I had a very productive week regrouping in Knoxville, Tennessee.
My Airbnb host Rachel was incredible! It almost felt like I was living with a roommate and not a guest at someone's home.
Working on the section of Texas was a bit overwhelming. What a great big state! I reached out for help on one of the Facebook groups I belong to. I connected with Suzanne, who helped me a lot and even invited me to stay at her place when I get to her area. Another exciting part of the week was connecting with Dawn from another Facebook group. She will be joining me to explore Big Bend National Park. Certain places like Big Bend and Alaska are big and remote areas. It will be nice to have someone else with me. I would do it no matter what, but I'm glad Dawn reached out.
I'm in my fifth week on the road and am loving it! I love camping days and sleeping in my car. I have free time to be with myself and my thoughts.
I have two more stops before entering Texas - Nashville, and Memphis.
Nashville, oh Nashville, how much I enjoyed you! What a great time I had in such a fun and vibrant place! I took the old trolley tour bus (twice). Walked along Broadway, stopped at a bar to have a drink, and listen to some good country music. Keep in mind, three sips of alcohol is all I need. I stopped at four before I started dancing on the table😁. The next day I went to the Tennessee State Museum and enjoyed learning more about the history of Tennessee. I visited the Country Music Hall of Fame Museum. Finally, I had a fabulous, exciting evening at the Grand Ole Opry.
I'm back to listening and reading Brené Brown's work. I am now listing (I read the book in the past) to "Braving the Wilderness." It gives me the courage to belong to myself and keep this journey open to you all.
I like her work because I know I can trust her. I feel that way because she brings other people's research into her findings, which shows me how deep her work is. It makes me fully trust her and her research results.
Maybe this is my purpose in opening myself to you all. I can be the ambassador for Brené Brown's work, and spread love, peace, and kindness.
My original plan when I was thinking about Memphis was to try and spend the night at one of the Cracker Barrel parking lots. When I mentioned that, I received the reaction that Memphis can be dangerous and that I should be careful. So I did my research, and I was sad about my findings. My sadness is not a result of not having a chance to experience Cracker Barrel. I will have plenty of opportunities to do that. I wasn't sad because I needed to spend money that wasn't in my budget. My sadness came from the reminder that crime and poverty result from a lack of opportunity. I'm sad to witness the unfairness. It is easy to avoid dealing with this subject when you don't have to experience it. If anything, I learned from Brene Brown's work that we ALL experience trauma in our lives, and until we don't stop passing this trauma to the next generation, we will all be part of this unfairness problem.
Trauma can leave us so deflated, so empty, and exhausted emotionally, not to mention the physical effects on our bodies. I will be the first to admit my back pain is not all due to arthritis.
My marriage, or more accurately to say my ex-husband's choices in our marriage, created a deep trauma for me to heal from. Today I can see how much it took away from me, but even more painfully, what it didn't let me give. It is up to me to get to the other side of this pain, and it is up to me to take responsibility for this healing process. I have the resources and the possibility for this process. Unfortunately, not all of us do.
Can you imagine the confusion if we all look alike? We need to come in all different shapes and colors because inside, we all experience the same feelings and emotions. We do not necessarily express them in the same way. Most of it is due to the lack of awareness, tools, or resources to understand feelings and emotions. Can you imagine what our world would be like if we all had that knowledge?
It's a Thursday morning, and I'm leaving my hotel parking lot. After a few minutes, I realized that the route I'm on isn't what Google Maps preferred I take. It wasn't the wrong way, just not the fastest way.
Google Maps is taking me through a neighborhood in Memphis, and somehow the scenery is reminding me of a powerful book I read a few years ago....."The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks." It feels so appropriate for me to think about this story since I'm on my way to the National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Hotel.
I am blown away by the powerful experience I had at the museum. It's a must-stop if you visit Memphis.
For the love of God, I can never understand why one person feels they are better than others because of the color of their skin.
I do have a mission in Memphis. My younger son was there a few years ago as part of a summer social justice program. And according to him, he had the best meal ever (and I thought my cooking was the best ever 😁). He truly wanted me to go and have the same dish he had. So I did at Rendezvous, a barbecue restaurant. I had the Lamb Riblets, which was different and delicious! Thank you, Ron, for insisting I go there.
I'm excited to travel through Texas, and can't wait to share all the new wonders I will discover along the way.
The bathroom hook tip I shared before didn't work for me at one of the campgrounds; there was nowhere to hang it. However, since I'm vertically challenged 😁 I do have a mini folded step stool with me. It turns out to be functioning also as a mini shower table.