As I set out on this trip I hoped for clarity and adventure -- then got smacked over the head with a lot of both. This trip could probably be made into a Lifetime movie already. A good reminder to be careful what you wish for!
In a nutshell, the first day we got caught in a tornado and stranded on a closed highway in the middle of nowhere New Mexico for the night. Then arrived in Arizona just in time for my sister to go into early labor and rushed to the ER, which happened to be the same hospital I took my mother to twelve years ago for cancer treatment where she learned of her impending fate. And, just to top it off, a close friend is buried directly across the street. Wow! Talk about a flood of emotions. After a minor breakdown and a long waiting period of feeling scared and helpless, I am happy to say that my sister and nephew are healthy and life is good.
Several weeks on the road so far has given me a lot of time to think, and there are some things that are standing out and becoming very clear.
When I piled up most of my stuff into a storage unit I honestly had the thought of tossing a match behind me as I walked away, and just being done with it all. Not because I'm a pyro, there is just absolutely nothing in there that I need anymore.
I haven't even used a third of the stuff I packed in my bag for that matter. I have been drastically downsizing for years, and now that I am down to a duffel bag, two dogs and a car, I kind of feel like switching to a backpack instead.
After having so much stuff and being trapped by self imposed shackles for a very long time, this is the first time in my life I have ever been truly free. There has always been something controlling my life whether it be family, military, school, marriage, job or stuff. And, now, there is just me. It's liberating and a bit intimidating at the same time.
It's been interesting reflecting on a time when I was obsessively driven to have MORE. More money, more things, more credentials, more titles, more friends... At one time in my early/mid-20's I had two houses, three vehicles, a few bikes, two sets of golf clubs, a couple computers, six handguns, a home gym, a kayak... and a $6000 couch. What?!
I inherited some money from my mom's death and leveraged it to get home loans, student loans, and lots of toys. I ended up with a shitload of stuff and debt.
The money was not mine, and I did not want it. So, I blew it all.
Once there was nothing else I could buy to mask my grief or fulfill my need for external validation I began simplifying. Surprisingly, the less I had the better I started to feel. Like I had lifted a weight off of my shoulders.
Now that I have almost nothing left, I never want to go back! Everything I need in life is right here with me in this car.
Freedom, adventure, and unconditional love. I couldn't ask for anymore more.