Destination TBD

My biggest fear about coming home – about the end of the trip – was that I'd lose the part of myself I found on the road. The term 'open mind' isn't quite right, there are too many other connotations for it to accurately define what I mean...

I was thinking about it the other day, now that I'm home 4 months, how there's this 'thing' I found on the road, this way of thinking about life, both day to day and the 'big picture' of it... I found this 'thing' on the road and now I can hardly remember what it actually felt like. My only hope is that I cannot remember it distinctly becuase it's become a part of me. But I fear that's not the case; that I've been reintegrated into what most consider 'real life' and I've forgotten the other way of living, which is (mostly) just an alternate way of thinking.

It's a way of thinking that opens doors – nothing is impossible, everything is within reach if you want it to be; there's no such thing as a good or bad decision; there's nothing wrong with feeling lost; there's no way to make mistakes; there's nothing to hold you back... It's the power of two little words and a simple cliche, "Why not?"

Here at home, there are too many responses to the question (it's supposed to be rhetorical). Why is that? I've felt, on more than one occasion, that people here just don't 'get me'. I went away and changed, and came home to people who mostly remained the same.

I sometimes hear a tinge of disappointment in their voices, when they ask me about 'my career' – they want to know what I'm doing with it (when all I want to do is think about the next trip)... Somehow, it seems, they feel like I'm not living up to my potential... and in an ironic way, perhaps they are right – my full potential is found when on the road. But it doesn't really matter – I'm pursuing a career, and I'm doing it differently; I know now that my time is the most precious thing in life and I want to spend it doing things I enjoy.

I often find myself wistfully thinking about places, moments, people from the journey... I find comfort that no matter where I am, or what time of day, I can close my eyes and remember...

© 2004, Cheryn Flanagan