Sunday, May 24, 2009

on working double shifts and the two weeks left

Two more weeks.

That's it. Two more weeks til I set out on the open road with next to no money, no job to worry about coming home to for a little while, no deadlines locking me in and new friends to keep me company. Two new friends I have met through CouchSurfing and I will set out to become better acquainted with one another, and more importantly with ourselves. We will drive. We will drive all day, with the windows down and the music up, making strangers into new friends and seeing more of this enormous continent that we sometimes overlook in our attempt to see the rest of the world.

I have been able to save enough money only for gas and a whole lot of ramen and granola bars. But that won't stop me. I need this trip. I need to do this. I have batteries for my digital camera, and a new notebook to capture my thoughts in. I have four days in Colorado to camp in the Rockies with hundreds of other travellers from around the world at Tentsurf 2009, with our guitar cases and hearts open to learn something new. After that? A week of unplanned and uncharted waters, with maybe a stop in Salt Lake City, or maybe somplace else. We don't really know. Maybe we will meet some friends in Colorado and feel like making a trip to kepe hanging out with them. The thing I love about Gerene, my partner in crime, is that she is just as open and receptive to change as I am. We are happy to be drifters, to be blown by the wind to new and beautiful places.

I have wanted my whole life to take a road trip. A real one. One that is not burdened with a detailed itenerary and landmarks I have to see. One that is for no reason other than for my own soul and my need for freedom from this corporate sludge I keep trying to break free of. We will make the mountains our landmarks and we will throw most itenerary plans out the window on our way there.

All these things I have to keep remembering as I work twelve hour days, taking any shift I can find, putting all my money in a 'deposit' envelope (to avoid myself from making any 'withdrawals' to have a night out on the town or go out to eat). I have to remember this when I feel trapped, when I feel like my life here is without purpose and mundane. I have to remember why I'm doing it all... why I am in school again, why I am working full-time, why I am not drinking much these days, why I am starting to walk places instead of drive.

It's so I can be new... free. Healthy and full of life.

It's so I can be the Dayna that I was meant to be, so that I can take road trips like I will soon and feel the wind in my hair, put my shades on, and enjoy the glare of the sun on my face. So, as I get ready for another long and tedious day of waiting tables, putting on my plastic smile and pretending to enjoy getting paid next to nothing, I will remember why. My plastic smile will turn into one that is genuine, and I will look forward to the open road.

Just two more weeks...

Friday, May 8, 2009

on california, and my flimsy piece of paper

It's been two years since I left Azusa.

I spent some time today, in between homework and cups of coffee, thinking back on those days, and these days, and all the days in between. It's not that I'm unhappy now, or that I would wish to go back, because people change like the seasons and so does everything else, myself included. But I miss the sunshine and I miss my sister. I miss the palm trees and the way every day of class felt like the last one before summer break. I miss Ian's playlists and running to Donut Man in the middle of the night. I miss Long Beach and I miss Pizzamania with Brian. I miss a lot of things.

As a general rule, when I make decisions of any magnitude, I have to do it quickly. I have to put on my coat, say my goodbyes, and close the door behind me without looking back. It usually takes me quite some time before I sit and count my losses, or gains as the case may be. Tonight is one of the few nights since packing up my car and leaving behind my California world that I wonder if I made the right choice. I wonder if I chose the wrong life, or if I am just being useless in this sleepy town that I feel I can't make a difference in. I was in Azusa for a year. Everyone else was there throughout their entire college career. I was a blip on the radar, a passerby, someone to be thought of on ocassion when old pictures flash across the computer screen.

Then again, I am always a passerby, aren't I?

I wish I could decide. I wish I could decide whether or not I want to be sedentary for awhile so I can get a flimsy piece of paper to prove my worth, or whether I want to just chase what's important. Not a career path, not another trail of corporate waste and greed, but Life. Fresh Air. Love and Relationships. An open road before me and my belongings in a faded backpack, a heart ready to live nowhere and everywhere at the same time. Life is fragile anyway, right? Who's to say I will live past my twenty-somethings anyway? What if this is all I've got?

I am so ready to just lay behind everything this corporate-driven nation thinks is valuable or fashionable. I am so ready to meet the World, to sink my feet into it, to swim in it and to hear as many life stories and meet as many people as I can.

I'm just... ready. I'm ready for more.