For the past week or so I have felt every emotion possible at every given moment. Scared, excited, confused, stressed, ecstatic… the whole spectrum. I was so overwhelmed, I didn’t have much time to be sad. Cue: Christmas. Surrounded by my family on Christmas Eve, it hit me things would never be the same again. I hate that about change, but I suppose that’s what makes it change.
Thank you to everyone who made an appearance (once or more) on my California farewell tour. The capacity for love, thoughtfulness, and support in my friends and family never fails to surprise me, although I really shouldn’t be surprised anymore at this point.
Watching my dad wave goodbye in my rearview mirror as I drove away was one of the most painful experiences of my life. I only made it to the next neighborhood over before I had to stop and wait out the tears to continue driving. Side note: a big “screw you” to both Colm and Bob Dylan for making me sob through “Like A Rolling Stone” immediately upon leaving my driveway. “How does it feel?” Well, Bob, like shit to be honest.
The hurt didn’t ease up until I started seeing new things. Past San Bernardino, past Barstow, past Needles… watching the sunset over the snow-capped, red rock plateaus on the horizon was breath-taking. My only stop was in Area 61 in Yucca, Arizona to fill up my tank. I drove over to “The Arizona Death Star” (Google it) to stretch my legs and eat a cheap sandwich. It’s also known as the Golf Ball House, and is a residential home shaped like a giant golf ball on a pole. If there’s one thing I can say about America thus far, it’s definitely got character.
Aside from knocking a couple albums off my to-do list (Bob Dylan- Highway 61 Revisited, Paul Simon- Graceland, Girl Talk- Feed the Animals, Courtney Barnett- Sometimes I Sit and Think and Sometimes I Just Sit, and Outkast- Aquemini), I listened to a large chunk of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. If you have read this book, you’ll know what a trip that was to listen to during a cross-country adventure. If you’re not familiar with it, imagine reading a book about self-discovery and fate disguised as coincidences/luck that ironically and “coincidentally” aligns perfectly with your own journey of exploration. Surreal. I’ve identified strongly with 90% of this book thus far, so it damn well better have a happy ending. Either way, would very much recommend.
I’m staying the night at a lovely Flagstaff Airbnb with a very handsome four-legged host named Ansel. He is a small Australian shepherd who loves cuddling and I am only mildly allergic to him.
It was been one day and this road trip has already been such a wonderful adventure. I cannot wait for every epiphany and obstacle to come.
“And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.” -Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist