Silver 3 Reunion

It’s been a whirlwind month of moving and traveling, but especially a whirlwind week in California with my Silver 3 loves! Five years ago I flew to Sacramento to meet 10 other strangers who I would travel and work with for the next 10 months. From the moment I met them all I knew it was special, but I would have never imagined all we would experience together, and the unconditional love from a diverse group of friends I would learn. Since AmeriCorps, I have seen all four of the people who made it to the reunion: Rin, Lyss, Jess and Tony. However, I have not seen any of them together. While it is magic to be in the presence of any of these humans, it’s absolutely surreal to be all together again. The chemistry and flow is unreal, and is noticed by all the people we interact with along the way. Whether they love it and buy us free drinks or roll their windows up to avoid it is up to them.

I flew in to San Francisco last week, and booked a hostel for a night alone in the city before we all met up. It was a great flight, and made me question why I was ever afraid of flying. I found the perfect mix of medicine, movies and bliss and actually had a great time. Instead of refusing coffee on the flight (because with my OCD, I’ve been convinced that if I treat myself to a drink on a flight the plane will instantly react with a crash to the ground), I actually ordered coffee AND apple juice. I was having fun. Every time I thought about the fact that if I uncrossed my legs, the plane would probably fall unexpectedly, I uncrossed my feet in defiance of my mental illness, and took a rebellious pleasure in it. This is called exposure therapy, and I just have not been strong enough to engage in it in the past few years, or at least didn’t think I was strong enough to engage in it. However, this trip was all about exposure therapy. And enjoying it. To combat OCD, this is something that I must practice routinely my whole life, even when I am feeling better. Actually, especially when I am feeling better because this is when it feels I can make the most progress in navigating the monstrous tide that is called Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.

Enough about mental health though, right? Let’s get to the fun stuff! I do feel the need to write about my success in working with my OCD though, because had I not been able to do this I probably would not have gotten on the planes to have the best vacation of my life. So, here’s a big HELL YES to working on our individual shit, and enjoying life as we do!

Because I didn’t believe I was going to survive the plane ride, I had not looked up any information about how to get from the airport to my hostel on Fisherman’s Wharf. My phone was dying when I hit the ground (of course) and so I had only a short while to memorize the route, which included a few transfers, and one onto something called the “F Train” which I didn’t realize til later was a jam packed ride that you got on in the middle of the road with a KANSAS CITY bumper sticker right by my seat. After about 15 minutes of practically sitting on top of a person’s lap, I decided to get out and try my luck on walking the rest of the way to a hostel without a map. It was empowering to sort of remember the layout of the city after many years, and once I saw Alcatraz on the water, I knew I was on the right track. Before getting to my hostel I stopped for a bit and sat on the beach and watched the ocean. Damn, girl. You did it!

The night at the hostel alone was pretty chill, and consisted of my watching Netflix and saying no to my roommates who asked me to go explore the city with them. I was happy to have slept well the next morning when Tony and Lyss picked me up before 9, and we hit the road for the airport to pick up Jess and Rin.

It was unreal when we were finally all together again after so many years, and when we went to brunch and were seated at a big table, we all immediately crowded around to one side so we could all be closer. We had, after all, lived in tents and one room spaces together for a whole year together. Our first destination was Santa Cruz, so we all packed in the car. We of course got lost in the mountains on a one way road for an hour or so, but eventually made our way to the beach. It was magical.

We might have gotten asked to leave the beach for reasons that need not be discussed here, but the fantastic part is no one got arrested, and some bad bitches stood up to the cops and might have made them pee their uniforms a bit.

The next day I had an interview, bought $18 flip flips out of desperation, found a anarchist library and commune space in Santa Cruz and loved up my friends. We found ourselves in the Redwoods that second evening.

For our third night together, we landed in Oakland to celebrate Lyss’s birthday.

And the next day, we cleaned up, and hit the road again.

Our last destination: San Francisco! Before leaving Oakland we had the most amazing lunch, with a sweet hearted waiter.

In San Francisco that evening, we hit up the Mission District for karaoke and burritos.

Bye loves, see you soon my traveling soul mates! x

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© Copyright 2019 Annie Windholz



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