact that I just used the word bloviating may even be obnoxious. Writing to you about this creates this insecurity—about lacking modesty—that I feel, at the moment, I am able to neglect because I am so contented. I could be more subtle and just share pictures and metaphors over an extended period of time, but my excitement supersedes my forbearance (as it often does). I am human.
I am still sober, but when trying to explain my experience from this last vacation I find myself discombobulated with excitement. The high that has come from these images and memories is resuscitative.
We flew out to San Francisco dark and early that Friday morning. Once arriving, we drove straight out to Baker’s Beach for an unexpected morning workout. We then took a quick jaunt up and down the main street of Chinatown while we awaited reservations at Chubby Noodle. Following that calorie-filled sit-down, we stopped by Pier 39 to keep with the fluctuation of said calories. From there we walked through Fisherman’s Wharf down to Ghiradelli Square for dessert.
We were huge!
While sitting outside of the factory in my chocolate-filled state of gluttony, I flipped through filters. I stressed about posting a poorly-lit photo on Instagram. I was afraid my small and maintained community may judge Caleb and me as appearing awkwardly posed on these cliffs. Or that they may not see the color of the Golden Gate Bridge. Or that the weight from the meals we ate the weekend before may be showing in my sleevage. I take what I can get with photos of us, due to Caleb’s quick onset of cynicism with selfies.
Social media makes me anxious. I am hoping to soon find the courage to abstain with lengthy signing-off goals in the future (we will get to that in another letter). Although, I was surprisingly heartened with the response ratio reaching to over a third of the people who follow and encourage me.
The support may have been through an easy gesture on their end but it was kind nonetheless. The collective movement granted me security in my confidence which felt uplifting but also…a bit odd.
I found that several, simple words were reinvented for me on this trip.
In the future, when I hear something being described as tall I will recall looking up towards the top of the massive redwoods that we hiked through in the Muir Woods Monument.
The strength of the bonds amongst the people gathered—during our time at the Marriott in Pleasanton—reformulated my perception of the word friendship.
When I think of anticipation I will refer back to the unique combination of emotions I collected at the entrance of Yosemite National Park. Followed by the most genuine experience of a breathtaking view when I gasped (seemingly uncontrollably) as Caleb pointed to our first sighting of Half Dome.
We drove up to Glacier Point to get in position to capture the best views of that night’s sunset. The depth of that scenery is something I have absolutely no comparison for. I hope every last loved one I have—within their lifetime—is able to see what I saw there that day. Sharing this experience with Caleb was something I felt we needed. We spent a couple of hours at that spot just trying to slow down and soak things in. I think we found a healthier appreciation and patience for one another here. Finally, truly together.
Caleb described the views of Yosemite Valley as being engulfing, and I agree.
We were tiny.
I have so much more I could say, but my explanations almost feel like a waste of time.
TL;DR— If you are ever visiting San Francisco (maybe again) go to Yosemite; just do it.
Also, before leaving you should drop into the Silicon Valley and grab a Sushirrito (a sushi burrito—that speaks for itself, right?) in Palo Alto.
We cushioned our California adventure with events near Austin.
Caleb’s mom (Mrs. Stacy) was married about a week before we left. The ceremony was an intimate gathering at an adorable open chapel, located in The Wizard Academy, just south of Austin.
We also celebrated a close friend’s birthday on Lake Travis this past weekend. She collected 2 yachts, tons of alcohol, a fun combination of her friends, and all the works for a damn good time. It was the first outing that I felt I was able to express the work I had put into losing weight. I am already preparing for next summer when I will be a few pounds healthier and a little more fit! Although, we still have several weeks in Texas to soak up the sun and enjoy life as it is now.
In other news:
I am down to the last few week stretch in reaching my sobriety goal. The journey has felt a lot quicker than I expected. I have had several people looking out for me. With the following honorable mention: Mrs. Stacy and her new husband James supplied bottles of Fre on the weekend of their wedding celebration. I felt so considered and cared for.
I eased through these past 5 months with the facade of holding a drink in my hand. When challenged with social settings, I used Topo Chicos in koozies, mocktails, fancy lemonades (when not on a diet), and alcohol-free beers and wines when I can find them. The clarity I have gained in this experiment is phenomenal. I will report back when I have reached the full 6-months dry.
I’m beginning to discover that optimism comes with an easy life, but true positivity derives from overcoming the unjust negativity of this world. I will attempt to finish that with completing more letters in Stage 2.
I love and miss you dearly.
The Song: Into the Sun by Parlor Mob
Day of Arrival
To Yosemite and Beyond!
Life here in Austin