Monday, July 16, 2012

The Wandering of Serendipity

School of Seven Bells - Half Asleep by Vagrant Records

I'm not a truly religious person.  I think of it like car insurance.  If I never get in an accident can I have my money back.  If I go to church every week and there is no heaven, can I have my Sunday's back.  It's a very off way to look at it, but it's how I view things.  I often tell people that I go to church, but that's all I offer them.  My views on everything else are my own.  Plain and simple.  The one thing that I do find amazing is how serendipity falls into my life.

First and foremost, serendipity is my favorite word.  If something random happens and then another random similar event happens, I'll say "How serendipitous."  People look at me funny, but I'm used to that anyway.

What amazes me about serendipity is how random things fall into place at just the right moment when I feel it is either needed or not.  Some would say that that is the work of a higher being, but I scoff at that notion.  In a world full of third world problems, I don't think that God is finding a way to help me hear that song from that TV show that suddenly reminded me of some girl I knew in college.  I think God is worried about how the weather on this planet is continuously getting worse and worse.

At different moments, the randomness of things have found their way into my life.  I'm not going to lie.  I grew up in a very psychologically abusive household.  My step-father destroyed any notion of self-confidence I had before I was 15.  It effected me majorly in the reasons for why my life just floats slowly along.  I've learned to accept responsibility for what is mine, but I know where the roots lie and the evil that resides there.  I spent my time on a couch, but in retrospect wish I had used it better.  Got into root issues and such as opposed to what was "whoa is me" at that moment in my life.  But I did learn a lot about warning sings.  Wish I got into learning the things that would make living easier and life more lush.

This past weekend, though, serendipity found its way to my laptop and got my mind running.  I got home from a long shift at work in which I felt physically and mentally drained.  My personal down time these days is the walk home each night and the time I spend on my computer before I get ready for bed.  I normally check my facebook account and also read my cousins blog.  It's a nice treat to come home and read her Friday rants and it helps me relax just a bit with a laugh.  The link is right over there --->
It's the one with vodka in the title.  That's how we know we're related.  This Friday, one on my friends, or acquaintances is better, had posted a link of a story about a writer in Tampa who is walking to work each day.  He is following the Thoreau writings on "Walking."  Here is a link: The Thoreau Experiment .  He is walking everywhere he goes.  He tweets, photos, and encourages others to participate with him.

The same night I read my cousin's blog.  Amy was reflecting on the notion of waiting.  In it she wrote some things that made my crazy mind race.  It was one of those moments when you're like, "Holy shit.  These two things go together.  They might not see it, but there is a connection."  Whenever I feel that way, usually I feel embarrassed because I'm the only one who I feel gets it.  Of all the things she wrote, this is what struck me:
"A friend of mine, another member of the unemployed masses, wrote me about his plan to travel around Spain for a few months this spring, aimless wandering in between the last job and the next job, whatever that might be. I wonder if it's as much fun as it seems like it'd be or if it's one of those things that begins to wear on a person.

Is aimless wandering ever really aimless? Aren't you looking for something along the way? A story to tell. A person you can fall in love with for a day or two. A sign with an arrow on the road to somewhere. An arrow that points clearly toward the thing that will answer the screaming question that lives not in your head but in your twisted gut. What next? What next? What next?

The trick is to appreciate the journey, right? Insert inspirational quote here about wherever you go there you are, happiness is a journey not a destination, don't let the elevator break you down. Sing a snippet of What a Wonderful World. Take a photo of a cow in a field. Drink yourself into a stupor."

This whole notion creates multiple emotions for me.  Mostly, I feel sad.  Not because everyone doesn't have the freedom to do these things, but because they don't understand that they do.  When she wrote "Is aimless wandering ever really aimless?" it made me thing about the fridge magnet that my mom gave me years ago when I felt like I wasn't sure about anything.  Its a car driving down a curving road in a 1950s style painting that says "Not all who wander are lost."  Later I found out that it's a quote from Tolkien. (That made me a little sad truthfully).  I don't believe I wander nor do I believe that I am lost.  I know that I am an exploring looking for a place to be a settler.  But I do know that I journey and in journeying comes wandering.

Wandering is not aimless.  It is the journey that defines you.  You don't define the journey.  That is what wandering is about.  In this crazy modern age of tech and responsibility and bills and debt and whatever other shit that you have that defines you, we have to learn that NONE of this defines you.  It does not restrict you nor does it enable you.

Life is not about "What next?"  My whole life, I've done things that are not the social norm.  I'm not defiant by any means, but I like to let people know that I'm my own person through and through.  I have a mustache.  It's on it's way to looking like the bare-knuckle brawler from the Heineken commercial mustache.  Two of the women I work with give me grief about it, all the time.  They always ask the same question: Why?  I hate that question.  Why this?  Why that? "You're not gonna (fill in with whatever achievement in life) if you (whatever it is they disapprove of)."  I always look at them like they don't get it, because I know that no matter what I say, they won't.  The real question in the end for me is never why, but why not?

Why not travel the globe for a while?  Why not have a handlebar mustache?  Why not walk to work everyday, even if it is about 100 degrees?  Why not enjoy my life by the rules that I live by?  Why not read ALL THE FUCKING TIME? "Why are you reading that?"  Why not?  Is there something wrong with being smarter?  Is there something wrong with enjoying the life I LIVE the way I WANT to enjoy it?  No there isn't.

Wandering is not about the fun.  It's not about having a schedule.  It's not about knowing.  That's what wandering is.  It's about walking out the door.  Making a left or a right.  And going.

Yes, I have no kids.  Yes, I am single.  Yes, I owe ZERO dollars on my student loans. (I worked two jobs for two years to pay that shit off).  Yes, I have no credit card debt.  Yes, my truck is paid for. (Thanks Dad - I got it after it was paid for, not that he bought me a car).  Maybe these are the things that other people think of as the counter argument for why I think this way, but when was the moment when you stopped thinking this way.  I understand the mentality of life telling you that you have to be all these certain things.

We never wake up when we are 12 and say, "When I'm at college in Springfield, MO, I'm going to meet a girl who looks like this.  I'll walk into the library and we'll sit next to each other.  She'll ask me to borrow a pen and then realize were in the same class.  We'll study together and hit it off.  I'll graduate, she'll graduate and then we'll move in together and get a great job."  That shit doesn't get planned out.  It just happens.  That's what the wandering of life is about.  Life happens.  Why does it matter now that you have a plan for what restricts you for living when you didn't have one when you were 12?  None of us can fully plan out what's going on.  I do understand that life happens.  Shit happens that you can't plan for.  Some of it great and some of it horrible.  I understand, but it's okay to let go of the things that we hold onto that are really holding onto us.

That's what the wandering of life is all about.  It's okay.  You should never look at someone who does their own wandering and ask them "Why?"  You should thank them for reminding you that you used to be that way.  You should not ask them about what but where?  Not how, but when?  Then ask yourself not why, but "Self, why not you?"

I think about traveling overseas for no reason other than because.  I would love to see Florence in the spring.  Walk the Alps.  Travel for the sake of going.  My life is at a point where there is no direction.  I float right now like a leaf on a river moving at its own rhythm.  Some people might say that it's aimless, but who are they to say that?  How do they know what's really going on?  You don't know what can or can't happen.  I could meet the love of my life.  I might not.  I could have a great time.  I might hate it and realize how much I love home.  I don't know.  That's the journey.  That's what life is.  You didn't know what type of kids you would have, but they turned out to be angels that only you can recognize.  You didn't know what type of boss you would have, but you still took the journey into the office and tried. 

Life is about living.  It is about the journey.  It is about the story you tell at the END.  It's not how you start it all.  Its about how you end it all.  Wandering is about the moment that the randomness of life falls into place.  When I walk, I listen to music.  I listen to the conversations that go on in my head, because outside is the only place where I feel comfortable inside.  I replace the noise and then realize that the answers aren't answered, but the dumb questions have now been removed.  Wandering lets you alleviate the dumb questions.  Wandering lets you be yourself without you knowing you are being yourself.  What you see.  What you notice.  What you hear.  What you feel.  That can only be gained in this life when you let yourself wander.  Even if just for a day in your car in a direction you've never been to for a reason you don't know why just because you want to know how to explore your home, your state, your mind, yourself.

I would love to sit and talk some more, but I'm headed out the door.  Then I'm making a left........

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