“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? — it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-by. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
– Jack Kerouac, On the Road, Part 2, Ch. 8
Three fourths through the book, I knew I had no ending. Sure there was a neat back story to it and meaning along the way, but to what end? Things were changing fast. I sought conversations with family and friends in search of an answer to my questions. I got used to answering machines and writing one way letters. I learned that I was doing it all wrong. Difficult decision points are on the horizon. A friend told me that I need to stop looking to others for help making decisions. “Do not hesitate,” he said. “If you go asking ten different people for their thoughts on your course of actions, you are bound to get ten different, likely conflicting suggestions from those who do not care about what they say.” It is true. Look to any conversation lately and you are bound to remember several made of straw. Still, the point is, you are the only one who knows what you want and need. Others may think they do and tell you what you should do. Those closest can sometimes be the most dangerous as they seek what is best for you, however will use their experience to sway your directions. You can only learn so much from stories told by others. You have to go out there and find the answer yourself by gaining your own experiences. This is not to say, “to hell with them.” However, it is to say, “I am going. See you when I see you.”
So while I pack my suitcase and prepare for the journey through America in search of my own answers, I think back on all that has happened since the previous venture. A dreary winter and sullen training program in Erie, PA. Sneaky job prospects. Spring shows up every once in a while, but does not last long. New friends did come into the picture and that is always good. I gained unhealthy habits and am not prepared for the mountains, but in a way that is how it should be. All I know is that I am ready for the road and whatever comes with it. Looking through America, hoping for some wisdom and joy, I will find out for sure who I am and what I want. It is what I believe is good and true. Some people find their meaning through the television or books or athletics, and that is fine, probably less of a financial burden. Gas aint gonna be cheap. But a decision has been made to go, so without hesitating, I will head west to the Grand Canyon at sundown. After a couple weeks, I take to the sky. It will end on a beach, where the answer will cement itself with margaritas in the sun.