This past weekend I took the plunge and went on a trip whist the world seemed to crumble around me. I had a friend ask me awhile back, if I would want to go camping on Santa Rosa Island with a small group. I obviously had my hesitations... I mean we are in the midst of a global pandemic. What if someone needs to reach me for an emergency? What if someone traveling with us starts experiencing symptoms? Do I really want to have to explain myself to everyone, as they will have judgements on how and why I traveled? After going through the pros and cons, I decided that mentally and physically I would benefit from the experience. I have been so diligent the past four months and hadn't even gone farther than the grocery store. Mentally, I felt the potential for a recharge was necessary. Throughout the pandemic, I've continued to learn the importance of healthy communication, going on a trip is no exception. They planned on people isolating beforehand and every person going had to get tested before we left. It felt safe and it was.
We sailed on a ferry out of Oxnard and on the way saw a school of like 200 dolphins, it was the perfect introduction to our escape. We had rented out all the campsites on the island so we were, literally the only people there, besides the park ranger. I mean, having a private island is like a once in a lifetime opportunity! Once we got to the island, we had to hike a mile and half to the campsite. This was the part that gave me the most anxiety. See, I had a foot injury in the middle of last year, that has had a lasting impact on my knee. The pandemic has definitely hindered me from trying to get better. I haven't had a reason to go out. In the last 6 months I haven't stood on it for longer than 20 minutes or walked over a mile. Basically very little physical exercise. This trip was gonna be a huge test. The hike ended up being much more of a challenge mentally. I realized while hiking that mile and a half with my 40 pound backpack, that during my recovery I have created roadblocks in my mind of what I am truly capable of. I had lost trust in my body. I wanted to use this time to start building that up again. Connecting my body and mind, back to a place that felt secure.
I made progress on this goal during one of the hiking days. I pushed myself to go on an eight mile hike. Yes fucking 8 miles!! I was on my feet for over three hours there and another three back! It was incredible. I did have pain throughout the hike, but some of that was from finally using my body in a way that I hadn't done in over a year. I was regaining my idea of self and what I could do if I took myself out of the hyper aware bubble I had created. The combination of pushing myself physically had to be offset by allowing myself mentally to find peace. After all, having a mental reset was the other main reason for going. Having four days away was the perfect amount of time to find that balance. To push my body, but also allow my mind to process all that was happening in a space that wasn't the same four walls I had inhabited for the last 4 months. I quickly found peace on the white sand beaches of a cove on the first day, all while being surrounded by people I truly cared for. I was filling up on connection. Something I have found to be so valuable to me over the last few years. Real, genuine, in person, human connections. I allowed myself to put aside fear for a few days and trust that the universe wanted me to have this chance to recharge until the next time it was presented.
It wasn't until we were packing up camp and heading back to the pier to leave, I remembered there was a pandemic going on. My mind had a complete reset. It was truly what I had hoped for. After our ferry took us into a cave and then stopped in the middle of the ocean, while we watched a blue whale; I sat next to one of the purest souls I've yet to know. We reflected on how the trip was everything we had imagined. From the moment they asked me if I would want to go, we had fantasized about what it would be like. A private island where we would create our own little commune of artists, surrounded by bright blue waters and cute little foxes. The real experience surpassed our expectations. What a rarity. But maybe it doesn't have to be.. Maybe as we get older and become more aware of ourselves and the energy we take in, these experiences can become our normal. I'd like to hope so! It's funny, in this moment, I actually feel ready for the uncertainty the world seems to be offering. I have been reminded that really the only thing I can try to gasp any sort of control over is myself. How I respond and react to whatever may come next!