I have disappeared, again, as usual. But for good reason. In December I was dumped on my ear, one more year of chaos and hardship, I had to find a path. I needed a plan. I wanted to write about my experiences in Ireland, but overwhelmingly, my experience was feeling lost and dazed by the shock of 2012.
2012 started out with fear. I didn’t know where I was going to be, and then within a week I was elated to find out I was going to Lubbock to pursue a longtime dream: a graduate degree in philosophy. I love philosophy. I felt I was on my way again after a brutal several years.
Then I died mid-semester. I went back to school enthusiastically, but realized too late into the semester that I should not have gone back to school so soon. My condition for being there was stacked against me in this situation. I worked hard, but it wasn’t enough. By mid-semester I knew I wasn’t going to be there for the next semester. I was frustrated and angry. The only thing I had to look forward to was Ireland.
Little did I know, Ireland was exactly what I needed.
There is a peace one can find being in a place where no one knows you, where there are no expectations and nothing to accomplish but your own interests. It sounds selfish, but I am talking about being alone and in my own head, not answering to anyone. But it was also more. I was distracted by the beauty of a new place, the sense of adventure, being able to focus on pursuing discovery. And all the while trying to discover my path for the future.
I am a planner. I love being spontaneous, but I still like having an idea of where I am going, metaphorically and literally. And here I was, realizing that I was in the same place I was 25 years earlier. All my dreams shot to hell, no future in sight, no home, no opportunities, no place to be or belong. The only difference was a better sense of self and the knowledge that it isn’t the end of everything, much like it did then.
After clearing my head and sleeping for a week, I set to yet another examination of my life. I decided that in order to reconcile the loss of a major dream, dream one and dream two now eliminated, I had to see my being dropped from the philosophy department as the culling of another dream from the herd. A big, strong, bull that I was banking on had to be put down. It hurt, it was frustrating, but it was necessary. I look to my past for guidance: I had to kill this bull to keep from looking back with regret and resentment.
And a plan developed. A three point plan. I am not one to wonder what God’s plan is for me, nor do I try to figure out the greater “meaning” of every little thing that happens in my life. Doing so has been the source of frustration and burn out. I decided that what I do in this life really has no importance, other than being the best person I possibly can. But I still need to do something. And that something is this:
- start a nonprofit for public safety
- finish my books this year
- get re-certified in training and certified in private security
I decided that I am best when I create. I thrive with building a vision into something tangible. I also need more than one mission. I knew these things, but I still needed to pursue my three major dreams. All that is left now is the last dream: ride everywhere and write what I see.
Yet another crossroads on my highway of life. I pick my path, but like any travel, you have to know where you want to end up. Knowing your destination doesn’t necessarily mean there is only one way to get there, so I pick my path on what will be most interesting and fruitful. I have never liked highways, so I officially have turned off and picked the mountain roads with all the switchbacks. More dangerous, but far more gratifying.
And, as I have said before, I do it with my motorcycle mindset: The mirrors are small to see where I have been, but the way forward is an unobstructed view.