Stories from the Road

Alysha | The Year of Saying Yes

New Years makes me shudder.
Culturally, it’s a demanded season of reflection where Lady Justice weighs the accomplishments of the year. She judges it’s efficiency towards based on the cultural narrative deemed to fit to a person of your age. At 22, I’m supposed to be poor but happy with a close knit group of friends living in a city, have the cute boyfriend to envoke the playful jabs about getting married, and a career girl working my way up the ladder–so, basically an episode of Friends.
2016 has not resembled a quaint 90’s sitcom. I graduated and closed the season of life where I lived within a ten minute walk of 85 percent of my friends and in a city. I chose to move for a great job in small town Americana.  I’ve learned how to shove everyone of my belongings into suitcases and my car, twice. I’ve taken a plane ride almost every month because now, my people lives thousands of miles away in opposite directions.
Amidst all the changes, its been marked as beautiful year of saying yes to some incredible adventures.
I’ve gotten to go cliff jumping in Arkansas. Road trip with friends to see Mikey Mouse, the Pacific Ocean, and a giant roadside dinosaur. I’ve travel to Colorado Springs, saw the Garden of the Gods, and a sweet friend get married. I’ve taken a road trip with my dad from Massachusetts to Texas with a low riding car full of stuff for my first house. It’s been a year of yes for me-yes to new adventure, yes to road trips, and yes to the kindness of others who let me stay on their couch to make it all happen.
Saying yes has consequences to it. You can’t say yes to some things without saying no to others. It’s the duality of being finite. I cannot say yes to adventure and be there for every birthday celebration with family. I can’t live thousands of miles away and be there for every friend’s weddings and hold their sweet babes. I can’t pay for planet tickets and save a ton of money.
Living in that tension is bittersweet. It’s hard, it’s messy, and sometimes, you don’t make the right call about what you’re willing to sacrifice in order to say yes. The walk is different for everyone. It’s the beautiful thing about being alive-tomorrow is a new day to say yes to travel, to adventure, and explore what makes you feel alive. May this your year to say yes to wherever you’re journey takes you.
Alysha is the Editor in Chief of Atlas Addict Quarterly

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