From the Road #2

I’m fighting to keep my eyes open.  Now that we are in a room with beds I’ve realized that the day was, in actuality, much longer than it seemed.  Tommy has opened the mini-fridge in an attempt to assist the AC unit … I think he is dumb.  This room is much cleaner than the one from last night.  I’m not afraid to walk around barefoot!

The temperature has been changing with interesting patterns for the last two days.  When it gets to be around dinnertime, we’ll put the windows down in the truck and it feels great outside.  A little bit cool, and certainly tolerable for camping; today it even seemed like it would be perfect camping weather.  But by the time we finished dinner it had gotten hot and muggy again.

Thus, the Days Inn.

I just finished reading a letter that my parents wrote me before I left home.  It was written from the perspective of my father, which was unexpected.  In the letter my father expressed that he and my mother were very proud of me and that they always had my best interest at heart, even though they weren’t perfect and had undoubtedly made some mistakes in raising my sisters and I, as all parents do.

In some ways I don’t know what to do with a letter like this.  It is certainly good to hear as I feel more pressure (most likely applied by me) to please my parents and not disappoint them than I do from just about anything else.  It has been the motivating factor for school (mom & dad, if ya’ll are reading this, just imagine how I would have done without that motivation!), sports, conversation topics, and just about anything that will involve them.  At the same time, I wonder why I feel that pressure.

I believe that they are proud of me, but that just doesn’t feel like enough yet.  I just don’t know what would be.

But enough rambling about things that have nothing to do with this trip …

The camera battery died literally just before we got a picture with the “Welcome to New Mexico” sign.  We were standing on the side of US 40 getting the auto shoot set up and it just died.  Until this particular moment we had been able to get a picture at every welcome sign along the journey.  So now we’ll have to get NM on the way out; it shouldn’t be an issue because we’ll have so much time to spare tomorrow.

We had time to spare today … and Albuquerque is probably a pretty cool town … but I could sleep for 20 hours if it wouldn’t set us back (which it would … significantly).

During the drive today, during our windows down time I had my right foot out the window (Tommy was driving … I’m not that good; think about it!).  Every once in a while I would feel a little bug slam into the bottom of my foot at 75 MPH.  It was kind of funny.  Once, though, it felt almost as if a hummingbird had hit my foot and splattered.  I pulled my foot back into the car to inspect it, and sure enough had the blood and guts of some large bug on the sole of my foot.

My immediate comment was “you were a significant bug.”  Not real sure why I chose to talk to the squished bug, but Tommy thought that was worth putting in the journal tonight.

Tomorrow is the Grand Canyon.  I’ve never seen in before other than flying over, which doesn’t really count.  And while I am excited for that and the other things we’ll see, I am getting antsy to arrive and start learning my new life… my new job, new people, new places … new purpose.

I really want to have a significant purpose.  Kind of like that bug; but I don’t want to be killed by a high-speed foot!  I don’t want to fall into my job just being a job … it has so much more potential than that.  But until I’m there I have no idea how that potential can best be realized.

I probably need to just enjoy the journey. It seems like that is often the point and I consistently miss it.  I want destinations; I want answers; I want to finish things so that I can finally be content.  But when I really think about it, that mentality doesn’t value life at all.  It only values reward, and that seems selfish, but stupidly so, because the journey is the reward, or at least a significant part of it.  The Alchemist helped me to see this more clearly as well.

So, tomorrow the goal is to not think about California or my awaiting job.  I will enjoy the drive, enjoy the company, and enjoy the beautiful, ongoing creation of this world.  God help me!

~ by Will Norman on March 1, 2008.

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