Celebrating my birthday is one of the only must-do occasions that I mark on my calendar. I always go all out. So it is only natural that I share what I did for my birthday. I chose a less glamorous and commercial route and opted for a low-keyed path. I went camping. Yes, camping in the 60 degrees weather. But this time, I had a nice twin air mattress and electricity and heat. It is not my first time sleeping in a tent, sleeping outdoors, or sleeping while the rocks were piercing my skin (No, I was never homeless). Not having to be a part of a platoon does feel liberating. This time I went camping if you will on my own accord. I did not have to wake up for formation, wake up to be on guard duty, or perform a mission. This time I was sleeping under the star in the great town of Youngstown, near wine country and the spectacular Niagara Falls, NY.
I am delighted to have written eight journal entries to reflect on my life for the past month. That is an increase from the usual page and a half of incomplete thoughts. I excitingly start off to write only to be overwhelmed with remembering all that I wanted to let our or simply ruminating only to forget why I stuttered writing. That is remarkable because lately, I usually struggle to write about the painful aspects of my life. You see, many of my experiences in this life journey for the past six months have been unbearable.
We all agree that the past 18 months have been life-changing for many, and there have been some unexpected unwelcoming devastating changes. Work, personal and transitional-related issues, when not taken care of, becomes an unbalanced issue. I love the outdoors; that is no secret; it is there that I find peace and solace. It is unconventional, and my actions have been called weird for those who cannot see beyond the superficial pleasure of life when they learn that I visit parks and sleep. I do not sleep because I am tired. The feeling of being in nature mindful of the natural smell, greenery, the water, and all that encompasses in that natural environment has been a sedative in my life.
The drive was very therapeutic; nothing beats listening to some narrative music (I made that up by describing music that tells a compelling story with an electric beat. On the journey, I heard favorite motivational speaker Les Brown and some of my favorite country music. My all-time favorite motivational speaker, Les Brown, and the legendary brown with life-changing podcasts, with some afro beats, can’t leave that out.