Aug 7, 2007

Leaving Nashville

Day 2 - Back home and other things…

I was happy to see the "Nashville 160 miles" sign in Kentucky. I had been driving for 20+ hours over 1800 miles from Big Timber, Montana, so I don't know if it was because I knew I would be able to drop onto my bed or I was happy to be back to my home.

It was a great trip, still I have miles to go. I will have to temporarily acclimate to being stationary. I woke up this morning at 5 and went out for a drive. There's a new gas station at a nearby intersection which tells of the growing and profitable community.

Nothing else has changed much, my apartment hadnt been raided or been burned down in a fire. Everything was as I left it except for the couple of spiders settled in the bathroom sink, and the mildew growth in the toilet. (I had done a great job leaving the place very clean and orderly though. NICE!)

Im agitated a bit, being back in the city, albeit it a small community, that Ive already come across what I call "Big trucks and assholes" mentality. The community I live in is a bit country, so everyone drives their big trucks with loud exhausts and fancy oversized SUVs speeding by aggressively, getting no where in particular quickly looking haughtily at this stranger in town with his sensible compact car.

Somehow I feel out of place, a little estranged, like I was a stranger in my hometown. Even though, I know I could call on my friends nearby to occupy my time, they have their own lives, jobs, circle of friends, and family.

As I went to the gas station, oil change, and grocery, I could have been from another planet, or another town, I was just a nameless face, just as the people working at those places were to me.

When I was on the road, there was a reason to be alone, to be a stranger, cause when you are a traveler, you aren't home, you are away from those that care about you. It was acceptable to be alone. At home, it feels like abnormality. I dont feel like calling on my friends of yet, I've been home for a couple of days.

It doesnt feel like home anymore, not that it ever did. Not to be melodramatic, or melancholic, ever since my parents moved away to Alabama, and I moved out 9 years ago, I seem to have been wandering in the vicinity of my childhood trying to find a place to call home.

Home is such an arbitrary idea. Home isnt where your belongings reside, home isnt where you spend most of your time, home as they say is where the heart is. Seemingly a trite truism, I suppose the meaning is to say home is where you feel safe, where you meet with your loved ones, where ones you love come to see you as they journey about in life.

I've long held a belief that a person who can stand alone is the strongest. It's quite an enigmatic belief to pursue, considering that it is in our nature to commune. Maybe it is the self indulgent martyrdom I inflict on myself because of my melancholic artistic nature, but

I have no home.

I think maybe it is why I am moving to Utah.

The last few days of the trip, I had much time to think. I had a feeling before I left on my trip 30 days ago that I would have to face myself and all my neuroses. At the beginning of the trip, I was too busy seeing new places, making new friends, and worrying about where I was to sleep to think. In the last days, after I began heading back east from the most northwest point in Washington, it came time to face all the things I knew that I had bottled up, and it was good.

I was driving through Washington, Idaho, and Montana. Most of it, besides the occasionally stretch of curving mountains, was flat fields of gold with mountains at the edges far away in the distance. Sometimes I didn’t see anyone for 30-60 miles.

I started to think why I had such a low self esteem (secretly?) and seemingly had not shed the shyness that I used to exhibit in my childhood. I also have a hard time with committing to something longer than 2 years, and I also had to figure out why I would move away from middle Tennessee even though I had called it home for over 24-5 years now.

I could point fingers, and instances that affected my long term attitude and inability for close relationships or attachments, but in the end, after all the woe is me, I found that those instances were just small occurrences and in the overall picture, the ones that hurt me, didn’t really mean to, and that most really thought well of me and loved me.

(I would like to apologize to my younger brother Joey. I did things to you, said things to you, when we were young, out of my own angst and feelings of worthlessness. I hope you have repressed them so deeply you never remember… hehe. You are a good soul, you will a great man. Peaceyo!)

I found that I was a good soul. I met a couple travelers in different places who told me verbatim even in our brief encounters. It feels good to realize that I am a decent person, that I am not a loser, that I am worthwhile.

Not to cause alarm, but ever since I was 14 years old and in the early twenties, I used to fanaticize about suicide abnormally often. Im being somewhat humorous, but in truth, inflicting the inconvenience of having to have someone come and pack my stuff up, and the possibility of ruining someone's holiday, birthday, wedding, etc always kept me from going beyond just fanaticizing. It is an extinct occurrence nowadays. It's somewhat of a schizophrenic view at times. I can see an alternate self, a darkness slowly creeping like a sinister blob trying to seep its way into my heart, and I wipe it away quickly when it occurs. I think there’s a possibility that some sort of depression or abnormal thinking in a dark sense runs in the family from decades ago. Nowadays the darkness manifests itself in a lesser form, in insecurity, in fear, and doubt. Though the ill thoughts may have been wrought out of too much introspection or just thinking too much, being able to think deeply has also helped to realize that those thoughts are not real, or as real as I would like to make them.

I suppose those feelings of insecurity have helped to spur my talents. In light of feeling worthless, I strived to become worthwhile.

The last few years since college, I’ve lived behind a computer screen and pencil and paper trying to become a master of my craft. I feel like I wasted a few years of my teenage years and early twenties being a pothead, a drunk, and an all around loser. Now I look back at the last 5 years, and feel I’ve wasted a little bit of my time letting life pass me by because Ive been sprinting to catch up to my perception of where I should have been if I had not wasted those years.

Although its not a total waste. I can now write my own ticket to most any job I deem to be moderately worthwhile (What job really is worth it? To have your life sucked away at some bullshit job working for someone else?), even more, I now have talents that I could use to earn me freedom from the normal 9-5 through earning my own keep freelancing. Freedom to travel, freedom to live…

So I am moving to Utah. To pursue that life, but to live as well. I’ve fanticized about living as an artist, creating whatever art I feel and earning a living from it.

Utah gives me that. Near free living expenses and time…

I will be working as a ranch sitter after the busy season, and it will buy me tremendous amounts of time to just to art. Even during the busy season, I will have the opportunity to do Henna art, and tshirt sales for the multitude of hopefully cute international girls that will be zipping through the ranch during the month of September.

Utah gives me something else. A home… at least temporarily.

Easton and his boo Kathy have a child Jemma. When I was there during my trip, they were so kind, and with Jemma, the cutest EVER 2.5 year old daughter, I felt like a surrogate uncle. Cornelia, a tough, but kind german traveler woman who helped with the horses and chores, was also pretty awesome. She has to go back to Germany at the end of August so I am hoping to drive her to Las Vegas to the airport.

So my move is definite. By the end of August, I will be packing up my things and moving to the Parie River Guest Ranch, Utah.

I’ve lived in the middle Tennessee area for about 25 years now. It’s amazing how the opportunity to move out so far away suddenly appeared.

I don’t move away with a sense of bitterness, except towards the big trucks and assholes, and I am not saying that I wont be back. In fact, I love the middle Tennessee area, and could see a moderately successful life here long term. I could live here permanently and see for myself a decent art job, great art friends, possibly some local fame from t-shirts and art at the art shows, and the possibility of eventually meeting someone to make a home with… but I fancy something a little less predictable, maybe something with greater potential…

Emerson had a quote,

I pack my trunk, embrace my friends, embark on the sea, and at last wake up in Naples, and there beside me is the Stern Fact, the Sad Self, unrelenting, identical, that I fled from.

Yet, I wont be trying to escape or leave any part of me. Instead, I will be taking all of me, I wont be reinventing, rather immersing myself in being who I am wholly without restraint or fears.

Cheerio friends!

Vega4 - Life is Beautiful

Life is beautiful, but it's complicated, we barely make it.
We dont need to understand, there are miracles, miracles.
Stand where you are, we let all these moments pass us by.

1 comment:

Eric said...

James Yo...

You deep M#tha F#cka. I'm glad we are friends, my friend...

That's some introspective stuff you wrote! I like the big words in the middle, too. I'm sad to see you going, but glad that someone I know has the balls to just DO something. I feel like we are alot more alike after reading this posting...

Anywho- Good luck on your travels, both physically and mentally... You'll do well!


Yer Pal~ eric