I am just like you…
I don’t live out of a picture worthy van with my feet hanging out the hatch in the foreground of radiant sunsets. I don’t spend months on end on the road after selling all my belongings and quitting my job for the open road. (Although lets be honest, we would all volunteer for that in an instant!) I live in a small apartment in the middle of San Diego, CA. I have student loans to pay off and bills to attend to. Monday through Friday I drive to my rewarding job teaching 22 third graders from 8:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. We call it the beautiful grind.
But then the weekend comes, and around here we don’t take weekends lightly…
WE ARE THE WEEKEND WARRIORS.
Weekend warriors are the ones who wake up Saturday mornings; pack up the Jeep, and head out to the blooming desert flowers in the spring for two days because our hearts become full again when we do.
We sit down in the middle of the fields and watch the flowers dance in the warm breeze and we don’t even care that the red desert dirt is getting our pants dirty. We lie on our backs and watch the swarms of birds dive into the fields because swarms of flowers bring many other swarms like grubby caterpillars and hungry birds.
As weekend warriors, we take notice of the coming meteor showers and you can bet that Friday at 4:30, we’re heading to the highest peak away from the city lights. We pack our tarp and sleeping bags, because who wants to sleep in a tent when the sky is putting on a show for you? No matter how many meteor showers you’ve seen, you still gasp just the same when you finally slow down long enough to see how many meteors you were missing this whole time.
As weekend warriors, we hop on ferries that take us to empty public islands and spend weekends playing hide and seek with seals through forests of kelp and watching sunrays peer through giant kelp beds like you have never seen.
At sunset, you watch the sun fall over the ocean as it wakes up the other half of the world and you suddenly feel small, but this kind of small is good. It makes us breathe a little deeper and soak up every detail of that moment, and when we do, we feel alive again. We fall asleep to the sounds of the ocean slapping against the eroding islands shores and the old lighthouse letting everyone know this empty island is still here.
Weekend warriors head to far mountain ranges for two days because those two days can lead to having a family of deer learn to trust you and hang close to camp.
It leads to early mornings sipping coffee, sharing stories with others around a glassy lake that is so still you can hear the gusts of wind coming.
We do this because if we didn’t we’d miss out on stumbling upon open land that families own and leave open because they want people to have a place to enjoy this world. We’d miss out on hearing stories from fly fishers who enjoy their lunch beside streams.
People often tell me, “You are so lucky that you get to adventure so much. I wish I could but…” You fill in the reason: jobs, money, kids, school, time, and so much more. You see the thing is anyone can get out there because I am just like you.
The singles or married.
We are in charge of where our Saturday mornings go. Whether that’s exploring our own city, venturing a few hours to a nearby gem, or being brave enough to head a little further for those two days. We just get up and do it, because we know it always ends up worth it.
Growing up, I was told we were the generation known for our trending love of fast food, our addiction to electronics, our indoor seclusion, and Myspace friendships turned into Facebook feeds.
I look around at our generation and I see a group of people who want to go against the beat of the drum. Against the beat of that drum that pounded against the stereotypes I was told of. The drum that tried to trick us into telling us what to believe and what to do.
I SEE A GENERATION OF PEOPLE REMEMBERING THAT WE NEED SOMETHING DIFFERENT.
You see, this goes out to us. This goes out to those of us who understand the feeling of stumbling upon a massive waterfall and climbing underneath just so you can close your eyes and feel the mist spray against your face.
This goes out to those who can’t live without the stories of jumping in the vast blue ocean and getting caught in pods of spinner dolphins who screech so loud you can’t hear yourself giggling underwater as the baby dolphins try to play with you.
YES, THIS GOES OUT TO YOU.
As you head into another week, dream of where you’ll head this weekend. What stories will you find? What views will take your breath away? What is going to make you feel small and alive again? Our weekends may only be two days, but a lot can happen in those two days.
GO OUT AND FIND IT, MY WEEKEND WARRIORS.
THIS IS MY ODE TO YOU.