I love going places, visiting family and friends, and throughout my life, I have always felt like I was going somewhere. On the other hand, as much as I love going, I have a really hard time leaving.
This morning, excited, Taylor and I awoke early at 4:24 AM to leave for Morro Bay to spend time with family. From there, to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles to spend New Years with some of my favourite friends.
The drive down the 101 was beautiful, watching the sun rise to my left and a gorgeous view of the moon fall to my right. I’ve made this drive so many times over the last two and a half years; yet it never gets old. Ever. It wasn’t long before the smell of garlic took over, passing Gilroy, proudly owning of the garlic capital of CA (maybe the country) moniker. Not long after, John Steinbeck greeted me outside Salinas, and I thought of my favourite book growing up – East of Eden – changing my life as I realized how important and profound the power to choose truly was. We could choose our destiny. We could choose happiness as well.
Over 240 miles later, Taylor and I found ourselves in a house in Morro Bay, steps from the beach and the roaring Pacific. And then walking through the streets of San Luis Obispo. My sister was there with her family and her in-laws, all of whom I feel as close to as if they were blood related to me. That day was wonderful. Taylor and I joined my sister and her hubby for a beer in town; and quite coincidentally, it was the best tasting beer I’d had in a while. I remember a very vivid thought as we were walking down SLO’s streets – “I am so freakin’ happy.”
I’ve been fortunate in that I’ve been blessed to know and more importantly become friends with some extraordinary people. When I think of the words extraordinary and impressive and accomplished, the first person I always think about is my sister. Once upon a time my baby sister, it’s been a long time since she was that. There’s something about your youngest sibling that will always be special. I love my brothers. They are crazy hilarious, both intense in their own way, among the first ones I’d goto in a pinch, and just good dudes at heart. But when my sister was born seven years after me, I just felt even at my young age that she was different and just more special than anyone I would ever know. I’d go to my brothers first if the shit ever went down; but I’d go to my sister first if I ever wanted to get shit done.
December 2015 was an absolutely magical month, much like many of my months have truly been these last few years. What made this particular month so special and why it will forever live in my heart was spending three out of the four weeks that month with my sister and her wonderful family. I joined them on Christmas tree decorations, going to school and to the park, painting, reading, singing and dancing, cooking and eating, cleaning and taking out the trash – the things that families do.
It only seems like yesterday for me the day she was born; and I remember the day soon after when I met her. I remember it vividly, and even at seven years of age, as I mentioned earlier, I knew she would be someone magical for me the rest of my days. And despite days during my teenage years when I wasn’t quite so nice to her, she’s been every bit my favourite person the majority of my days. When I see her daughter, I see my sister — so immensely cute and precious and precocious, adjectives now being used a generation later. I’m sure in ten years, I’ll also be reminded of when my sister was in junior high pleading with me to wear my Notre Dame sweatshirt (the blue one not the grey, of course). And then another few, I’ll be reminded of our roadtrips when my sister went off to college, cherishing every conversation, every memory.
We had dinner in the Bay Area tonight. I remember every single moment of everything. I remember most that we laughed. She’s quite brilliant. And she’s sharp. She’s really, really sharp.
If we are lucky, we will meet that someone who is so special that their influence on you is epic. For me that person has always been my sister.
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ALWAYS BE EPIC.