Monday, February 24, 2014

Handstands

There are times when I sincerely do not know what to do next. I have been following my gut instinct for the past week and it had been thrilling and rewarding. I feel the tug to do something and I act upon it, simply because I have no other options. Now, I sit and try to listen and I am not getting any responses.

Last night, I slept on the floor of a new friend's dormitory. I slept soundly. I woke up the next morning for a prospective job working in a food truck. I had an interview, and the manager said that they wanted to try me out for a day as a cashier in their truck and see what to do from there. 

I had mixed feelings about this. I now have $278 dollars in my bank account, thanks to Etsy (and all of you XOXO). $250 of it is strictly "Back Up Plan" money, money that I have reserved for the sole purpose of high tailing it back to California to write the book. 

I arrived at the food truck lot thirty minutes early and checked in with myself. I sat motionless for thirty minutes straight, trying to figure out what I was trying to accomplish in Austin. My gut told me to walk away, and I did. I botched my opportunity to have paid work in Austin. 

What thinking in Austin, Texas look like. 

I am planning the journey home. A career in Austin, working out of food trucks is not what I was looking for. I was looking for a place to figure things out. A lot of the people I have met on my trip asked me what I was up to in Austin, Texas. The most sincere answer I could give them was "I'm fuckin' around." 

One of my friends sent me a message through Etsy that said: "Please succeed. I need to know that it is possible to just drop everything and end up fine." 

You quite possibly will die. I have heard stories about people getting decapitated on Greyhound buses. I have friends who have been mugged. Every day I see homeless people and it scares the shit out of me because I know there is a great possibility that things will NOT end up great and I am not in control of anything that happens to me.

But if I am going to be completely honest, I would rather take that risk than not at all. I would rather do crazy shit on the daily just to see what happens then to sit at home browsing Facebook. I blame testosterone and too many movies as a child. But to fail is a part of trying, etc. etc. I would rather go to Austin, Texas and realize that I needed to go home than to never go to Austin, Texas and always daydream about what it would have been like if I tried.

THINGS I HAVE LEARNED:

  • I need to go back to school. I have a new-found appreciation and understanding of why I was going to college. We hear it all the time "College is a tool that needs to be used correctly, blah blah blah" and I know for a fact that I was using it incorrectly. To return to school with focus I think is going to save me a lot of money and time. 
  • Be kind to everyone, be patient in your search of true friendship. Part of my mission was to try and be more social and to meet more people. I thought that there was something wrong with me, that I was just too awkward and weird to connect with anyone, so I thought "If I go to a new city, I will be forced to learn how to be friendly and I will make tons of friends." True, and not true. I met a ton of people, but I realized that not everyone has the capability of being my friend. I thought there was a recipe to connecting with people. There isn't really. Some people will understand you, some won't, and it takes time to find these people. I once asked my dad if there was a magical formula to social interaction. He shook his head. "It's always going to be weird. Social interaction, by nature, is one of the weirdest things ever." 
  • Wandering is humiliating. Everyone please read this article. http://www.theonion.com/articles/im-just-a-free-spirit-who-is-entirely-financially,33905/. This is how I feel on a daily basis. I am by no means "independent". I am at the mercy of the kindness of others. There are only so many times you can say "thank you" and to save my pride I have made sure that I have stayed in a different place every night so I don't put up the appearance of freeloading (even if this is EXACTLY what I am doing). Realizing how much it sucks to be pathetic and penniless it a huge motivating factor to return home, to continue my education, and to be a fuckin' lion instead of a leech. 
  • Being Twenty One Is Awesome. I am young enough to pass unnoticed through college campuses, buses, and dormitories. Almost everyone is willing to help you. The man in the golden scarf was right: it would be impossible to pull off half the shit I did this week if I was thirty five. I cannot stress this enough: THERE ARE SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOUNG PEOPLE. IF YOU ARE SO INCLINED, TRAVEL BEFORE YOU ARE OLD. The Pro and Cons list of being young and traveling is lopsided and unnecessary. Do it now. Disclaimer: Even though you are young, you still may die. Happy trails! 
That's it. I don't mean to be preachy, but a lot of this is new to me. I set out to learn things and I think this covers it. A lot of these are no-brainers, things that are like "of course you should know this, we've heard it a thousand times" but I learn by doing, and I plan to be that way for the rest of my life.

Sigh. I get excited and get lost in my thoughts, so I am going to leave you with this.

Last night I was in a car driving through the desert from Houston back to Austin. Apparently it is tradition to stop at a gas-station halfway through these towns, so we stopped at a Shell station to use the bathroom and to buy snacks. It was about 10:00pm and outside in the dimly lit parking lot, one of my friends did a handstand and walked on his hands. 

This is the most beautiful thing. To do midnight handstands between towns. 

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