I did it. I really did it. I left the keys with my house sitter at 11am and promised him exclusive use of my apartment through the end of December. I then spent the first 2 hours of my drive with a fistful of tissues during my obligatory cry as I headed up the coast in the rain. Christine Buckley doesn’t do things like this. Christine Buckley is responsible. Christine Buckley always has a plan. Who exactly is Christine Buckley? I don’t know. But what I do know is that I haven’t been happy and I need change.
In my first post I mentioned a Post-it note I taped to my dashboard in 2001 that stated “I Welcome Change.” I blasted that wish out to the Universe and change eventually came. It was good. It was powerful. It was life-altering. Yet almost a decade later, here I am again needing an even bigger change. Imagine my surprise last night, the eve of my road trip, when digging through a drawer I actually unearthed that same Post-it note! I was shocked that I had saved it. It is weathered and torn, but its message still rings true. I immediately performed a make-shift laminating job and duck taped it to my dashboard…it’s now taking center stage on this road trip.
Given the recent state of my emotional health, I decided the first overnight stop should be Happy Town, U.S.A. Parade Magazine just reported that San Luis Obispo, on California’s central coast, is the happiest place in the States. I’d like a shot of that Kool-Aid please. It’s crazy, but as God is my witness, the rain stopped and the sky cleared just as we entered San Luis Obispo county.
After parking Princess at the Pismo Beach Motel 6 (they welcome dogs!), I realized we were a mere 1/2 mile from the Pismo Beach Monarch Grove. Pismo has the nation’s largest gathering of Monarch butterflies. Perfect – I had to go see the Monarchs! Butterflies symbolize rebirth into a new life. That’s me – I’m transforming myself, seeking change and rebirth, so what more perfect way to kick off a self-discovery road trip than by being surrounded by thousands of butterflies?!! Well, the made-for-TV moment ended there. Harrumph. Yoda and I walked for a solid hour through that grove of Eucalyptus trees futilely searching for any sign of a single butterfly. It seemed we arrived too early in the season. Crestfallen, we turned to leave, when there, on a branch high above us, was a small cluster of Monarchs. It seems the Monarchs have only just begun their journey to Pismo Beach, just as I am just beginning my journey. Perhaps the symbolism is perfect after all.