An Epiphany While Traveling Alone in the Wichita Mountains

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I got that feeling again. It came so suddenly that I forgot I had been depressed this last week. That feeling I discovered in March. The one that said, “This is what home is.”

This weekend I went to visit friends in Oklahoma City. I lived in OKC for 3 years while I worked on my MFA in Creative Writing at the University of Central Oklahoma. Oklahoma was an amazing part of my life. I became single when I moved to OKC, was dealing with a lot of health issues, and was tired of not feeling like myself anymore. So I changed. I grabbed the reins to my life, chopped my hair off, worked on my confidence, and started making goals and achieving them. My life suddenly became fantastic and fun and thrilling! I modeled, I dated, met celebrities, got in free to bars and clubs, traveled to DC and Baltimore, published short stories, did my first art show (plus like 5 more), and met some amazing and influential friends that I visited this weekend. It was a blast.

I had planned to write a blog about visiting Oklahoma City and the places you should go, but something happened Sunday that changed my mind. (However, I will soon create a “My Favorite Places in OKC blog” soon.) Rather, I want to write about something a little different.

Sunday, on my way back to Texas from Oklahoma, I decided to make a few pit stops along the way: Medicine Park, the Wichita Mountains, and Meers Restaurant. In Medicine Park, I walked around the small historic town, taking pictures while people watching. It’s a beautiful area with gorgeous scenery. I felt so calm and relaxed.

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From there, I headed on out to Meers for a famous Meers burger. Meers has been around since the early 1940’s and they are one of the few places in the world that serves burgers that are 97% lean meat (only 3% fat) from their own longhorn herd that isn’t fed chemicals. It’s an extremely huge and probably the healthiest burger that you can order. And it’s delicious. However, the burger was second (in my opinion) to their homemade peach cobbler with homemade ice cream. I think I fainted for like five minutes after that first bite.

A Meers Burger
A Meers Burger
Homemade Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream
Homemade Peach Cobbler and Ice Cream
Meers burger menu
Meers burger menu
Peach cobbler at Meers makes me insane
Peach cobbler at Meers makes me insane

Both Medicine Park and Meers are right outside of the Wichita Mountains so to get from one to the other I had to drive through the Wichita Mountain Wildlife area and I was absolutely blown away by the beauty. For those who live near mountains, the Wichita Mountains aren’t overwhelmingly large but they are extremely beautiful. A rare combination of the plains and rocky monuments that create a breathtaking scene. I’m just surprised that I haven’t seen this area since I was 16, because I had forgotten how gorgeous it is. I saw buffalo and longhorn roaming about. I stopped and took amazing photographs.

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After eating at Meers, I decided to drive up Mount Scott, the tallest mountain in the range for a panoramic view of the mountains. As I was driving up very slowly (it’s so steep!), I stopped and got out of my car at points where there were curves in the road to park and take pictures. It was during my first stop that I felt it. I felt the traveling feeling that I felt once before when I traveled to Ireland in March for birthday. It was a sort of freedom and happiness bundled into one happy feeling. Better yet, I felt like I belonged.

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I didn’t feel like I “belonged” in the Wichita Mountains, but rather I felt like I belonged traveling the world and experiencing its wonders and beauty. The beauty of its nature, its people, its food, its culture. I think that feeling is the closest that I have ever felt to “my home.” My friend recently told me that I am a child of the world, not meant to be in one spot, and she may be right.

The last few weeks, I have felt somewhat depressed over the fact that I can’t move into my apartment in Dallas until September. It’s not that I believe that I will eventually consider my new apartment in Dallas as “home,” rather I just want my own space. I need room to be myself. I need an area where I can strip away everything that I put on for the world, for my family, for even my friends. I need that space to just be utterly me. A place I can work and grow and relax and I just unfortunately haven’t had that “space” since I moved from Los Angeles (this is no one’s fault, just the situation).

I see my upcoming apartment as just a space that’s all mine. I think I’m the kind of person that needs a space to return to but feels at home traveling the world. This sounds insane, but maybe my whole concept of home is backwards compared to most. People say you travel to get away from home but I think I travel to get to “home!” During the time I’m at my apartment, I’m escaping from “home” (the world I’m traveling around) to a place that’s all about me. Does that make sense?

Either way, when I reached the top of Mount Scott and looked at the lake, the plains, the mountains, even a billow of smoke in the distance, I didn’t want to leave. I felt happy and good and content. And even though I wasn’t happy about heading down the mountain back to my parent’s home, I knew that my depression with not having my space yet or my extreme need to travel more (like now) was just temporary.
I’ve never been good with patience, but if I can set my life up so that I can travel more than I live in my space, I think I will be the happiest girl on the planet. It will take time and patience but seeing the beauty of the Wichita Mountains…well, I know it’ll be worth it.

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