I CAN BREATHE I CAN BREATHE. I knew I was tightly wound before I left, but I had no idea of the level of crazy I was reaching until I slept with the sound of the woods instead of ambient city buzz, and had a chance to collect myself amongst the greenery. I feel really good.
Stress is a funny thing. I was actually feeling a lot less stressed out after my birthday weekend, but it was really just my body coming down from such a long stretch of constantly being "on." It's weird that I always feel happy, but "relaxed" has two entirely separate definitions when I'm in LA and when I'm in Franklinville. My mom asked me if I was feeling relaxed shortly after I got home, and I said that I wasn't yet; I was so wound up that it took a full day to feel good again. I don't think that has ever happened before.
I had more fun with Amanda this trip than I've had in YEARS, and it's important to note that half of that fun was just had while driving up and down 242 between Ellicottville and Franklinville, searching for my lost ID and debit card (Which we obviously didn't find. Lesson learned, god damnit). I really missed my parents. Not being able to see them more than twice a year is so hard sometimes. I think I was so overwhelmed for the weeks leading up to this trip that I had almost no time to think about it and had no expectations. It made me extra happy to see everyone and I enjoyed everyone's company so much. I got to do everything that I wanted and got to hug a lot of people that I haven't seen in years. I took about 400 pictures. Most of them are just for myself; I get homesick and need to see specific things so I took a million photos to help with that. But some of them just turned out so great that I still had trouble editing them down for a blog post. It's such a beautiful place. I tried to capture details this time, things that I normally miss but I still know that they're there.
Sometimes I wonder if I'll ever feel whole in one location again. I don't think I will. Nik is moving to NYC and work feels empty. I've thought about moving to NY before; I'd certainly be closer to my parents which would be great, but after 21 years of Buffalo winters I think I'm still not ready to be in that part of the country again. I've created such a great life for myself here in California. I've never had such a great group of friends before. I've never lived somewhere that made me feel like anything was possible. I'm way more attached than I ever thought I would be.
Whenever I go home I come back with a list of songs that I've either forgotten about or just never heard, and this time I have a list of about 20 songs that I'm eventually going to turn into another playlist. Lay It Down by Cowboy Junkies is at the top of the list. If you haven't heard that song, you had better go listen to it right now. I'll make it easy for you:
I don't think I can say much more. I'll just let photos do the rest. Go listen to that song. OH, and if you live in Western NY and you've never been to the Pfieffer Nature Center in Portville, you're fucking blowing it. Go RIGHT NOW. There are really beautiful trails to walk that reminded me of Yosemite, and the view is CRAZY. And you KNOW I take my scenic views very seriously ;)