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Yes, I drove from Central Florida to Central Oregon by myself.

I got asked the question a lot while I was passing through long stretches of interstate gas stations mostly located in the middle of nowhere. Watching the landscape and hearing the accents evolve hand in hand as I reached each clerk and asked to filler’ up. leaving  Florida was bittersweet for me. I didn’t want to do it, but I knew deep down I had to. My Mini Cooper was filled to the very top, with just enough space to form a window of space that I can use for driving. Off we go. May 10th. Got to New Orleans, LA late that night and got a hotel room in the heart of the city, close to the famous French Quarter.

The adventure brought me into the window of a stranger’s van to hit a joint, on the stoop of some strangers home in the lower east side, completely lost, in circles, on a public bus, frantically searching for my car in a huge city of which I have never lived on a dying phone and buying beer for locals to help keep me safe as an act of self preservation. It worked and after 9 hours on my feet I finally found my Mini tucked away in a small parking area in the middle of the French Quarter and made my way Northwest towards and through Texas.

Texas took a very long time to drive though, it was vast and empty and beautiful. I drove 100 MPH through a small stretch of highway 100 miles away from the New Mexico border. My heart racing as I clutched onto my life at the steering wheel, pleased at how happy my car was purring along the highway. It was made for this. I only speed up to 99-102 a few times during the trip, and for only a few seconds at most. The roads were so empty for so long, and when you have over 3,000 miles left to go you need to do something to keep yourself excited.

That few days traveling from Florida to Colorado, I had to grow into myself and stand up tall and be defensive and strong and alone. There’s something about the solitude that makes you feel so vulnerable in the world. Some days its clearer than others that my discomfort is because I am a woman more because I am a human.

I was only in New Mexico for about 30 minutes while I traversed from Texas to Colorado where my Dad and his wife live.  It somehow managed to be the only state that I got a speeding ticket in. I got to Colorado City, CO the next day at 3am and slept in my car in front of an empty lot in a trailer park, unsure which was actually his due to the incredible low lighting. I wouldn’t suggest to anyone sleeping in a mini cooper, it’s simple impossible to make comfortable.

I woke up, of course as soon as the sun came up and met the handsome mountain across the street. He had snow on top and was one of the many mountains surrounded this small town and the surrounding towns of Pueblo county. At an elevation of  ‎5,853 ft , I was way up high for a gal from Florida for the past few years of my life.

I stayed with my dad, who is a blues guitarist and musician and a retired pot dealer. I had a great time with him and we went to several gigs where I could see him play and have a few drinks and dance! He is playing with an amazing group called Sonrisa.

Traveling through the rest of Colorado, Wyoming and then spending the night in Twin Falls, Idaho was an adventure filled with the most amazing landscapes I’ve ever had to pay minimal attention to because I was also driving in the snowy mountains. The rest of this journey, and a lot of my summer 2017 are kind of hard to think about, and especially to write about but I feel like with 2018 rapidly approaching, it’s about time I at least dance around it.

The truest description of this beautiful, crazy summer was just an explosion of very intense emotions that left me a little scared. Living in Eugene in nice and I have a nice bobcat brain on a shelf in my living room with a small tv and a couch and sure it’s a little cold outside and it will be for a while but I have someone to snuggle now and I have my cat and that’s the end result, then I’m ok with it.

I don’t know what I was really looking for when I left Florida.

But this seems alright. In 2018, I am opting to have less income and more time, for as long as is necessary to take something off the ground. What exactly? ///…

 

 

 

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Who knew we would be here on January 21st, 2017?

The day is breezy and sunny in Tarpon Springs, Florida. It’s fifteen minutes past 11:00am and the whirring of construction is nearby and in full swing. Flowers have begun to uncurl and birds and playing along the power lines.

Across the Tampa Bay area, thousands of women are on their way out to downtown St. Petersburg to march in the Women’s March on Washington to protest against the inauguration of Donald J Trump as the 45th President of the United States.

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It is a painful reality to confront at 7:45 am as I walk to Hellas to get a cappuccino while my household slept.  The newspaper says there are protests happening with hundreds of thousands of people in around 250 countries.  A small flock of tears are welling but of course i’m in public but I feel proud as can be for the fighters and their stories.  This is the reality of that future I spent years dreaming of.

Those of us enamored with the idea of technology believed: surely the internet will bring the world together. Surely we will finally have peace and equality for all on the planet. Learn and love each other for the first time.  And maybe we still might, but the journey will take longer than we knew.

There is just so much more hate than we could have anticipated and hate is hard to unlearn.  You can consider the huge advance of programs, not even programs with the internet but programs from entrepreneurs and businessmen and women who want to see everyones lives improve because technology has that power.

In fact, these companies are investing more in educating the people than any of the government programs which have been left collecting dust for so long while we spend trillions of dollars on war and bailing out the big banks.  You look at LinkedIn’s investing and acquisition of Lynda, the uprising of MOOC culture and sites such as Courser.org , Udemy.com, EdEx.com, and even universities themselves offering training and educational content for free.  The way we teach and learn as a society is evolving because the danger of having and nurturing uneducated masses is more obvious than it ever has been before.

For so long, we allowed systemic gentrification and mass relocating to the massive and growing urban sprawls, meanwhile allowing rural communities to be driven into economic collapse, abandoning them, their education and their future.

I hope now, as the Unites States of America, we the people can really ACTIVE ourselves and make a difference in the direction of good in 2020. We need to stay strong through this presidency, and fight every step of the way to protect our rights and our progress so far. We need to hold our governments accountable, as they represent us.

We cannot stand by and expect them to do good, ignoring our rights as citizens. These are truly dark and historically significant times and the time is not now to do nothing.