a roadtrip, 9 years ago

Jun 28, 2007 | Life in Progress

me + karen, self portrait in the back of clare’s car, seattle, summer of 1998 (i really miss that short haircut)

i have been thinking so much about the events in our lives that lead to other events and changes and so on. before you know it, you have a collection of a life, memories, heartbreaks, cracks + light. all of this has me thinking about my life here on the west coast, about my beginning here almost 9 years ago when karen and i hopped in her red nissan and drove 3000+ miles from tallhassee, florida to seattle just for the adventure of it. our friend clare had recently moved to seattle and wanted to show us its beauty and magic, so off we went, to find a piece of ourselves in the company of a very long roadtrip. it remains one of the best decisions i’ve ever made. to take the summer and explore the roads and hostels and sites of our country. we kept journals, listened to our mix tapes, drove one another nuts, and had the time of our lives. i had never been anywhere before, and i was completely taken by the west coast, especially the northwest with all its summer beauty and clean air. one year later, i moved to portland. had karen not asked for a travel companion that summer, i bet i would have never moved to the west. i’d still be in florida, maybe, with all the alligators, heat, snakes, and bugs. i don’t miss it. but i do miss my memories of highschool, college, and of course, my mom and stepfather who are still there. it all reminds me to always say yes to travel and adventure. it really does take you places.

looking back on the photos from that trip and from that time in my life, i’m feeling a little moody. affected. nostalgic. i was still in graduate school. living with friends. babysitting for money, still. dating. i was in the throws of growing up, and i loved it. loved all my friends. my independence. and all the free time. it was before the losing of ourselves to everything else. jobs. money. distance. marriages. the real growing up.

i don’t yearn for those times, as i’m incredibly happy now, but i do think about the girl in the picture in the back of the car with a friend who asked her to take a roadtrip to seattle and have a summer that would decide the future of where she lived which would then lead to all sorts of wondrous things including the losing of herself and then the finding of herself all over again. life is so cool.

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (8 comments)
  1. Jim Di Bartolo

    Hey Kelly!

    Take comfort that whenever you show photos of you from years ago you look EXACTLY the same as you do now! Laini’s the same way — you gals with your great genes! John and I are going to have to take care of ourselves to keep up with y’all! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Glad you’re out and about relaxing this weekend too (from your more recent post). Hope you’re having fun!

    Many hugs,

  2. renovating this heart

    hey dear heart,
    I loved this post. It made me think, and actually made me shed a few tears too. I think because I’m kinda in between. I feel like I’m in that middle place… done with college, trying to grow up, but still so far to go. Or something. I’m not really sure…

    Just thanks. You touched my heart. Love to you, calissa

  3. Amanda

    i love this post. and i love the hair! it is so amazing how adventures like that can change your life…
    you are so right, is is very cool.

  4. Michelle (a.k.a. la vie en rose)

    oh kelly i just love this story…such true, true words…thank you so much for sharing yourself with us here…

  5. kelly

    hmmm….sounds like you are a brave explorer chick. and i dig the short hair

  6. Katie

    Thanks for the meditation, Kelly. I’m starting a big adventure in August myself, and am scared but excited. Good on you for saying “yes” when you had the chance to go. And I love the short hair!

  7. Tonia

    What a great story. Makes me want to hop in the car right now! (And your hair looks cute no matter how you wear it, because you’re just so . . .cute!)

  8. cheeky

    I too love your really short hair. I’ve worn my hair long for most of my life(to the middle of my back). I’d always loved really short, short hair but never thought I could pull it off. When I was 26 I went to my hairdresser and said, “I’m ready. Chop it off.” She did. It was short, short and it was the best feeling ever, I loved it! I miss it. I never had so much fun and versatility with my hair; completely the opposite of what I thought about short hair. It felt good to make such a big change and let go of the attachment to hair. It was only hair afterall, and it grows back.
    I know I went on a bit there but you sparked a feeling in me just remembering that time and it was a good time. Thanks.
    I can really relate to your saying yes to adventure and travel. My life is about to embark on a whole new adventure. Life is cool, I agree.


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Iโ€™m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today Iโ€™m an artist & Possibilitarian. Iโ€™m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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