ANDY'S TRAVELS: An Introduction
It's 9:21am and I'm scarfing down knock-off Chef Boyardee ravioli out the can in a San Antonio Lackland Air Force Base parking lot, 1,275.7 miles away from home. I've often read that growth is centralized deep within the moments of struggle, so naturally, I'm embracing this deeply disheartening scene, all without trying to get processed meat sauce on my jeans. It's an interesting change of pace.
Three weeks ago, I worked in an office. I had my own desk and it was comfortable. The kind of office job that involved seeing life through the bars and rows of spreadsheets, calendars, disgustingly regenerative inboxes and making recaps of recaps. The kind of office job that rendered life into a soothing white noise with it's predictability and routine. Too promising of a position to give up on, yet the promise too far removed to remain excited about -- the modern myth of Sisyphus for the young professional workforce, where opportunity exists more like a mirage than an oasis.
Two weeks ago, I gave up on that mirage. Actually, gave up seems like a pretty cynical phrase, maybe more so I got the fuck up outta there. That works. And not just the fuck up outta there, but the plan became to get fuck up outta everything; my social circle, my family, my city, my state and anything I even closely attributed with comfort.
Now, I wish I could pinpoint exactly what the sparked decision; the choice to abandon a coveted position that I had seemingly spent the last half decade working my ass off for. In reality, I could attribute it to a wide variety of reasons, a select few broken down here:
1-3. I'm an entitled millennial and believe that I deserve the best pay and the most opportunities because I am special wah wah wah fuck you.
4. The North Koreans are going to fuck us sooner than later, so fuck it, WHY NOT.
5. After years of stagnant stability and succumbing to the ills of complacency, comfort had become the devil.
Now, depending who you ask, some of those may be true or they may very well all be, who the fuck knows. The only thing I can say with certainty is that it was more so a matter of understanding my worth and the value of my time, not just financially but in terms of quality. Being 24, I can safely say I don't know shit about life, but I do know that I don't want to be 35 and still not have made an attempt to learn. With the threat of a nuclear holocaust being live-tweeted every early morning by a human candy corn, you can't help but feel the sacredness and scarcity of the present.
And so, I left work, and a week after, I left my bubble, all to begin my little journey/trek/idiot decision of driving as far east and south as I could (minus Florida, of course). Something about being surrounded by people of my own country who are nothing like me sounded intriguing, and something about finding out whether that stereotype was even true, even more so. Lord knows dignification of the south and middle America isn't exactly a coastal past time.
And at the same time, maybe in the process of searching through the unknown, I could do the same internally -- perhaps through finding solitude in loneliness or truth in hardship. In the end, I just want to learn shit, in any capacity, or in this case, a crash course into life and what's out there and what's in me. We'll see how that goes.
So today, I write this on my third day on the road, having already stayed day one in Phoenix, Arizona and lightly touched down in El Paso, Texas for day two. In between, I entered the storms of New Mexico and made friends with a gun salesmen in a meth-infested abandoned district off the I-10. I wish I had kept a better record of those seven hundred or so miles, but for the sake of transparency, I'll record down the whisky-induced rant I made once I arrived at the La Quinta Inn on day two:
"this is a very basic photo i took of cactus somewhere near lordsburg new mexico. [PHOTO BELOW] it's currently day 2 of my trip and as much as i love seeing this type of scenery, i can safely say i now know why NM is so associated with UFO abductions. this state looks like pleasantville on a warped VHS tape. i stopped at a cracker barrel and the hostess asked me if i'd ever heard the voice of the lord. that's a crazy question to ask someone who's about to scarf down a sausage link and miscarried bird fetus', otherwise known as eggs. needless to say, i exited that establishment and ended up in the middle of a thunderstorm and saw lightening hit the ground miles away from me. it was at that moment i realized why she had asked me if i had heard the voice of the lord -- driving through new mexico feels much like driving through your 7th grade orientation. barren, filled with fireworks and many things are unnecessarily wet. the fear was palpable. luckily, i'm in el paso, texas now, laying in a motel that fortunately doesn't resemble anything with the word bates in it. things are safe. love u all, gn."
552 two miles and a day later, I find myself back in the present, meat sauce in mouth and hands writing about my limited experiences like a man masturbating into a mirror. Nonetheless, I'll keep updating as I go. The next stop is Austin, Texas and I'm not sure how much introspection I'll possibly find within the tenderness of ribs and suds of brew, but I'll let you know.
Thanks and god speed,
Andy M. C.
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