There was a space in my backyard I used to escape to
It was a little walkway around the side of our house. It was lined with beautiful plants on either side, went past the bedrooms and opened up to a little gravel area with more space and a plastic-ass shed against the fence.
It was my favorite place to go and just... I'm not sure of the word exactly. I paced a lot. I mumbled to myself. I tore apart branches and leaves in my fingertips. I thought about a lot of things. Stories, problems, desires, plans... I think what I was doing, pacing around like a lunatic, was germinating. There were a lot of great ideas made right there that I wish I wrote down at the time, 'cause I sure as shit don't remember them now. I do still remember the sensations. I still can feel the crisp fall air on my face, the lingering waft of flowers, plant grime inside my nails.
I spent so much time there. It wasn't until recently that I realized I needed something like that again: a place where I could be alone with my thoughts and surroundings. I haven't had a place like that since before college. I was so lucky and I had no idea.
Lately, I've been taking walks. It's a poor substitute, all things considered, but it's something.
If I'm feeling a little stifled or stressed or like I'm in a dead-end with a story I'm working on, instead of trying to brute force my way through it and cause mo' stress, I'm taking a break.
I walk. I think. I don't look at my phone. I try not to steer my thoughts too hard in a particular direction; that's not how germination works. I let my thoughts obsess over whatever it is they want and notice if there's anything particularly juicy.
Or maybe there isn't. And that's fine too. My head clears all the same.
I think it's really easy for all of us to fall into the trap of, "oh god, I need to be working on something now or I'll fall behind and fuck up everything noooooo!" espcecially here in Los Angeles. But sometimes, disconnecting and escaping really helps.
There's something about being in motion, about getting the blood flowing that helps declutter the mind. Or at least, my mind.
It's around graduation time and I offer this bit of advice to anyone feeling overwhelmed by the world of adulthood - take a step back and do something else for a little while.
Really wish I'd remembered that in those early months after my own graduation.