This is the year that I turn 30.
I wanted a trip to take some time to reflect and celebrate somehow making it through my twenties (holy hell what a decade), and also the insanity that wedding season 2016 hath wrought. Running my own creative business requires scrambling above the fray from time to time to get some perspective and make sure the ship is heading in the right direction, and I haven't made any time to do that this year. Which is, you know, insane, since it's the middle of June already.
One of my best girlfriends from college currently lives in Dublin so we planned a girls' trip and I ended up leaving my darling husband at home for this one. Sometimes it just works out that way. He was a good sport about it and while it would have been fun to have him there, I was recently working while listening to Amy Poehler's Yes, Please on audiobook and there's a part where she talks about how important it is as adult women to cultivate and nurture our female friendships - which, I *know*, just, hadn't taken any action on recently. So this trip was a perfect opportunity to spend a lot of time with one of my most passionate, creative, self-challenging friends.
Going to be honest - there wasn't as much time for professional reflection as there should have been. But there was a lot of seeing and encountering and soaking-in of the surroundings that I'm still processing.
I had no idea that Dublin would offer so much colorful daily inspiration in the form of its many-colored front doors on just about every street. Colors I wouldn't think to pair together, or paint a door at all. I took a lot of delight in these doors.
We took a little left-side-o'-the-road road trip West, to Galway, and hopped on a ferry for a day in the Aran Islands. Another compelling thing about Ireland is its top-notch baked-goods game. Took me totally by surprise and I didn't meet a piece of cake or bread I didn't like. It was so nice to be out of doors so much. Austin had been terribly rainy and dark for most of May so getting to be outside in the long hours of daylight in Ireland felt healing. It doesn't get dark until close to 11 pm right now, and we tried to take advantage of all that lovely light.
Our road trip destination was ultimately the Cliffs of Moher, which we arrived at a bit cranky, late and frazzled after our morning day-trip to the Aran Islands. In some light, spitting mist around six pm, we walked the cliffs carefully and playfully, giddy to be out of the car and surrounded by such incredibly free, natural beauty of the planet. We took a lot of photos, and talked about the maternity experiences of our friends, about our own hopes and fears for motherhood- about our self-awareness and striving to be better, about death and dying and emergencies and plans. The things you can only talk about with a best friend.
We walked until we got tired of walking and then went back to the car to drive to our campsite for the night - an hour from anywhere, a few candlelit caravans in a field. We stayed in the red one.
I don't have anything terribly important or intelligent to share about any of this, other than I am so grateful to have seen what I saw, to have listened to and been heard by a woman I love deeply and hope to be friends with until I can't remember her and then some.
Grateful to have a caring partner who encourages me to do things independently of him, including fly over oceans and see things without him.
Grateful to be returning to work that I love and am fulfilled by- in order to create things, I have always understood that I have to intake and process other things. I have to fill up my cup before and after pouring it out.