Last year was an amazing year for me. I had a new place to live and the ability to live simply. I found a job that tested me on many levels but it made me happy nonetheless. I was rewarded nicely for my work and I felt like a part of a team that worked together through thick and thin. I met some of the most amazing people on the train, some of whom I still talk to. My mind was opened to new music, books and the ways of southern living. As I have written before, the mountains and the rivers transformed me. All in all, amazing does not begin to cover the experience.
Last October was the hardest month I have ever worked in my life. I was exhausted. I was looking forward to the end of the train season. It was a rough year and I thought some R&R would be good. Seems like all of November I slept. I was physically more worn out than I had originally thought. I felt better come December and I was ready to start thinking about the next chapter in my adventure. I went down a few dead end streets, then a few more. Soon it was the new year and I wasn’t even close to figuring out my next step. My old friend, depression, visited and rendered me feeling hopeless. Money was running short and the continuous stream of job rejections fed the hopelessness. That is when I thought I would write my last blog piece, the one where I finally realized that last year was the high water mark and that I would never be able to recreate that particular magic again.
I resigned myself to the fact that I had tried some new things and I had “played” enough, now it was time to get serious again and act like an adult. After a few more months I finally was offered a position and also find a new place to live close to my work. This all felt weirdly familiar. Safe bets, 401(k), insurance….the whole nine yards. I should be thrilled, right?
But that mess inside of me that filters through my brain and my heart made me realize that I have some corrupted DNA that does not allow me to adhere to norms. Please do not get me wrong, my new job is nice, my co-workers are great and I am darn lucky to be working again, but gone is last year’s spark and wonder. The shock and awe I felt last year is now filed in my memory banks.
So does this mean I will just have to buck up and settle? Probably for the time being and that’s ok. I am a adult and I need to act like one, but it doesn’t mean the journey is over. Robert Earl Keen wrote and sang a tome for all of us who are always looking around the corner for that new big thing. He said “The Road goes on Forever and the Party Never Ends!” A few months ago I gave up looking at the road ahead because I feared it would look just like the road I am on now. Nothing would change and there would be no spark. I decided to not look because of my fears and in return I felt hopeless. Then I heard Keen’s song and I realized that the Road now and in the immediate future might look the same, but around that corner up ahead is the next new thing.
I’m sure this may seem like jibberish to some, and I totally understand that. But for years I did not allow myself to think outside of the box I was trapped in. I saw the unknown as something to fear. I kept myself squirreled away living the safe life and watching the real life pass me by. I do not want to be that person any longer. I have had a taste of an epic journey and although things are safe now, it doesn’t mean the party, that is life, won’t commence once more. I suppose I need this time to regroup.
I have seen doors open for me where I never knew a door existed. I mistakenly thought the hidden doors in my life where gone for good, but instead I realize they are up the road a piece. I need to take my time, enjoy this part of the journey and wait for that crazy curve in the road. I understand now that neither journey type is mutually exclusive. I let the veil cover my eyes again, the veil covers all hope and leaves nothing but darkness in its wake. Now I can see again, I don’t know what’s coming but I have to be ready for it. Let the party begin!