Save the Best for Now

14 Jun

On my epic road trip with my furry best friend, I’ve arrived at the presumed goal destination: my friends’ house in San Dimas, California. Last night, on the way to Andrew’s mother’s house for taco night, I was telling Andrew and Brianna about my time at the hang gliding flight park in Georgia, which was kind of my first stop.

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I was there for six nights. I only intended to stay for three, but I kept adding another night in the adorable little cabin that I had a killer rate for. It was just off the field where the tow planes take off, and it shared the area with other cabins and a small park filled with RVs. On the other side of the hangars were the clubhouse, the bathhouse with laundry facilities, and then across the field was the tent camp.

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The place was stunningly beautiful. Better, it was a community. Hipsters, original hippies, adventurers, hobbyists, all the coolest, soulful people make this place their home. There were evening bonfires and cookouts. I made friends. Amica and I got invited for ribeye steaks and red wine. Amica made friends. She’d walk around and visit other dogs. We all looked after each other’s dogs and didn’t worry. I never once had her on a leash.

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I flew. Twice. Two of the coolest experiences of my life.

Leaving there was so hard. I knew what I found there was supremely special and unique and nearly impossible. Chances were I’d not find anything like that — the chill community where I built relationships and let my dog roam free — for the rest of this trip. I was sad.

It was something I had to work through, and not made any easier by the fact that my first night gone I got stormed out of my tent. Twice.

We say things like, “Save the best for last.” Don’t eat that perfect bite of steak until the very end. In show business, it’s a rule. You’ve got to close with your best joke.

But that’s show business. This is life. It’s full of its ups and downs, and when we free ourselves from that best-last mindset, that obsession with the timeline in its context of past and future, we can be totally in that best moment. It’s OK if it happens first. The point is, it happens.

I’ve had moments on this trip that were filled with such divine beauty that I couldn’t even emotionally hold any befores or afters. Talk about freedom.

Likewise we say things like, “It’s all downhill from here.” Well, that’s actually a fact of nature. We age. Our conditions worsen. The pain gets worse. It’s an oddity of nature that we’re given our best faces and butts and bones for the time when we’re so bad at knowing what to do with it all. I guess that’s just another display of nature’s ironic balance.

When I was in Georgia, I loved every moment and knew every moment how special it was. I didn’t take it for granted. I didn’t focus on the next bite. I lived it so hard I lived it twice at the same time.

Leaving, I had to talk myself through the best-last myth. That timing doesn’t have to matter. That the only way it changes how we experience something is whatever way we allow it in our minds.

I also told myself that though that time likely wouldn’t be repeated, that there is the forward, the unknown, full of plenty of other surprises. That I shouldn’t obsess over getting back something from the past, but enjoy all that the road ahead holds, without carrying any expectations into it.

I can tell you, in the four weeks since I left Georgia, the road has certainly delivered on its promise, for both me and for Amica. We’ve found new friends. We’ve explored off-leash. Amica pooped in the snow. I stood on top of a mountain, with powerful wind gusting up at me, and I almost felt like I was flying again.

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