It’s 1:33pm on a Wednesday, and I am riding in a Safari van after an overnight stay at Amboseli National Park (next to Tanzania).
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted a blog entry. It’s crazy to me since so much has happened over the past several months. As I glean over countless blog entry beginnings with no conclusion, I’m amused at how much these incomplete blog posts parallel my incomplete thoughts and my “still in progress” way of Life.
11:53pm on a Tuesday at a Publishing Office on the 36th Floor facing the Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur.
6:08pm on a Friday evening flying from Seattle to San Francisco for a casino gig.
10:12am on a Monday morning at my layover in Amsterdam to Nairobi..
and another morning in Thailand, or an evening in San Diego.. sometimes, I’m out working on an education program; others, I’m in a West Coast town for Music.. but mainly, they all begin on a flight somewhere and never get finished.
I frequently stream of thought type on flights, which I’m sure looks totally crazy, because I just turn my brightness all the way down and just type and type and type to the blank screen.. As I’ve been reading back over these notes, most are just incoherent rambling and mental garbage, but there has been a consistent theme throughout that parallels with this recent Life of Flights and Travel.
If you’ve ever flown on a plane, there are a number of memorable sensations that happen throughout the process of flight. I’ve watched countless terrified faces as the plane bounces during a sketchy landing, experiences bumpy turbulence, or when the walls begin to shake for the first time. I am constantly reminded by these reactions, how much I’ve gotten used to these as a Frequent Flyer. Regardless, there is one particular moment during takeoff that always captures my attention and has continued to show up in stream of thought writing sessions..
When the plane has reached enough speed on the ground to begin flying, right as the aircraft becomes airborne, all of the weight shifts and it feels like someone has just turned up the gravity. This heavy feeling presses me back into my seat, and I am conscious of the fact that my ride is taking off. However, despite leaving the ground, my body feels like it’s being weighed down. For years, this familiar feeling of being weighted down has often distracted me from what is to come next.
In order to Fly, we must first be Grounded.
It’s been a few months shy of a year since I officially “moved out” of San Diego (or at least, stopped paying rent). At the time, I was trying to create a more permanent living situation to ground myself in. Since then, I’ve passed through nearly a dozen countries and several cities that I have temporarily called Home. It feels like my feet haven’t touched the ground. I went from setting down roots to aimlessly branching out wherever I could find sunlight.
The problem with chasing the sun is that sometimes it’s overcast. And there are plenty of days to remind you of this fact when you’re living in Seattle, WA. Moving there has reminded me how lazy I can be. Online streaming and playing guitar in your pajamas all day? #thestruggleisreal and something about dreary weather makes it so easy to have a rest day.. that turns into a rest week.. that turns into rest month.. and like the flights I so frequently find myself on, my Life feels like I’m just floating.
I’ve been putting off writing about this.. hoping that I could find the perfect quote about happiness or anecdote about travel that would so gracefully package my Life. I’m an educator. I’m a performer. I am constantly crafting lyrics of reflection and writing curriculum on self-development, yet here I am.. unable to put it together.
S c a t t e r e d.
I’ve been having a hard time sleeping. Playing lots of music by myself. Starting projects and not finishing them. Daydreaming, a lot. Feeling uncertain. Streaming TV. Going out with friends. Spending too much money. Playing guitar. Doubting myself. Facebooking. Traveling. Thinking about traveling. Running away. Running toward. Releasing new music. Planning. Constantly planning. Writing. Never posting. Missing old friends. Trying to keep up with old friends. Trying to make new friends. Trying to stay focused. Apparently, just a lot of trying. Rainier. Summer plans. Missed flight. Countries to visit. Business idea. Laundry. Write. Work on your blog. Italy or Tennessee. You need to make more money. Lyrics. Growing old. Debt debt, grow up. Practice singing. The Walking Dead. Meet people. Develop curriculum. What is Happiness? Facial hair. Ginger Ale. Hungry. Searching. Hoping. Moving. Trying to move forward. Trying to understand:
Life is a gift that doesn’t always come in perfect packages.
As I unpack and pack these thoughts back together, the inevitable weight builds on my mind and in my chest. At home, I keep a giant dry erase board to try to keep my thoughts together and my tasks on track, but this visual often feels just as overwhelming as the thoughts it brings up.
And the weight piles.
For all of us.
Sometimes it’s relationships, jobs, or money. Other times it’s a situation we’ve been put in (or put ourselves in). For me, I’m old enough and self-aware enough to know that my situation is a direct result of the choices that I have made:
- I have chosen to forego traditional work life to continue pursuing Music.
- I have chosen to not take relationships seriously in order to selfishly pursue what is important to me.
- I have chosen to systematically move away from places where I feel comfortable within a community in order to not become too complacent.
- I continue to choose travel and new experiences over developing the foundation that I could be building on by staying in one place
..and so on.
These choices (along with many others) are the driving force pushing my Life forward and pressing me back into my seat. That feeling of weight will always accompany the act of taking off. In the Past, I would have felt like all of this weight was holding me down. And I suppose, up until writing all of this out, the scattered part of me still felt that way.
Life feels much more exciting choosing to feel like I’m about to Takeoff.
Don’t be Afraid of the Weight, Friends.
It’s just the Distinct Feeling of a Plane Taking off.