Eat, Pray, Love of a Similar Kind

My marital status has not changed, nor have I traveled around the world for self-discovery like author Sarah Gilbert. However, I did step out of my comfort zone last Friday on an adventure of my own making. I packed my bags and flew over 2,000 miles to Florida, where I rented a car and made my way along the west coast from Sarasota to Pensacola visiting old friends and making new ones. I’ve learned a lot over the past week, and have gotten to know myself a little better in the process.

Six days in to my own nine day eat, pray and love journey, I discovered what calamari, Sheepshead and a chocotini taste like, and felt the grains of 99 percent quartz between my toes on Siesta Key beach. I prayed for wisdom behind the wheel of my rental car set at 80 the whole way, and I’ve basked in the scent of Black Cloves vanilla cigars and the love I’ve witnessed between family and friends, as well as the passion among lovers. At first, the purpose of my trip was simply a getaway, but it has ended up becoming so much more—a need to prove something to myself—that I can find my way both literally and figuratively. And that I can do it sans Franklin (a.k.a. day planner) … with minimal shakes. Armed with a map, directions from the friendly employees at Gainesville, Florida’s Dunkin’ Donuts and a pick-up at Pensacola Airport’s Budget Car Rental, I eventually reached my destination in Gulf Shores, Alabama around 500 miles later and several Dennis Prager “Happiness Hour” messages (thanks P.F.).

Day seven finds me beginning my morning reclining in an easy chair on the balcony of my sister and brother-in-law’s condo, the Gulf of Mexico crashing against the sands below. As for the rest of it—the black and white, the yin and yang, finding myself and figuring out my future—that I am still working on. And because it will be a lifelong journey, anyway, my plan is to embrace it all with eyes, arms and heart wide open. ~ cs

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