10 States, 8 Days

Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, Arkansas, Tennessee, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina. I promise it was more exhausting to drive it than it was for you to read it. But man, was it an adventure.

I’ve been drafting a post about this road-trip for the past two months. The projects that hold such heavy value and material typically create the most hesitation for an artist to present. Alas, I’ve got to get passed my stage-fright. My road-trip went a little something like this:

I initially just wanted to get there ASAP. I started off energetic and determined. I was able to stop through and visit family in three different states. I quickly learned I needed to rest way more than anticipated. Some Air Bnb rest stops I’d take, I’d go in full hibernation-mode. Those were early-to-bed nights and the days filled with naps. Otherwise, I couldn’t function. I learned I am not a long-distance-kinda driver.

I got to meet my new born baby cousin and visit a lot of cousins in Texas which gave me a spike of energy and joy in the middle of my trip. However, to get back on the long, draining freeways, I was spent again. More hibernation was essential in Arkansas. Which was unfortunate, because I loved Arkansas- it was the start of many trees.

Fast forward to Georgia. I spent time with my wonderful Aunt Patty, exploring Atlanta. I had the best poke bowl ever (Poke Bar Atlantic Station), and saw the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial. It was truly so moving to be there and read his words engraved all across the courtyard. I felt such reverent honor being there, as though I were meeting Dr. King Jr. himself. Being there with his words connected me to his spirit and his passion for humanity. I couldn’t be more grateful for that moment.

After 10 states and 8 days, I made it to North Carolina. I spent a lot of family time with little cousins. I got sick. I got back to work. I got my apartment. It was FALL and then it was WINTER. Yes, seasons!! A Tucson native doesn’t know such wonders. There was turkey and jumping castles on Thanksgiving. Another year down as I turned 26. And between the understaffed team and draining Holiday-season workdays, Christmas and New Years came and went.

I’ve been working on rebuilding, planning, and balancing who I am with who I’m becoming. Environment has that effect on us. We are creatures of impression- whether by the people around us, or the culture they influenced, the trials that we experience, and the challenges we grow from- no matter where we’re at, wherever life takes us.

I reflect and take inventory regarding all that’s ended, all that’s beginning, and what might yet to begin. My biggest takeaway this season: I’m weak in the absence of prayer. So I pray continually- in the face of unknown, when I’m too unfamiliar with what exactly to pray for or who exactly to pray for. I know I’m better off letting God fill in those blanks. If there’s any primary calling I have, it’s to keep that spiritual urgency, inviting blessing to abound here and there. Because I certainly can’t be in both places, and if I were, it’d probably still need a miracle.

What is this audience anxiety and how do I get rid of it? Will writing ever not overwhelm when reporting things that are huge to me? Ones that encapsulate so much?

It’s just like art to be that way- you can’t ever fully capture a real-life experience into a piece of art without doing some injustice in portraying that actual experience. I love and I hate that. Where you’d want real-life to genuinely be better than anything else you try to represent it in. Equally, though, sometimes embracing art *is* genuinely better than real-life. And if there’s any goal I have for myself and my craft, it’s to be a creator with that kind of impression.

2 thoughts on “10 States, 8 Days

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