Panic leaving a rest area and searching for a "why". | A weekend in NC.
I'd say I'm pretty on top of my "essentials" at any given time. Keys? Check. Wallet? Check. Phone? Check. Chapstick? Check. However, without the "murse" (no, not a combo for man-purse, but for MEGA purse), my "adult skills" apparently crumble down to that of an ADHD 5 year old.
On that lovely Thursday afternoon in North Carolina, I'd stopped at a rest area after driving for several hours, particularly drawn to this stop because it was, well, pretty. Yes, you read that correctly. The rest area was the nicest I'd seen of it's kind. Seriously, check it out (below). I felt like Grandma was going to meet me at the sliding doors with a fresh plate of cookies. Okay so that's an exaggeration, but it still looked nice enough to warrant stopping for a break and a delicious vending machine beverage. After I ceased being "that girl" with a DSLR taking photos of a
cute little cottage REST AREA, I grabbed JUST my wallet to stop by the vending machines. I'll spare further details, but the end result was me hopping back on the highway...without a delicious caffeinated beverage in hand...and the realization of what I had just done...OH sweet mother of all fluffy flying squirrels...I left my wallet in a rest area bathroom.
I was on my way to my first photography/women in business conference in Raleigh (CLIC), and quickly realized that without my wallet, I couldn't check into my hotel, I couldn't purchase any meals, and wouldn't be able to identify myself for entrance to the conference...and I was driving away from my
wallet lifeline on the highway. After ten of the longest minutes of my life and several U-turns peppered with curse words to make a sailor blush, I bolted into the rest area (I wondered what passerby must have thought to see me sprinting, tears streaming down my face into the bathroom). Behold, it was still there. *sigh. Never again. All of my things, in my purse, always. Moving on.
My time in Raleigh was well spent, particularly with Daniel, an old friend (he's not old, mind you) who recently moved to the area. He was kind enough to show me around and we indulged in the most fabulous cheese-laden dishes the city had to offer. Pulled pork BBQ cheese fries (yes, that's a thing) and chili mac and cheese were my favorites...my pants were more than a little snug afterward. The combination of great, therapeutic conversation with a friend and delicious food was incredibly good for my soul.
The conference itself was eye opening, and I had the pleasure of meeting so many impressive ladies. It was a first for me on many levels, and again, another
step leap outside of my comfort zone. The speakers were incredible, and the sheer volume of like-minded gals in one room was powerful in itself. I filled up entirely too many pages of notes, and captured a LOT of beautiful images at the styled shoot (can't show them off just yet though, apologies...), but perhaps the biggest question, thought, whatever you want to call it that I left with...was the importance of finding your "why".
I won't get all philosophical on ya here, but it really struck me deep. Stripping away social consequences and pressures, why do you get up in the morning? Why do you do, that which you do? What's at your core? Of course we all work so that we might be comfortable in our living situation, to be able to travel when we'd like, or support our children, but beyond that...why? Well, that's hard. I don't care who you are, that's a difficult question, that I think will require a lifetime to figure out. Personally, I've always felt a "pull" to leave behind something worth remembering, but I know my "why" is always changing...morphing with the seasons, the coming and going of people in my life, constantly molding to conform with my intentions at any given moment...perhaps I'm taking it WAY farther than the speakers who posed the question intended, who knows.
Here's a little blurb that I think sums up my general "why" in words more eloquent that I can muster, and I'll leave it at that, for now.
"To laugh often and much; To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children; To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition; To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded.” -Bessie Anderson Stanley
Or maybe I should lay off the "why" introspection and pay more attention to where my wallet is...