For this month’s Field Trip I planned a Field Trip for myself. I essentially created an easter egg hunt for myself that included things to do, eat, visit, find, listen to, etc.
First thing on my list was to rise before dawn to watch the sunrise. Now that I will be spending a whole lot more time in and around Salem I wanted to spend some time getting to know it. I found a good vantage point to watch on this bridge in Derby Wharf.
Next on my list was to get breakfast at A&J King in Salem. They’re amazing and it’s my favorite place in town so far. I was the fourth person waiting outside the door before they opened at 7. I chose the sticky bun and a latte.
The next big thing on my list was to ride my bike. A lot. Like a whole lot. I rode to Lighthouse Point in Marblehead first.
I have a lot of positive memories growing up and coming to this spot. My grandfather used to take my sister and I here all the time. We would climb down the rocks to skip stones in the ocean. In college I brought Kara here for our first picnic. Recently my niece Lily was christened here. You get the picture.
Speaking of pictures, I wanted to take some time to do an illustration because I love to draw and paint when I take time for it, but it’s just not something I do if it’s not scheduled. I’m always rustier than I want to be and I rush through the end of the drawing every time but one day I’ll have the patience to get really good. Maybe in 10 years.
It’s basically a new version of an illustration I had done as a gift for my sister and brother-in-law. I still feel weird every time I see it hanging in their home. Not because I don’t want them to have it, it just reminds me of a time where I couldn’t really afford a decent gift and I felt like that was my best option. I don’t like giving art as gifts in general – unless it’s a photo – because it feels like pressuring someone to have the same taste as you do. Anyway, I’m getting off the point.
After that I did a whole lot more biking but I don’t have a goPro so I don’t have much to show for that portion. Next stop in the afternoon was the little public beach in Beverly next to Misselwood, where I got married.
One of my big goals for the day was to spend some time thinking about where I am at right now and the path that led me here. I am one week from officially breaking away from the only job I’ve had since college. Now I’m putting all of my energy into my photography and I started my own company. 10 years ago I would have never imagined that I would own my own business.
I brought with me a couple of old notebooks and journals I’ve held onto over the years. The oldest one I have starts in 2005 right after I left Union College and it’s amazing what things have changed in me and what hasn’t. First, it starts like all of my journals seem to – “I always wanted to keep a journal but I never find the time to do it.” Second, I wrote every journal to an invisible audience, introducing different parts of my life. I’m surprised I didn’t find blogging sooner. Turns out it’s the perfect medium for me, I always wanted to have a blog even when I didn’t know what it was.
The things that have changed: I was very frustrated and confused, I resented my parents a whole lot, I was angry at everyone, everything and most of all myself, I was afraid of ending up out of college, out of a job, out of everything life has to offer.
The things that haven’t changed. I am in love with Kara, I love art, I wish I had time to do all of the fun and interesting ideas in my head, I never feel like I’ve done enough, I’m can be cocky at times, I make lots of mistakes, I admire people that are kind and generous. Also I still don’t take enough time to think about where I’m at or what I’ve accomplished. That was the biggest thing for my solo Field Trip. I still don’t feel like I’m proud enough of what I’ve accomplished.
This next one is harder to explain. I’ve been looking for two stones for about 3 months now. It’s all about a book I’ve mentioned in the past on this blog. It’s called The Alchemist. I was actually listening to the audiobook when I was doing the lighthouse illustration. In the book the boy gets two stones from a king and they are meant to help guide him on his journey. You ask a yes or no question and pull one of the stones from the bag. Black=yes and White=no. They are called Urim and Thummim and they’re apparently in the Bible somewhere but I am not interested in that. I just wanted to find two small stones that represent what the story has become to mean for me.
That’s also what the “omen” reference was earlier in this post. The book has all kinds of omens and philosophy. Every time I listen to the audiobook I feel like I understand another message that I didn’t catch the first time. Also, it’s only a 4 hour audiobook so it’s easy to digest it in a single day. The phrase that stuck in my mind on this listen was “Personal Legend.” I want one of those.
After that I read some more journals and realized just how much life has happened in 10 years. Marriages, deaths, babies, job changes,
For the afternoon I wanted to take Kara out to dinner to celebrate. We chose a place in Salem that reminded me of our honeymoon in Santorini. Also, in 2005 I lamented the fact that Kara was in Italy and I thought I’d never go – suck it old me.
We headed to the North End for either gelato or cannoli but Hanover Street was mobbed so we headed down a side street and into the middle of what looked like a carnival. We walked right into one of the last things on my list “do something unexpected.” Apparently it was St. Anthony’s Feast and hundreds of pushcarts lined the streets. We finally got some fried dough (we had been looking for it since the 4th of July) and watched some band play Sweet Caroline. Unfortunately for me that’s my own kind of bad omen so we headed down one of the streets with hundreds of people, food and games. It was crazy!
And awesome. That was a great exclamation point to the night. But before calling it quits, I had to crack the bottle of Vin Santo I had been saving since our trip to Italy. I told Kara on our way home that I wouldn’t drink it until I left my job.
Tonight’s song is Chicago by Sufjan Stevens. Because I’ve made a lot of mistakes too.