This past weekend I was lucky enough to take a trip to Vermont for my cousin’s high school graduation. I was lucky enough that in the midst of school, I could take some time to get away and celebrate my cousin’s accomplishments while also seeing different scenery for a little bit.
NYC to Vermont is a little over 5 hours driving distance. New York is a huge state and we spent a ~long~ time on the road. We left on Wednesday morning June 9 and returned Saturday evening June 12. It was a decent length trip to Vermont.
Things I realized as we traveled
- I have always thought I was an introvert growing up, and only in college has that idea been inverted for me. I’m starting to realize that I actually have a really loud family with bold voices, especially in my extended family, and I sort of cocoon when I’m with them. Instead of becoming more extraverted in their presence, I don’t. It speaks to how our family creates our perception of self and once we leave that bubble, how free we are to fully embody ourselves.
When we arrived in the afternoon, we got lunch at 99, which is a restaurant I had never heard of, but it was pretty good. I got a delicious honey mustard salad.
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Just driving around the mountains really made me miss Virginia and think about the fact that I am a senior in college.
- My second realization: college passes way too fast. One day you’re a first year lost on Grounds with absolutely no idea where you are, the next you’re planning out your roommate arrangements for your final year of college. It really goes too quickly.
While I was in Vermont, I finished up Welcome to Adulting by Jonathan Pokluda and I highly recommend it for young adults in their 20s to read this book. There is tons of practical advice and wisdom – finances, career, dating, etc. It’s similar to The Defining Decade in theme but not really in content. I found it valuable.
One of my favorite places in Rutland, Vermont is the downtown area with the strip mall. It’s really the only part of town that is made to be walkable and it has this old time feel that I really love. The buildings are made of this bright red brick and it’s stunning to look at on a sunny day.
My cousin’s senior award ceremony and graduation were at a church because she went to a Catholic high school, and the church was beautiful. Even if you’re not religious, there’s got to be something about stained glass that grabs your attention. Side note: English teachers with ties that have books on them (who are also cat lovers) have the potential to melt your heart).
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We went to dinner at a friend’s house and they had an adorable gray cat – pictured here.
- I am not much for dancing and I’ve actually been taking a bit of an extended social media break, so I did a lot of reading during this trip. I’ve read some poetry and personal essays – the Brief Encounters anthology and The Grief We’re Given by William Bortz. Both are really good!
The next morning we ate breakfast (or rather I ate breakfast and was then informed we were going for brunch) and then headed to brunch at Sugar and Spice. I had hot chocolate and then a sandwich with turkey and bacon with potatoes on the side.
Later that evening, we headed to the church for a gorgeous graduation ceremony. There were verses etched into the ceiling to the church – John 6:68-69. While I still squirm at the idea of church (and tradition) being in control of faith rather than God and the individual, it was a beautiful ceremony.
- There’s something about Catholicism that honors and champions beauty.
- There are things that rise within me that I need to spend time sitting with, reflecting on, and trying to change. I’m not quite ready to share what those are but I definitely think taking away social media made it easier to catch myself in my thoughts and get clear on what I’m grappling with.
- I hate that there is this idea of being behind or ahead. None of our lives will (or should) perfectly adhere to a timeline or a template. In case you haven’t heard this lately, you do not need to force yourself into a situation that isn’t working for you just to be on the “right” timeline. It is so easy to hear that but live as if that isn’t true. Here’s a weird example: Chick-fil-A isn’t open on Sundays and yet it’s one of the most popular restaurants in the country. Instead of trying to fit the mold of McDonald’s or Wendy’s, they opted for a new system and they’re doing better because of it.
I was led into taking some photos with the graduate of the evening – she’s too tall for me (most people are). The plates of food were delicious. If I could’ve done 2 things differently, I would have taken food home with me, and taken more photos of the church.
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It was a good getaway for me, the only one I will have before I return to school and fourth year begins (!!!!). I didn’t think about school a whole lot but I will definitely say a seventh realization.
- Sitting in a car for 5 hours traveling to Vermont is worse than being on the Amtrak to Virginia for 7 hours. Tell me how?! I think since I was the small one. I got the middle seat and an hour in, your butt hurts from the middle seat. Not fun at all.
I’m going to end off with some lines I highlighted from The Grief We’re Given:
“I am as strong as the heaviest things I have failed to carry”
“Count it all as luck to be born in an age in which there are so many distractions one has to remind themselves that they are wilting”
“We cannot make people love us and worse we cannot make people stay we cannot make people stay”
“Have you ever swallowed a sunset because you couldn’t remember what it was like for something beautiful to end and not have to mourn it”
“Something about undoing / something about never being ripe enough to decay”
I hope you enjoyed this post, friends!