Some couples make a big deal out of their anniversary. For us it’s birthdays. It works out because we get to celebrate big twice a year instead of just an annual anniversary. Because Neils birthday is in November and mine is in May so we get basically get to do something cool every six months. Neil and I have been together for 5 years, so typically all the trips have entailed something the other one would enjoy doing/seeing etc. but it normally ends up being a blast for both since we love doing all the same things.
For my birthday this year it was beach camping on this little island in South Carolina. A boat access, primitive camping, no trees, sea life mecca, right on the Intercoastal Waterway and the Atlantic Ocean. Notoriously it’s always annoying to do anything ‘beach related’ over Memorial day weekend which is when we always celebrate mine so we can have the extra days off work to go somewhere.
We had a bunch of camping gear – (too much actually. We’re working on pairing everything down to backpacking-level) a 14 foot aluminum boat, a puppy, a box of wine, a 6 pack, some food & water, and sunscreen and 2 paper lanterns.  We were set. It was all just one big boat ride. We saw crabs and sea turtles and baby sharks, and shells galore. We drank and ate and slept covered in sand. Enzo was happy. Running and playing on the beach and enjoying the wind in his fur on the boat. Chasing crabs and laying out in the shade, taking naps. We went to sleep with the sound of the waves and we woke up with the sunrise.
Our last night on the Island we decided to send off our lanterns, which it was ultimately too windy for but tried anyway. We piled in the boat after dark and putted out to the inlet staring straight into the tumultuous Ocean waves far ahead of us. We anchored and wrote how much we meant to each other on our lanterns. We read them to each other with a flash light out on a dark choppy inlet away from our Island. We grabbed the lighter and sent mine off first but it only made it about 10 feet before the fierce wind took it straight down into the water. We laughed hysterically at how sweet the notes were but how Mother Nature couldn’t give a single fuck about our plans. We then said what the hell, and set off the other one which to no one’s surprise made it 9 feet then crashed into the waves the same as before.
Neil treated me to a hotel in downtown Charleston SC for our very last night of the trip. We were grateful for the shower and comfy bed. We put lotion on our sunburns, drank cocktails and had dinner overlooking the Charleston harbor. It’s this weekends like this one that stay carved into my thoughts when I plan my career and make decisions, and tackle endeavors. I don’t intend to ‘live for the weekends’ or cherish ‘the weekend’. I’m making my life ‘a weekend’ by setting myself up to live simply with minimal material investments, eliminating debt, and spending time investing in business growth and traveling and doing what I love with who I love. Because life is short. And traditional societal assumptions are bullshit.
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