Beyond nowhere is a place my heart. Beyond nowhere is a place of lost and found. Beyond nowhere is a here now, a place of no particularity but a place where fires spark, where freedom soars and where I fall into my own —my space in this time, my backyard as far as my mind can see.
Facing a major career defeat, one that had me questioning my life path and the corporate white walls I had somehow found myself, I decided to look across America for redirection. This life I was living had never been my dream and I’d long since forgotten how to even do so. Breaking out beyond my previous limitations to rediscover my life vision, I headed straight to nowhere. Follow my solo journey east, through the heart of middle America and back to the wild west, where the miles of highway abet personal growth and discovery. Here is part one of my story.
I headed east with only one thought in my head: The adventure that awaits begins.
I headed east on the tail wind of a massive career let-down– unexpectedly laid off, deflated passion in a world I could no longer believe in, and a complete lack of faith in knowing what my next step should or would be.
I headed east on a two lane interstate, the sun at my back, 8 days, 3500 miles and 8 states ahead. I was lost but had the unexpected opportunity to discover myself again. Redirect, I called it; redirect my life behind the wheel of a 4-door compact. Sleep in the back, drive in the front, pee off the side, make coffee from the trunk.
And it’s this simple story of redirection, this thirst for a world beyond 80 hour work weeks, the never ending updating of unimportantly important emails, the fear of being surpassed by the next career thirsty mid-to-late twenties “work hard, play hard” lackey, and belief that happiness can’t only be a dream, that became revered by my friends and acquaintances.
“How’s work?” they’d ask, thinking the same “good, really busy but company is doing great” response to follow. Instead they were met with my doe-eyed chagrin smile and a “not working so I’m traveling around the US for some time.” As I stood there, expected to be greeted with pity, I was greeted with awe. “I wish I could do something like that,” they’d said. Or commonly “take me with you.”
The look in their eyes (and by their I mean literally EVERY single one of those mid-to-late twenties slaves I spoke with over the first few weeks up to the end of the eastward journey) said more about the lives we’ve let ourself live. It spoke more to our lack of true direction, lack of truly loving our lives that we look forward to every Monday, and of our ability to endure suffering of the soul but unwillingness to see the story not yet written.
The fears, the doubts, the excuses never go away. It’s something at which our parents were great. No longer afforded time for these excuses, there was nothing important enough, nothing fearful enough to hinder my eastward discovery. Never risking letting go to find the greatness I am capable of is a greater tragedy than I can bear to accept, at minimum for myself but also to my generation as a whole.
So I headed east, without any takers on my open passenger seat, disheartened by where and how we’ve let ourselves slide into corporate disenchantment even if my journey was meant to be done alone.
I headed east with complete uncertainty of who I had let myself become, complete abandon of what to do next, and endless questions of what it is I’m supposed to do, of how my past might shape my future.
I headed east and was met with one response: What if what I’m supposed to do isn’t clear to me because it’s not yet been created…?