Kris O'Connell
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Oooooh, "Dogs." Yeah... I like dogs.

Oooooh, "Dogs." Yeah... I like dogs.

Sep 22, 2022

It's been a long week. An emotional, tiresome, busy on all fronts… rollercoaster of a week.

Tomorrow I'll be sleeping in a tent, n the mountains, below the stars, amongst the trees, and beside the person I love the most.

Each night this week has consisted of either 4 hours of sleep or disrupted sleep that left me soaked in sweat (puddles. PUDDLES of sweat) and anxious as cattle ready to be slaughtered. I'm ready to reconnect with nature. It's been months since we've been on a trail or surrounded by trees and animals. The stress of finances, of being a better human, of connecting with friends, of following through with family plans has become too much at this point. This is the perfect time to get the FUCK out of the cement jungle that's wearing us down. Enough of the cars, the screens, the work…nature is calling (not the potty) and I've reached my breaking point with it all. If we didn't leave this weekend, I was surely going to have a psychotic episode. I can feel it. Anxiety from all angles about everything and anything, not being able to settle down or even breathe properly. In fact, just writing this is making me anxious. I'm getting to 1000 words and I'm stopping. We need a break - both you the reader and me the writer. Distance makes the heart grow fonder, right?

I plan on bringing a pen and a notebook. I plan on bringing a book to read (probably won't happen, but it'll be good to have). I plan on bringing a board game or 2. There were days when Erika and I would sleep in a tent all summer long in my parent's backyard. From May until October, we'd stay out in this tent every night (barring any crazy lightening storms that could kill us). Not only did we get the best sleep ever, but we could have possibly been the most connected with nature and each other than we ever have been.

Imagine, for 6 months, sleeping outside in the fresh air with Mother Earth below you, the stars above you, the sounds of the crickets and owls, the fright of a pack of coyotes walking by your tent, waking up to the sunrise at 5am. It felt AMAZING. Rejuvenation almost every day. We used a lantern to keep light in the tent so we could read at night. We would have a few drinks and play games together. We didn't play on our phones, we would occasionally bring out a laptop for a movie night, and we talked. Goddamn did we talk for hours. The most growth we ever had in our lives was seemingly during these months for the few years we did this.

Here's the secret ingredient - a best friend that you owe your heart to. A best friend that will do everything with you. A best friend that is your ride-or-die bitch. A best friend that listens to you and helps guide you through your problems. A best friend that will endure the tough times because they know that it will bring better times. A best friend that smiles when she sees you and subsequently makes you smile. A best friend that you'd go to war for. A best friend that cooks some of the best food on the planet. A best friend that never judges you. A best friend that believes in you and sees the potential for your greatness. A best friend that continues to be your North Star on the darkest of nights. A best friend that gives the greatest kisses. A best friend that supports you along every step of the way without fail.

A dog. You need a dog.

Obviously it's your life partner, your companion, your best friend, the person that completes you, the piece of the puzzle that makes you feel whole when you feel broken. When you're constantly surrounded by people, buildings, cars, and noise, Nature becomes the place of serenity. Because of how few people spend their time out there, you experience the actual world - the one our ancestors conquered and the unique moments that come with it. But if no one's there to enjoy it with you, did they really happen? You'll have the memory of it, but memories get fuzzy over time. One day you're going to look back and question whether it was a dream or if it really happened. Was it really beautiful, or was it a miserable few moments that you looked back upon with great joy? Did you share it with someone? Sharing that great misery, like a rainy day out in the woods and then looking back upon it with someone is what makes it so simultaneously memorable and hysterical. Have you ever tried to tell a story and butchered it? Forgotten some of it? Yeah, wouldn't it be nice to have that beautiful person with you, the same beautiful person that you can't take your eyes off of, to fill in the pieces with you? The same person that you'd kill a mountain lion with your bare hands for? Or a bear with your mountain lion hands?

I'm going to wrap up here by telling you my plans. When we have some downtime on Saturday night, sitting in my tent, before sleep washes away all the small moments and unique thoughts from the day, I'm going to write in my notebook. It won't be lengthy, but I'm going to make sure to document my point of view, the little moments through the day that changed my perspective forever, the joy that I had just being able to hear the crunch of leaves beneath my feet, the birds chirping, the cool brisk air filling my lungs... and the tinnitus-ringing in my ears when I should be hearing what "nothing" sounds like. The sights from the tops of the mountain, the sounds of the crickets at night, and the gratitude that I have for it all will fall into the same entry. I know, I KNOW that with a couple days away from the city life, I'm going to grow great appreciation for what we have at home, but yet a strong appreciation for where, we as humans, come from. Distance from all of our luxuries will remind me how grateful for city life I should be.

I love you all but I love my best friend the most and always will..

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