On our second to last day on our trip through the west, Genevieve and I rode through Yellowstone National Park. First, We stopped in Jackson, Wyoming and thought the town was really cute, but we wanted to get to camping. We found some BLM land that was in clear eastern side view of the Grand Tetons. The mosquitos were biting every visible and hidden surface. I snapped a few quick photos and quickly found refuge in my tent at sunset. Thankful and under the covers, the mosquitos couldn’t find me in there. Genevieve found a spot for her hammock and sleeping bag between two trees in the middle of the shared campsite. I applaud her for sticking it out through a summer night with the insects incessantly buzzing. I, however, am quite the scratcher when a bug bite finds home on my body.
We rode through the the Tetons the following day, our ride through the national park was short, due to timing. The advice on all the message boards and comments sections of Yellowstone travel guides weren’t kidding: be prepared to stop every few miles. We spotted geysers and bison, even a black bear and other wildlife phenomenon. Yellowstone was no doubt one of the most beautiful places my eyes have set their sites on. The chartreuse strands of grass lived happily, waving at the banks of snaking rivers as we zoomed past.
That night was a late friend’s birthday who passed over a decade ago now. It’s weird how time flies so quickly, sometimes I catch myself in a daydream and remember what day it is. The moment you remember, you’re caught sort of breath; almost wanting to call the loved one and tell them your true feelings of appreciation. I remember being 18, at my faux wooden dorm desk and at a complete loss of what to do next. I had lost some grandparents before; but with an ocean separating us, I never really got to know them well. Their loss was personally less detrimental to me (I still empathized with my family obviously) than a close friend. I remember thinking the whole day in Wyoming something was “off” and I was in an irritable mood. Maybe it was just the fact that we rode a couple hundred miles that day to get from Twin Falls, Idaho to Jackson with a large detour in between. Either way, I don’t blame his death for my mood, that would be silly. I did however gain some perspective when we started to settle in for the night.
With the sun setting quickly to the west of the Grand Tetons, the sky was lighting up in beautiful pastel hues. The cirrus clouds were painted behind the ragged points and complimenting the sunset with their bright contrast. We can have tunnel vision and focus on what is wrong in our lives, or look up and see the most beautiful mountains we’ve seen in awhile. We can choose to focus on the bad, when we need to focus on abundance. Abundance in love, life and opportunity. When you live with that perspective, you feel a shift. It may be small at first, but then that same grateful feeling starts gaining traction.
As someone who has suffered depression for years, it’s finally so good to start seeing the light and potential in your life. The same kind that others saw in you. Just like body dysmorphia, you can have a misinformed point-of-view on your own mind. We can find a way out of that. It’s not easy, I’m aware. Just when I started to get into my head, I was snapped back into reality. Reality is what is happening now, in the present. The sunset that night, and the purple and pink sunrise the next morning, were what I needed to regain my perspective on the good in my life. It was almost a nudge from my long, gone friend that the direction is up and forward – never back and or down. It made me rest easy that night, and felt like for the first time in awhile I was in the right place. There was nothing else I needed to do and no one else I needed to be.