I’m going to have to break this trip into manageable pieces for sharing because I can’t possibly pick less than 150 images to post or less than 3000 words to write. So here is Part 1.
Two of my girlfriends from photography college and I went on a long planned trip a couple of weeks ago, driving from Toronto, East to Cape Breton, camping and cooking along the way. As far as I remember, it started off a motel road trip with a camping night here and there, but somewhere it changed… although I’m not sure I was part of that conversation! But so it went and we filled Kelly’s little car to the brim with tent, tarps, cooking stove, pots, pans, flashlights, sleeping bags, string, tape, bandages and the like. Photography was our main focus so we all had our gear ready at hand and drove in shifts.
I’m not sure what everyone’s motivations were for this trip, but I think we all needed a get-away, a chance to let go of responsibilities, get in some overdue bonding, and endless time for photos. There was so much excitement leading up to this trip though that I worried we could be let down by bad weather or by three strong willed women sharing a wee cramped space for 9 days. But neither happened. It wasn’t what I expected though either in some ways. I thought I just wanted to get a break from being a mom and go take some epic landscape photos, but I realized pretty quickly that all I wanted to take photos of were these two beautiful women and the moments that we shared. I realized the time spent with them was what I was craving the most.
For some reason I also thought that without my kids for a week I’d suddenly revert back to the fun, quick-witted self I was when we all lived together 10 years ago. Um… that didn’t happen. Even with full nights of sleep and no one pulling on my hair or demanding my attention every 30 seconds, I was still a bit slower to make a jab or crack a (good) joke. I watched as my girlfriends threw one liners back and forth and I sat there smiling and enjoying every minute, content to be an observer most of the time. Actually, when I did jump in, my jokes often fell flat, my sarcastic remarks taken seriously… sigh… where did my wicked sense of humour go? Did it ever exist? I thought it did. I make the kids laugh. But that’s not difficult, I just have to make a fart sound or look at them crazy eyes. I fear this may be the ‘mom brain’ that everyone talks about. I thought I had navigated through that fog already and came out on the other side, but I wonder if it ever goes away completely.
By the end I settled into the reality that the version of myself pre-kids is probably gone forever. I’m more mellow, I can let go of things much easier, I can see the big picture and I’ve gained a huge amount of patience. All of these things are what I had hoped for myself ten years ago. So, sitting in the back of the car quietly staring out the window and soaking up adventure with two of my closest friends was everything I wanted it to be and more.
Brace yourselves. Life is a crazy weird and revealing journey.
Check out Part 2 here.