As a college student, I look forward to Summer vacation as much as anyone; with Summer comes relaxation, sunshine, and… missing my friends. At this very moment I am a part of 4 different group text messages with my friends from college and while it helps with my unbearable longing, I still find myself wondering what they’re doing without me. Around two weeks ago I was feeling particularly left out so I decided to text my good friend Lauren and ask her how her internship was going. After chatting back-and-forth for a few messages, she invited me to come to her family’s mountain house for the weekend of Memorial Day. I was elated to finally have plans for the first time this summer, and eagerly packed my bags for the weekend. I imagined finally getting to meet my good friend’s parents and siblings and spend a relaxing weekend away in a house nestled in the mountains of Southwestern Virginia.
Friday afternoon came, and I loaded up my car with one duffel bag with a few cute outfits, a dress, athletic shorts, and my trusty Chacos! I made the sunny one-hour drive from Roanoke through Craig County to the much anticipated Surber, Virginia. Never in my twenty years have I been so far in the middle of nowhere. I soon realized that cell phone reception was all but a memory and started to wonder what exactly I had gotten myself into. I looked through my windshield and sought what was meant to be my destination, and saw nothing more than what appeared to be a large hiking trail. In the spirit of adventure, I steered my manual Volkswagon Passat down a short winding trail and arrived at what I would soon come to know as “The Cabin.”
I unloaded my small duffel and handbag, and began my weekend of ultimate, unplanned, and underprepared adventure. We spent all weekend sitting around a campfire, floating down the creek, watching horses, and even received an unexpected EMS training lesson (which I’m sure I will end up writing about in a separate post). It wasn’t the weekend I expected, but was exactly what I needed. I had planned on a stuffy weekend cooped up in a house with a bunch of people I had just met. Instead, I left Surber, Virginia feeling more freedom than I had experienced in years. Meeting new wonderful people and spending time in nature hit the reset button on my entire perspective on life.
Moral of the story? I packed entirely incorrectly. I know that sounds shallow but bear with me. All weekend I kept having to remind my fellow mountain people that I didn’t have a bathing suit, outdoor clothes, pants, or closed toed shoes. In fact, I went on a kayak trip wearing drawstring canvas shorts and a v-neck from Old Navy. At one point, Lauren looked at me and said, “Wow, you must really trust me to just come up here without asking any questions.” That’s when it hit me.
Since childhood, I have struggled with trust issues. I am always the girl who asks too many questions and has to be in complete control of her circumstances. However, that weekend I just loaded up my car and drove blindly into the mountains (it probably doesn’t hurt that Lauren is by far the most responsible person I know). As inconvenient as the weekend was without proper preparation, realizing that I had trusted someone without any effort made the entire circumstance worth it. This was the first outward sign that I had undergone real healing. I spent all weekend feeling carefree and not caring about the time or the location of my iPhone, and I had never felt better.
So, if you’re a control freak like me, next time you’re invited to go somewhere, just go. Don’t ask what you should wear, don’t question your friend’s decisions, and definitely don’t think too hard about whether or not there is something better you can be doing with your time. Because there isn’t.