(Author’s Note: this post was written on Saturday, November 7th while waiting for the MAX to the airport from my apartment. The delay of posting until after the mentioned trip is mostly due to authenticity being hard sometimes.)
I am on my way to the airport again.
When I return next week, I am pretty sure Peak Fall, the best of the trees turning red and gold and brown, will be past. When I return next week, my best friends in town will have moved, Thanksgiving will be an impending week and a half away and sunset will probably be a good 10 minutes earlier.
This year has been incredible beyond my wildest dreams, it has been exciting but so, so exhausting.
A year ago I was traveling up the east coast, visiting friends and exploring. I packed my Chrome backpack and threw it over my shoulder with all the clothes I would need for a week and a half and took off with a ticket into DC, a ticket out of Boston and no solid plans. Since then I have lugged my bag all over. The year that was not going to be heavy in travel has featured two international trips, three trips (so far) to California, and a handful of side adventures in the Pacific Northwest. I have run six races, including four half marathons and a full marathon. Through all this, my friends – new and old – have been there to support me and cheer me on.
As the year comes to a close, I start to feel reflective again, a process I will continue to engage in most heavily until probably sometime in March.
I have been so active, so busy that I find days where I have no plans and all I want is to continue to have no plans. I have worked so hard and gained so much this year, I want to sit and I want to enjoy the sound of rain while I drink my bourbon-drenched apple cider and eat pie over a good book. I want to sit at Blue Moon (my local fireplace bar) and pretend to read while eavesdropping and sipping a dark beer.
I just… I cannot justify this to friends. This is the hardest part. I get texted about adventures and invitations to join friends at readings and “when are we gonna get coffee” or “happy hour again?” I fear that not accepting invitations to hang out or go on adventures will mean not being invited again. I fear that pushing off coffee meet-ups and drinks and extended conversations will lead to my friends thinking I am no longer interested in friendship.
None of that is true. I know my friends are fully understanding, I know my colleagues get it, I know that this is normal at times.
After this trip, there is holiday, then a couple work days, then a weekend. A full, real weekend, with minimal plans.
Maybe then I will start to feel more rested.