After ridiculously over-committing myself to different things last week, I’ve been especially enjoying this week’s slower pace, including plenty of the basics: walking, writing reading, cooking, and, of course, talking.
I went hiking by myself on Friday, all around the Pogonip Park, which is a popular hike in Santa Cruz. Do you know what is really, really good for your emotional health? Turning off your phone and being alone in nature for a couple of hours. Seriously. We all overthink these things so much: we need Xanax, and mindless television, and fad exercise regimes, and spa days. Not that there’s necessarily anything wrong with these things, but we don’t *need* any of them for good emotional (or physical!) health. The most basic things are the most essential: be active, be outside, walk, meditate, breath, stretch. These things are all exceedingly simple, can all be done *right now* for five minutes, and will all help your emotional health.
ANYway, when I wasn’t enjoying the silence or silencing the narrative voice / endless chatter in my head, I snapped a few pictures. Actually, I took like 87, but I’m only going to share a few, mainly to highlight how much the scenery changed in just a few short miles.
That’s the ocean, waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay in the back, and the meadow that I walked through before entering the forest.
Entering the forest.
View from the “top.” That’s Santa Cruz, from the mountains to the ocean.
More Santa Cruz.
All in all, a lovely walk. D and I have also spent the past two mornings in Henry Cowell Redwood State Park. So as not to completely inundate you with pictures, I’ll save those for another post. Suffice to say, the pictures will not even begin to do justice to the beauty that is the Santa Cruz redwood forests.
After trying to convince myself that I had to finally read The Omnivore’s Dilemma and not allowing myself to read anything else for several weeks, I started reading The Patrick Melrose Novels, which are totally captivating and super gritty. The book is actually four smaller novels all woven into one, and the second follows Patrick Melrose through the dark rabbit hole that is IV drug abuse. Holy hell. It’s phenomenal though.
I also picked up Inward Revolution: Bringing About Radical Change in the World at the libary, after a pointed conversation with D about my frustration with the country, while exhibiting no real action to evoke change. When I searched “Krishnamurti” and saw the title, I knew that I’d need to check it out.
I’ve also been enjoying various links from around the Interwebs, but I’ll reserve those for another day.
I have become embarrassingly captivated by my own mind. In a lot of ways, it’s good. In others, it’s good that I’m going hiking and meditating and quieting my mind sometimes as well.
One of the big topics on both mine and D’s minds lately is, ‘What’s next?’ At this point, we’ve soaked up a lot of Santa Cruz and we know exactly what we like and don’t like about living here, and – while there are a lot of things that I/we really love – we’re not entirely convinced that this is where we want to set up a permanent camp for the next few years. There have also been a lot of interesting opportunities presenting themselves as of late, so… Stay tuned! 😉
I’ve also been doing a lot of thinking about my life’s purpose. Like every (rapidly approaching thirty) twenty-something, existential questions have flitted around my mind from time to time. (Or, incessantly.) What am I doing with my life? What do I want to do with my life? What is the purpose of life? After reading this piece by Leo last week, I’m realizing that the answer(s) to these questions are – surprise! – not as complex as one might think. I’ve been trying to apply the idea of ‘making everyone’s day a little brighter’ and ‘recognizing that everyone is struggling’ to my everyday life with remarkable results. I highly encourage everyone to give that essay a browsing.
One of my favorite topics lately is carrying capacity (which I had been mislabeling “critical mass” until a quick Google/wiki search proved me wrong). Basically, “carrying capacity” is that maximum number of a population – for example, humans – that an environment – for example, Earth – can support indefinitely. And I’m pretty sure that we’ve crossed that threshold, and the next decade of five will be the fallout of surpassing this critical point. That’s just my prediction. There’s nothing to really do about it – outside of gently encouraging everyone to WAKE UP – so it’s really just idle speculation coupled with some curious amusement about how this will all unfold.
Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand, that’s enough for today, I think. Hope you all are having a lovely week. ❤
Happy Wednesday! 🙂