… on Leaving
Location: Seekonk, Massachusetts
People are funny, fickle creatures. After ten years of working in retail and two years of navigating the judicial underbelly as a court stenographer, I can safely say I’ve encountered an eclectic sampling of what the human race has to offer. Sometimes I’m unexpectedly pleasantly surprised, but more often than not I experience a walking depiction of the Seven Deadly Sins that would leave Dante blushing. In an effort to combat what seems like a growing trend, I’ve always tried to make a conscious effort to be a beacon of positivity in an increasingly cruel world; but it gets harder every year as I fall on hard times, lose another friendship, or get informed of the premature death of a loved one. When I finally pulled the trigger and booked this trip, I had had enough. I was burnt out from the rat race, the constant struggle to find peace of mind, and I wanted out. Traveling solo seemed like a great way to collect my thoughts and redirect my energy. In the beginning, I decided I would only tell my closest friends about my plans, and I would spring it on everyone else after I changed my name, burned my money, and got lost in the Alaskan wilderness…
Randy Pausch, in his amazing Last Lecture, said it best: “Wait long enough and people will surprise and impress. When you’re pissed off at someone and you’re angry at them, you just haven’t given them enough time. Just give them a little more time, and they almost always will impress you.” As my departure date drew closer, and my time in this country shorter, everyone I wanted to spend some time away from suddenly became everyone I didn’t have enough time to spend with. My anxieties about whether I made the right decision were quelled with an outpouring of love and support from my friends and family. Their excitement for me helped push me when my own excitement waned and doubt crept in, and I can’t thank them enough.
As I write this on the day of my departure, I still can’t wait to get away from it all for a while; but now I also can’t wait to come home again.
“Leaving home is a kind of forgiveness, and when you get among strangers, you’re amazed at how decent they seem. Nobody smirks at you or gossips about you, nobody resents your successes or relishes your defeats. You get to start over, a sort of redemption.” – Garrison Keillor, Leaving Home