So, I’m alive and have survived the move out from the cities back to my parents’ place for the next month before I leave the states for a certain amount of time that isn’t really determined at this point.
Which I absolutely love. There is a sense of hope that I have the capability to keep traveling forever when I don’t put a specific date on my travels. Whenever I tell folks this, they give me a look of, “You’ll have to come back to reality at some point.” In which my thought process is, “Why can’t this be my reality? When did reality state that I have to have a 9-5 job at a desk forever when there are ways to write and travel and live life how it is meant to be spent in our short time on earth?”
I had my 10-year high school reunion this past weekend. Between packing, talking to blasts from the past, and unpacking, I have had a course of memories and copious amounts of contemplation. Almost like an exercise for what is to come for six weeks while walking along a well trodden path.
Prior to seeing a small mass of of my arts high school loves, I had the pleasure of hanging with some closer friends I’ve kept in contact with. Whenever Eddie comes into town, he makes sure to let me know so we can catch up. By the end of the afternoon, we were huddled at our friend Tyler’s place, hunched over our school year book, laughing at our ‘Most Likely To’s and how much I’d forgotten about our senior year.
For instance, we had such a large amount of our yearbook to fill up with so little students, we were given a half page to write whatever we wanted to express ourselves. Mine was filled with Beatle’s lyrics and pictures of Link and Kyou. I have a feeling my emotional/naive self was that of a thirteen year old back then.
Not that I regret it. I mean, if we’re being real, I am probably only slightly less obsessed with Kyou. My love for The Beatles and Legend of Zelda will never die.
The interesting part of going to a high school reunion is how many people feel they have done nothing worth noting their lives. As a lover of stories, I kept trying to coax out something other than, “Oh, you know, life.” People seem to think they have to summarize their experiences of the last ten years into the basic, “I am married/single with no/some kids and have a job.”
I was hoping for “Well, I once broke my arm a few years back because I’d thought it would be a good idea to put it between the doors of an elevator.” Or, “I have two dogs that can’t quite seem to grasp the concept that they can’t climb trees like squirrels.” Or, “I work in construction now, but I make sure to leave a branded mark of art between the wood, insulation, and drywall.” Stories that people always think aren’t worth mentioning, but what we remember most about them.
Perhaps some people felt ashamed for not keeping up with their art as much as they felt she should have? I could be projecting. I gave up theatre ages ago, swapping it for writing. And even then, I don’t have much to show for it as many other avid writers do. And maybe that is where that feeling comes in. There isn’t an award, one isn’t making a ton of money, we don’t exactly have a famous status (that isn’t completely true–a few of us have made some marks on the world a bit wider than others, which makes me smile), thus, we don’t feel we are worth saying those quick, few updates. That age old question of “If I don’t do it for a living, am I still an artist?”
Yes, of course you fucking are. We all are. If anyone tells you otherwise, send them my way. I’d be glad to set them straight.
I think I wouldn’t have been so probing had more people stated, “I am happy.” That tended to come a bit later in the conversation. So many wonderful, talented, generous, courageous, full of life, resourceful, and caring people.
I was glad Eddie convinced me to take time from packing for my trip to see them all. It was also great to know I wasn’t a complete asshole or anything.
Packing became a whirlwind after that. Boxes filled with clothes, video games, henna, harmonicas, yarn, tea (good gods, I have enough green tea to seep Mille Lacs lake!), and even a menorah. I was shocked that I had over five pairs of shoes, and I couldn’t believe I owned three different types of hairspray.
It was the unpacking that got me thinking.
Since I have an undetermined end date for traveling and writing, I’ve had to make some hard decisions on what I’m going to be selling, and whether it would be worth me opening when I got back. Needless to say, I have a case filled with cards and pictures for memories, a couple of larger boxes for my gaming needs, and about fifteen boxes for my books. Things I thought I’d never be willing to part with, like my signature Jeep Wrangler, are for sale.
Apparently, achieving your dream is worth giving up more than you anticipated when you know it is time to jump.
I realized this when going through some of my memories from when I was an RA. My Hall Director at the time had put together a yearbook-type thing, where each RA in the hall got a page to write what they enjoyed and what their favorite moments of the year were. Amongst my love for Ninja Warrior, Badly Drawn Boy, and video games, I’d written in the future plans, “Continuing to edit videos, write, get my masters…and definitely travel.”
It’s amazing that even after college, I still love editing (I made joke videos at work all the time), write with a passion enough to quit my job to give it a go, and was determined enough to say I would definitely travel.
Starting tomorrow, I have thirty days until I officially step on a plane to land somewhere else. It’s been a rather fun week to see that I’d been basically leading up to this point. This reality.
The only sucky part is the E3 has been happening. I have not only barely had time to keep up with everything being announced, but I also probably won’t be able to enjoy them when they all come out as I usually do. A lot of forlorn sighing with my console gaming has occurred.