January 2, 2012…

That was the day I embarked upon what I’ve often referred to as my “journey of discovery.” As I write this, I’m sitting in a Houston hotel room after passing on the opportunity to have breakfast at the renowned Breakfast Klub that Nakia Laushaul mentioned in her latest book, Running from Solace. If you haven’t already, check it out. I was looking forward to fish and grits but the line at the Breakfast Klub was simply too long for me on this rainy Saturday morning; perhaps I’ll try again before I leave.

I thought often about what I’d write in this “milestone” blog and thought I had it covered but as I sit here, I don’t know anymore. Should it be a chronicle of where I’ve been over the last 32 days, or a chronicle of my thoughts and observations? I think the problem here is that I’m distracted by ‘Something’s Gotta Give’, a favorite movie that’s on right now. I should turn off the TV but can’t seem to pick up the remote.

The truth of it is that I expected to have written this already but I’ve been unable to focus on it for the last few days. I faced some truths last week that led me to make what will very likely be a life-altering decision so I probably needed time to process through it. Even though I’ve known for some time that I needed to let go, it seems that I was unable to until I confronted the underlying reason as to why I couldn’t. I heard it said recently, too, that as long as we’re holding on to what’s not working, we can’t pick up what will.

Aside from all the sights I’ve seen, this shedding of old habits, doubts, fears, and insecurities has been a constant theme of this “journey.” Change can be a scary thing but I’m loving the changes I’m seeing in me! I’m loving how I’m learning to go with the flow and not worry about anything, not even where I’ll be staying until I stop for the night. The old me would need to have solid reservations in advance. Not worrying about the details frees me up to enjoy the journey. Sure, I have moments when I wonder if I’ll have the resources needed to complete this journey. I wonder what I’ll do if something happens to me or my car while on the road but it’s ego’s job to keep us in fear mode, isn’t it?

I saw the King Tut exhibit as the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston this week and it was amazing! I missed it when it was in Atlanta and was excited to learn that it was here in Houston. There’s something surreal about being so close to sculptures and artifacts that have survived the passage of so much time. It speaks volumes about the knowledge and the abilities of the Egyptians who made them. I was a bit saddened by the fact, though, that the pharaohs and the objects that were to accompany them to their afterlife weren’t left to rest in peace.

Wednesday, the day I went to the museum, started out rainy but by noon when I left the museum, it was clear and sunny. I drove around sightseeing and taking pictures before spending the rest of the afternoon at the hotel. When I left for Galveston Thursday morning, it was raining in Houston. I considered not going but went anyway since I’ve often gone to the lake at Indian Springs in the rain and/or cold.

It rained practically all the way to Galveston, but the coolest thing happened before I got there: the rain stopped and the sun came out! I drove around the town awhile and when I found the Galveston-Bolivar Ferry, I decided to ride it across to the Bolivar Peninsula after one of the ferry security screeners told me that I’d have a good chance at seeing the dolphins. I didn’t but it was ok because it was great just being on the ferry.

But sitting on the Gulf, now that was something special!! It was very foggy and windy, the waves were crashing against the rocks, and the seagulls were flying overhead doing what they do but it was so peaceful. I really hated to leave but to compensate, I had a rare treat at the local Starbucks: a Caramel Macchiato. Yum! Oh, and guess what? It didn’t rain a drop until I was back on I-45S heading back to Houston. Thank God for favor!

Friday was errand and chore day but the 2012 African-American Read-In was Saturday afternoon. Since hearing about it from Nakia last week, and I debated whether I would go. Why? Because the only person I knew would be presenting, and I’d be on my own. I decided, though, that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to hear authors ReShonda Tate Billingsley, Bonnie Hopkins, Nakia Laushaul, Jacquetta Smith, Dr. Cherrye Vasquez and 6th grader Callie Holley discuss and read excerpts from their various novels. The event was very inspiring, and I even talked with several of the authors afterwards. I was out of my comfort zone, and it felt great!

As for Houston in general, I like it but wouldn’t wanna live here. The skylines are amazing, and the buildings are beautiful! I now know how Mama feels when we drive through downtown Atlanta because every single time I drive through Houston, I get excited and want to take pictures! It doesn’t matter that I already have 200 shots; I just want to capture what I’m seeing and feeling. I’m unable to capture some of the best views, though, because I’m either on one of the many “spaghetti (scary) junctions” or in a mass of traffic; all I can do then is ooh and aah, and I do!

It was in Houston that the enormity of what I’m doing hit me. Here I am, Lydia Bess from lil old Glenwood with its one traffic light, roaming around the country without an itinerary or schedule. God is truly good, or as the gentleman sitting next to me at the Read-In Saturday said, “He’s better than good ’cause He made good.”

Many thanks to you, Nakia, for your part in my journey–Saturday’s Read-In that was so inspiring; the loaded baked potato topped with chopped barbecue at Goode Co. that was so delicious; and church at Fountain of Praise this morning that was so edifying. I’m looking forward to your next book, be it a novel or more poetry. Yes, I heard what you said but….

I’ll be off the road for a week starting Tuesday when I fly home, and I wonder how it’ll feel. It will be great seeing family and friends, but I’m sure I’ll be anxious to get back to my car and head to San Antonio.

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5 comments on “January 2, 2012…

  1. Janice says:

    I pray that during your journey of discovery, you find peace, joy and love and come to terms with what sent you out there in the first place. I envy your courage and wish you continue blessings toward self discovery and spirtual enlightenment. What you are doing is truly inspirtional to me. To God be the glory!
    Your cousin, Janice

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  2. Bridgette says:

    Oh, the fun that you are having, it sounds wonderful. I definitely can relate to you, I’m not the spontaneous one, the reservations would have to be made, but as you did I’m sure I can adjust. May God continue to bless you on this journey and continue to speak to you, as only he can. 🙂

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    • Thanks, niece! When I get to town, I just whip out my trusty hotel app and find a place. I’ve been thinking, though, that it might even be fun, or at least interesting, to try some of those places that are off the beaten path; I often see them as I move about town or am leaving. But we’ll see.

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  3. Nakia says:

    I’m so happy to be a part of the wonderful memories you will have when you think about this trip. Like I told you, the freedom you are experiencing is unmatched! Blessings to you, Lydia 😉

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