12/26/16 - 12/27/16
Days 1 & 2 of my trip
As yesterday was rolling along the Interstate, I thought I had everything in order for my first post of the actual trip. However, this journey has led me along at a much faster pace and in a different direction than I expected. This trip was not just to explore the limits of what I can handle in the life of sustainability and minimalism, but I was also to get back to experiencing life and to learn some lessons for myself.
This past summer was filled with adventure and experiences of life telling me that I am not the only one that is this crazy (adventurous, active, passionate, activist. All at once, to the max, and all the time). This surprise at the end of accepted resignation towards a solitary nomadic life was like throwing jet fuel on a fire. I went into this new life experience with reckless abandon and full expectation of being hurt. Little did I know, I would experience loss in a way I did not think was possible at the time.
Going through this and moving towards a simplified life brought me to my first conclusion and goal. "If you are going to fight, fight for love. If you are going to reject anything, reject injustice. Anything other than that you have the strength to adapt to." I quickly came to a conundrum, at what point do you stop fighting for love and adapt?
Everyone around me did their best to be supportive. My house saw its fair share of ice cream tubs and everyone shared the fairly obligatory, "there is something better for you out there." I came to an issue with this statement also. There cannot ALWAYS be a better out there. Love is not the American economy, it can't always be bigger, better, and more grand. So then, when do you stop fighting for love and adapt if you just missed the best thing (not saying this was for me, this journey is a pondering process of what ifs in life).
While many have given the movie Collateral Beauty rough reviews, it did make some great points in it. First is, "we don't get to choose who we love or who loves us back." 25 hrs driving in a car pondering the answer to the question of when to start adapting, and a movie gave it to me an hour in... At no point should anyone stop fighting for love, nor should they run from it. That love is something that helps you adapt to everything else in life. It gives hope and courage. It motivates and rejuvenates. It is within love that passion (not just romantic) is found. So yes, love interests may change, but that underlying emotion is perfect to remain there adapting as you need it and when you need it.
It cannot be forgotten though(movie point #2), to notice the beauty that comes out of the pain. In the simplest form, my winter break plans flipped from being a "tour guide" in Washington, D.C. for the umpteenth time in 4 years to finally taking my random and wandering road trip to where I have never been before. The feeling of getting back out on open road that I had never seen was incredibly refreshing and fulfilling to the soul. Which is something I very much needed after the last few months. The 2nd incredible thing that came about was with my family. For years now I have had the intentions of having some difficult conversations with my family about my time growing up. To my surprise, in the last few days, those conversations came about without my prompting or prodding.
The final thing that I have been very gracious of and for is the hospitality that my family and extended family has shown towards me on this unexpected journey. My aunt and her boyfriend took me out to lunch less than 12 hrs after finding out I was heading through their town in Texas. While at lunch with them, I was invited by my cousins to join them on my way through Arizona. They took me hiking, to the movies, and fed me wonderful homemade food (considering I was not planning on taking food on this trip and getting most of it from dumpster diving, I would say I am doing really good so far).
We all have our journeys to go on and sometimes they seem too much to handle. What we do with those journeys though can be a very beautiful and fulfilling experience. I am very grateful and happy that my roommate