Return Trip

I’m back from my trip. About a month has passed. Our stays along the way down were pleasant and scenic — we primarily stayed by beaches overnight. What’s funny, is that I’m not sure why I even took this trip. Perhaps it’s to gain some perspective. In stories, characters are often developed through journeys. So perhaps me and my companions were due for some development.

I didn’t mind life on the road too much, although lengthy bouts within a compact car is a bit uncomfortable. It’s a little dull too, with pockets of civilization connected by lonely stretches of road. For various reasons, it’s difficult for me to consider commercial air travel as a viable means of transportation, so a car it was despite the discomfort. And it got hotter as we went, although after a long winter, the heat was not unwelcome.

When I leave New England I feel like a New Englander. When someone says “tree” I think maple not palm. When someone says “house” I think of a Cape Cod style in an ample yard. When someone says it’s hot, I think of 78F, not 96F. When entering other regions, the concentration of names change (people and stores) and things become slightly different yet not enough to be exotic.

What I imagine the point of the trip to be, is a demonstration of life’s goodness — and my acceptance of this fact — a reconciliation with life. Normally, I have an underlying feeling of imminent danger. It’s always been there yet nothing ever happens. I know someone that lacks this feeling and she’s much happier for it. My conclusion is that it’s a sensation that must be ignored.

It’s a bit of a burden to constantly ignore something so prevalent — yet much better than the alternative of bathing in anxiety. Remember though, boredom is our existential enemy, so we invite into our life whatever excites us. To leave anxiety behind, we need to embrace a new form of entertainment, engaging with life in an alternate way, lightheartedly.

That’s the secret to life you know: entertaining ourselves in a wholesome/nourishing way. It’s skipping the quick and easy scare, opting instead for activities that make us feel good about ourselves. We can chase boredom away in a few different ways, our job is to find and implement the most pleasing ways that align with our preferences.

I had no end-date set when I started the trip but I left when I felt like I was done. I experienced what I wanted and sensed it was time to go. Although, I think I stayed a little too long — but that’s good since it made me enthusiastic to get back on the road. I don’t feel particularly reconciled with life but I must admit that nothing horrible happened — the overall trip was pretty pleasant.

Yes there were some discomforts along the way but I should more likely blame myself for an eagerness to pick out what’s wrong with life. For me, this trip clearly serves as evidence of life’s benevolent nature. There were no dangers untold. Beauty abounded. There was childlike delight and fond remembrances of times not long ago.