Taking - no - MAKING time to have a road trip with Zoo Broker was one of the best decisions I have made this year, and let me tell you folks, it's been a year for decisions. I so very enjoyed myself that it is hard to clearly explain. Perhaps all of the posts we made for you (well, for us really) will, in total, represent an experience that mirrors my path in life. Deliberately unplanned, but pursued with enthusiastic vigor.
Full entry after the jump.
If you take a peek at my opening musings, you'll find that I put forth some goals for the trip. Let's see how I did:
- Uncertain destinations (YES)
- Lots of photo-ops (YES)
- Some ridiculously inebrious evenings (YES)
- Perhaps double mileage versus previous trips (3,200 miles)
- Meaningful, probing conversation (YES, IN PLENITUDES)
- Insights (YES, WILL EXPAND ON THIS)
- Glee (YES)
- New people with interesting stories weaving into ours (YES, SEE BLOG)
- Potentially embarrassing moments (YES, SOME NOT SHARED WITH THE PUBLIC)
- Incredible discoveries only found via an open mind and no agenda (YES, SEE HERE & HERE)
- Deep, satisfying exhaustion (YES, TOOK A NAP YESTERDAY)
Do you achieve all your goals? I am not mystified at all that I did. I chose my priorities and focused on them. Everything else fell into place alongside this journey because I have learned (and practice) that you have to focus on the things you can control, and let everything else take care of itself.
Here is the wonderful part... Now I get to set NEW goals. Yes, exciting! I do already have some big plans involving some art, and am ready to jump on that immediately, as well as getting back to a healthy diet (big wink).
As for Zoo Broker, he has been the finest friend I could ask for. Exciting, sharing, generous, thoughtful, encouraging, brazen, inspiring and made me laugh until I cried more than a few times.
Let me share some insights that found me while on this epic journey.
People are generally the same, no matter where you go. To be specific, there are so many indiviual people with different goals and dreams (or dreads), that an generality by region is impossible. Each person you meet is full of potential. Some are more exceptional, and I think this is because they also have a keen interest in life.
America is diverse and wonderful. From the seediest piss-smelling alleys to the majestic and barren desert mountain ranges, it is a composition of amazing things. I love it all. Juxtaposition is the key. I recently went to an Edward Tufte seminar and he states that presenting data without comparison is a meager meal. In this case, seeing the smallest of towns (population 16) to the big metropolises, the plains to the Rockies, the desert to the forest gave me a grand scale for comparison. It's within these differences that lie the opportunity for gratitude, and I am very grateful to have learned more about my country.
I knew this already, but it has been reinforced during this trip: If you do not make time to do the things you love, you may never do them. Just change your priorities.
Being selfish is not a bad thing. After all, who is more important in this world than yourself? I had an interesting conversation with a mostly drunk architect last night and brought up my favorite question (for architects), "Have you read THE FOUNDTAINHEAD?" LOLz, it realy gets some of them going. I see that book as having lots of people acting on the beliefs surrounding "being selfish". Exercising your personal right to choose happiness for yourself before choosing it for other people is what I choose. In general, America sees selfish as a very negative word. I do not. I will always choose my happiness first. This does, however, go hand in hand with the belief that I treat the world as I want to be treated. That is harmony.
Doing unplanned things is one of the best ways to learn something you do not know. It sounds so obvious, but you won't know what Imean until you do it. Why re-learn things you know? Life is toooooo short.
Take the time to tell other people that you like your life. It helps the world become a better place when people know that happiness is out there...
As Zoo Broker repeatedly says, "the opportunity never taken is something that will never happen. It's always better to do it, than not do it." You only get one chance (that we know of) here and now. Do something you like with it.