This past weekend was another weekend of travel for me. This time though, it was by car. A 6 hour trip took me and two friends up to the small town of North Fork, California (near Yosemite) for my best friend’s wedding…not to be confused with the movie starring Julia Roberts.
As we drove into the Bonnie B Ranch, we could see the house off to the right. The three of us thought in unison “that can’t be it.” But, as we rounded the bend and saw another member of the wedding party, we realized that was indeed “it.”
The beautiful floor length windows were surrounded by beautiful beams of wood and on the inside…what could have been a location straight out of Boogie Nights or a 1970s flick. It was awesome. And yes, that’s a tree behind the staircase.
This is where I spent the next three days. They turned out to be 3 of the most amazing days of my life. There was a lot of just everything: laughter and general craziness. Most of the people in the house I met for the 1st time on the trip but for most of them, it was like we knew each other all along.
We were all there for the same purpose, to share in the same momentous experience of our friend(s) getting married. And in that, we all seemed to bond. I wished I could have stayed up at the cabin for an entire week. There was no cell service and no TV (well there was, we just opted not to use it) just fresh air, horses, open land, a “swimmin hole” and great friends (and a lot of booze). It’s amazing how you can get by and be completely at peace and satisfied with just those.
I mentioned it before in an earlier entry, how travel can change you and make you feel differently about the world and about yourself. Even if you’re not flying half way across the world, that’s still immensely true. I was only a mere car ride away but I came away from this weekend feeling not just good, but great about myself. Remembering and knowing how likeable I am. How well I can get along with just about anyone. How I fit in a whole lot better with the group of people I was with than I do with most Southern Californians sometimes. I looked in the mirror, and I liked what I saw. It’s great when a trip can bring you to a group of people that make you smile, and laugh and bring such things out in you.
I conquered one of my biggest fears while in North Fork too: public speaking. We all grow up having fears: spiders, heights, clowns. Mine just happens to be public speaking (and spiders). I managed to get through my entire school career (including college) only having to make about 2 presentations. The rest of the time, I was saved from the paralyzing fear of standing in front of people and being certain I was going to pass out right then and there. But for my best friend’s wedding…and for a toast to her and her amazing husband, I said “take that public speaking”! And you know what? It is one of the things I am the most proud of. Not just because I made the bride, her mother, and a large majority of the people in the crowd cry, but because I was able to overcome something I was afraid of in order to tell my friend how much she meant to me. I was able to overlook the fact that all eyes were going to be on me when, for most of my life, I’d wanted to just blend into the crowd and be invisible so no one would notice I was “different.” I stood up there and I let everyone’s eyes and ears be on me. I embraced it and I spoke from the heart to a dear friend and an amazing human being.
Cheers to an amazing and insightful weekend in North Fork, CA!