Four weeks ago, on a whim and with a little encouragement from my sainted mother and a dear friend @callert5, I bought a one-way Greyhound bus ticket from Detroit to Flagstaff set to leave the following day.
Feeling stagnant in life and lost in my own mind, I needed to break away. Too wild a person to be kept in a cage, I headed west in search of the answers to the questions that kept me up at night and jaded my reality during the day. I needed a better understanding of life, and my place (if any) within it.
Hopeful I would reach some epiphanic sense of self. I felt confident my impromptu, open-ended adventure would yield the clarity and peace I so desperately needed.
One month later, I am returning home. I have spent 42 hours on a Greyhound bus through the heart of America, seeing a reality of our great country that is typically shown by a light of great stigma and scrutiny, but little empathy. I backpacked the Grand Canyon with the men whom to me mirror giants (@lane_payne and @richard_money), and found myself lost in vast loneliness of Joshua Tree. I felt the awe that only the majesties of Sequoia National Park can instill, and have been humbled by the presence of the vast greatness of Yosemite. I’ve created many new friends, sadly lost some old ones, and reconnected with those whom will forever be family more-so than friends.
In the last four weeks I have felt overwhelming waves of gratitude, happiness, and contentment, equally matched by powerful blows of disillusion, sadness, and helplessness. I am thankful to have experienced all of these emotions in the magnitude that I have, and beyond grateful that this disconnection has allowed me the reconnection to my own humanity.
@ilovesparty reminded me once to be kind to myself, which is a difficult feat for me, as it is for many of us. But once we realize our worthiness of kindness and love, despite the shame, the guilt, and the grief we feel, we allow ourselves to truly love each other.
I’m not suggesting I’ve achieved this enlightenment, nor implying I ever will, but feel it is something to strive for — for ourselves, but moreover for each other and our humanity.