Over the last couple days, I’ve been rapt with the idea of taking a trip. You might be thinking, “big deal. who isn’t always think about that?” And I’d mostly agree with you. But for me, there is a difference between casually thinking that it would be nice – and what I’ve come to know as me setting the groundwork for an actual outing. The where, what and when are abstract but the want is fully formed.
Lately I’ve had gauzy dream-like ideas about slowing things down and not crunching so many highway miles to get somewhere. My trip to Oklahoma in October 2016, while wonderful, was tiring. Committing yourself to travel a long way in a short amount of time is sometimes necessary. After all, it might be the only way you’ll get to see something. But as of late, I don’t have a specific thing I’m striving for. I’m striving to not strive.
The more I think about it the more I realize that I’m hungry for something unknown. During my most recent trips while I did wander, I still went armed with a list of things that were around the areas that I might be traveling through. Does making such lists take away some of the surprise? Does it make it more like I’m working towards a goal versus letting things unfold naturally? I’m a little on the fence. There is so much that is unknown between the punctuation points of start and finish.
It’s hard for me to imagine completely abandoning my “ideas” scribbles or the stars that decorate my Google maps. Maybe that isn’t really what I want to do at all. But instead, I just need to mentally chill out and not be such a ridiculous taskmaster. At the end of April when I was in West Virginia, it was so nice to just lazily float around. I saw some things I’d wanted to without any pressure, and the rest of the time my day just unfolded naturally. I saw so many unexpectedly interesting things. That was nice. I want more of that.
Part of my problem is that I get crazy about missing something. Who knows if I’ll ever be through that way again!? Those thoughts drive me to press on. I suppose I can’t miss something I’ve never seen, can I? And I’ve functioned my whole life without it already. What’s the sense in obsessing?
I have no doubt I will eat that last paragraph of words. I just hope it isn’t too soon.