San Luis Obispo/ Montaña de Oro State Park

Happy International Day of Smacking Ass! No? That’s not a thing? Well, that’s a shame. Shame on you! I think, out of all the phrases in the english language, (and there are a lot) that may be my least favorite. It’s like spell that a step-mother who’s not cool enough to be a witch tries to cast. I am Stacey and I am caster of shame. Shame on you, child, for smacking that ass.

Speaking of ass, I walked around San Luis Obispo yesterday. Lots of um… attractive people. We’ll put it that way. It was nice to see so many people walking around and having fun. I checked out a few spots I remembered from college and then sat down at a park and wrote a poem. It wasn’t very good, but that’s okay. Most of them aren’t. I feel like it’s about a 90/10 ratio of bad writing to good writing, whether it’s a joke or a poem or a song. It doesn’t apply to blog posts because those are awesome 100% of the time and you should read them all forever, obviously.

The point is (as in most things) with writing, you just have to keep doing it. I accept that most things I write probably won’t be very good, but if I write a lot, the ten percent of things I do write will be a much larger collection of work. And as I continue to write, maybe that ten percent jumps up to fifteen or twenty, and then we’re really cooking with avocado oil. I’ve met a lot of people who enjoy writing, but they want everything to be perfect and have high expectations right off the bat. It always ends up in the person getting stifled and not writing at all. You have to write bad to write good. See what I did there?

So, I sat on a park table and wrote a bad poem. But it was nice. The poem may have sucked truck but the experience did not. It feels great to be outside, writing. I was feeling really good yesterday, I’ve been sticking to my morning routine of doing breath work and yoga, and it’s such a balanced way to level myself out for the rest of the day. I’ve dealt with anxiety for a long time, and traveling can make me or anyone else especially anxious, but I’ve been feeling incredibly calm so far.

I like to think it’s because I’ve put the work in. I can’t change the fact that I have an anxiety disorder, but I can try to make the best of it. I eat clean, I exercise, I do yoga, breath work, and meditation, I get outside, I try to cultivate personal and supportive relationships. It’s especially important for me to keep these things up when I’m doing well, because when you’re experiencing anxiety, you don’t want to do anything but crawl up in a corner, and that only makes things worse.

It helps to recognize anxiety as anxiety, too. It sounds simple, but knowing myself and my patterns has been huge. When I feel anxious, and those thoughts that something terrible is going to happen arise, I can look at them and say, “it’s just anxiety.” Instead of fighting them, it helps to let them circle through me and just watch them. Like ooh look at all these terrible and ridiculous thoughts, aren’t they neat? Sometimes they stay for a long time, sometimes a shorter time, but however long they want to stay is okay, they’re just thoughts. New ones will always come by.

After hanging out in downtown SLO, I made my way over to Montaña de Oro State Park. It was a very foggy day, but growing up in the Bay Area, that was nothing out of the ordinary. I’ve grown to thoroughly enjoy those foggy days. The air is so fresh, the moisture so pleasant. It’s like if rain were to play soothing piano music. A mellow stream of moisture. That sounds wrong. That should be a band name. “Next up on the stage, A Mellow Stream of Moisture!” And then it’s a hardcore punk rock band. It could be the name of a lotion, too. Martha’s Mellow Moisturizer – get streamy with it. I think I’m gonna use that phrase, now. Instead of saying, “I’m gonna take a piss,” which I probably say too often (I don’t know why I feel the need to let people know, but I do) I’m going to say, “I’m gonna go get streamy with it.”

So I got to Montaña de Oro (yeesh that’s annoying to type out) and walked on the trail and over the sandy knoll to see a beautiful cliffside view of the ocean and beach. I thought about putting on my hiking shoes instead of my running shoes, but I did not. This was a poor decision. I wasn’t planning on being gone long. This always happens, I tell myself oh I just want to check out this spot for a little bit, and then I get lost for four hours.

It was only a couple hours this time, and I didn’t go too far. I sat on the cliff and wrote another poem. It probably wasn’t good either. Hold on, let me check.

Okay, I share. I like this one.

This beach is like none I've seen before
course little canals of sediment
collection pools of muddy water
it's foggy today
I can feel the moisture hit my face
but I don't mind
it makes me feel like part of the water
pleasant little friends
letting me know where I am 
each drop a tiny reminder
of this ever-moving home
sand dampens beneath my feet
I can sense the page getting a little soggy
I said hello to the people I walked by
there were three
one paused and said hello back
that's okay with me
this rock is oddly shaped 
like a small canoe 
some things in this world
I will never understand. 
Jason Brendel
Jason Brendel

Jason Brendel is an author, poet, and comedian from Northern California. You can follow him on Instagram @jasonbrendel.

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3 thoughts on “San Luis Obispo/ Montaña de Oro State Park

  1. I really enjoyed this post. I especially liked, “I’m gonna go get streamy with it.” I will be using that from now on too. Maybe with both of us using that phrase it will catch on. I am still laughing. Thank you for your post!

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