Day two of the road trip.
It’s weird. I’m in a rush to get to California. I’m not sure why. Maybe it’s because I had this idea of all the things I’d do there. But today, I drove through Portland and I was going to get out and walk around. I’d read about this donut place on one of Humans of New York’s pictures (I know, I know. Stop in PORTLAND for a DONUT?!?!? What about the city itself?)
I drove through but I didn’t stop. I figured I’d just explore it on the way back. See, that’s what I’ve been telling myself about every interesting place I’ve seen. Well, I did stop to take a picture of a huge billboard telling off Obama. And I was going to stop for all the church signs… but… I didn’t.
I did go to a diner though and I got a piece of pie that I’m gonna eat after my first Carl Jr’s experience is over.
Now… I don’t regret not stopping at any of the places. But I do feel strange, like I’m experiencing fear of missing out (FOMO).
Isn’t that stupid? Isn’t the whole point of this road trip to just be? Why the hell am I concerned about FOMO or YOLO or any fucking thing like that? Isn’t it enough that I’m here? How is it possible that I feel obligated to experience as much as humanly possible just because I’m on this trip?
I think this sense of obligation partly stems from all of the bad things that are going on in the world. I feel like since I’m fortunate enough to be able to do this, I should be able to appreciate every single second of it. And I do. But I also feel like I’m holding myself (or my experiences) to a standard I don’t even understand. Is this what it means to be ungrateful? Or do I feel bad that I’m driving on one of the most beautiful highways in the world but I’m not actually changing the world?
I may be tired and overanalyzing everything to the nth degree. I’m sorry, folks.
Well, I finally upped and left my city to go on this road trip. I remember driving along the Pacific Coast Highway when I was 19. It was one of the most brilliant and beautiful trips I’ve ever been on. So, I decided to do it again. It’s funny how I keep searching for familiarity, like when I passed Tacoma. I met an incredible woman there who really affected me and now, I don’t even know which exit led to her. But she lives in my mind and that’s more than enough, yes?
I don’t know.
One constant thought that I’ve had throughout the day is that you can’t find anything when you’re searching for it. I think that’s partly because our focus is so narrow. We keep searching for how we think what we’re searching for looks like without allowing it to make itself known (in whatever form it decides to take).
So, yeah, to hell with sounding like a cliché: I am trying my utmost to just be and let life unfold without trying to control every single part of it.
Here goes nothing!
My heart has been on the highway for a while now.
If I stay, I worry that I’m going to become one of those people who lives life for other people.
Sometimes I worry that if I keep searching for my story in books, my own life will remain unlived.
I’m a little in love with everyone I’ve ever met.
How could you be so oblivious? When did you change? Was there something I could have done? I keep replaying everything. No, that’s a lie. I try not to keep replaying everything. It’s a conscious effort. Otherwise, I end up like this. An endless stream of questions with no answers. And I don’t need to talk about it. I don’t need to get it off my chest once and for all. I already know your response. I already know it’s not good enough even if it’s the truth. It doesn’t fill the gaps. You know? Those persistent empty spaces in the days with the hours that feel like lifetimes.
“Women like me do not fall gracefully,
we stumble over our spines, trip over
our vowels, and collapse into your arms.
Our hearts are open books,
Russian novels containing fifty pages
on the way your voice drifts across
the telephone wires each night.
Our hearts are first drafts,
unedited verses about each and every
person we have ever loved: the stranger
on the subway, the girl who gave us a balloon,
the boy who stole our virginity
but not our heart.
Women like me will love you from a distance
of a thousand syllables while laying in your bed,
we will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible,
and when we leave you will finally understand
why storms are named after people.”
From someone named Katrina..
The other night, I was at a hockey game with a friend. Her fiancé is the coach of this triple A Bantam team and they made it into the playoffs. The game was looking pretty good for his team. They had a series of good shots on nets. Then the other team made it to their end, shot the puck, and it went in. One of those “How the hell did that go in?” type goals. Anyway, the goalie for the opposing team jumped in happiness. So, I turn to my friend and I say, “Maybe it was worth it just to see him jump like that.” And she sharply retorts, “Thanks for your support.”
This story would be meaningless, if not for a few other events/experiences. For instance, when Canada scored the third goal against Sweden, I almost cried for the other goalie. Maybe this is a hockey thing. I played for close to 12 years and I was a goalie so I know what it’s like for shots to go in and you can’t rewind the last five seconds and position yourself differently.
But this isn’t just a hockey thing. Simply stated, I cannot take sides. If people are countries, I’m Switzerland.
A few months back, my friend told me he cheated on his girlfriend. And I just wanted to understand why. I wasn’t angry or disgusted or repulsed or annoyed. I guess I just think that everyone has their reasons. Everyone wants to “win the game”, so to speak. And all of us have different reasons for doing so.
This may not sound like a real issue. I mean, yay for seeing all the facts, right? That’s what I used to think until the hockey game. The fact that I cannot take sides sort of implies that I don’t stand for anything. Unless I stand for everything? Then I think about that quote, “If you stand for nothing, you’ll fall for anything.” But that’s not necessarily true in my case either. To fall is to willingly go through with a specific course of action just because. But I don’t follow through with any course of action. I don’t ally myself with anyone. I’m just there.
I also know when this happened. I can pinpoint the exact moment in my childhood when I could have learned to take sides. But I didn’t. And here I am fourteen years later, still wondering if there’s something wrong with me.