Construction ahead

Blogger note: I’m sorry I’ve taken so long to put this together. At first glance I’m sure it will seem short and you’ll wonder why it took me so long to write. I’m not exactly sure why it’s been so hard. Maybe it was the fact that I don’t want to let go of the trip. Maybe it just needed time to settle in. The fact is that this is my last California post. The blog will still be here. The posts will still be here. I will still be here. All you have to do is keep coming back. The blog will begin being updated in a few days. Look for changes throughout the week.

When my dad found out Elliott and I had been driving for about 29 hours straight he wanted to come meet me halfway between Lexington and Middlesboro to make sure I didn’t fall asleep after what would be a 33 hour drive from Ventura to Middlesboro. I had protested this at the time but now am pretty sure it was the best thing for me. After reuniting with my family at a small gas station in Livingston, Ky my good luck necklace broke. Maybe this sounds silly to some of you, but I am kind of superstitious. That necklace was made of Kukui nuts and came from my parents’ first trip to Hawaii. The beads are a symbol for good luck, but are also used to represent growth in a person. I guess maybe I’m coming into a new time in my life and didn’t need that luck anymore.

The trip I took this summer contorted me. It changed my life in how I see almost everything. I know it’s going to be that way for a long time, until something bigger happens. It’s hard to think that anything bigger could happen. The lessons I’ve learned will stick and will be there to keep me from making certain mistakes and help me be a better traveler. The biggest contributing factor for all of this is that we did this on our own. This is probably the first time we were able to take on a trip of this proportion and be the leaders, the planners. We all had equal say, and had to make decisions. With decisions came reactions, and after reactions you had realizations. 70 percent of the realizations were, “Well we should have done it the other way.” But I see that as fortunate. If we had just gotten it right the first time we wouldn’t have appreciated our experiences.

I hope I haven’t come off as being the American twenty-something that is full of inflatable wisdom, or more generally called a “know-it-all”. If I’ve come to decide anything it’s back to the Ben Folds’ lyrics. I don’t have it all figured out, but I have gained some mileage. Taoist use “ten thousand” as generic for infinite. The Tao philosophy has a symbol, which represents “the way”. The way can most simply be thought of the path to being a virtuous person. I feel that the 10,000 miles we drove this summer have given me an infinite amount of ways to improve myself. I hope I can harness that feeling and make this trip worth something more than a few pretty pictures. But it sure has been nice to get a few along the way.

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