Those few of you still reading this blog may have noticed the obvious time gaps in the recording of my journey. That is because they have not been posted while I have been on the road. I am working from memory now, from what I have written, also from memory, in a small journal I purchased for the trip.
To summarize, after Cascade Locks I traveled towards Carson and White Salmon. Then I was given a ride across the Hood River bridge to the outskirts of Hood River. After that I made my way through the hills of Odell, from now on to be referred to as OHell! Finally I ended up in Parkdale, where I spent a frigid night sleeping on the ground next to a small Baptist church.
I pushed myself to and I think well beyond my physical limits. In many ways it was just as tough mentally and emotionally as that 10 Day Vipassana retreat. But the physical was added to this burden. The days started out OK, enjoying myself at times, when not traversing an almost vertical hill in direct sun 90+ degree weather. But increasingly it ended with, “Where do I sleep tonight?”
In Parkdale I realized I was done, and I made my way back to Hood River. First of all I saw that the route I had chosen was going to travel to and around many mountains. I was sick and tired of hills and the cold. Secondly I never wanted to have to spend another freezing night sleeping on the ground. I came to understand that I would want finances enough to afford a hotel room or some nice place to stay where I could recover and shower.
The physical distance was not really important here. That was not the point. This journey was all about figuring some things out, which I did. I wanted to know what it was I was missing, what I had to become, and I figured out there must be a transition from being the person who calls and gets a ride from his parents to being the person others call to ask for a ride. I even theorized this was part of the process of transitioning from a boyhood into manhood. I called this, “Becoming That Man.” I didn’t know what it was until Parkdale, I had no label or word for it, just a sense something was missing. I understood finally I needed to stand on my own, to be independent of my parents, and they me.
I also came to understand that I would have to conform, at least initially, and get a job. But this time I would do it with a simple four-part plan:
- Get a job (this became get that job, in reference to a local job I was told about when I got back.)
- Get the training I need to be A+ certified, then get A+ certified.
- Get a job in IT, keep up to date with the field.
- Start my own business. I came up with a great idea while in Hood River.
Also I came to understand myself better, what it is I want. I was determined to enact my plan, but that determination is waning as I have come to understand that I can no longer live with my parents, and I have nowhere to go. I knew this before I left, but it is as good as a fact now. Everything seems to support it. But there is a problem…
I am reading, “The Magic of Thinking Big” by David Schwartz. I am also reading “Peaceful Warrior ” and studying ACIM (A Course In Miracles.) More realizations have come, and I see now how I have been blaming my failures on circumstances, people and things outside of me instead of taking responsibility for them. So I am no longer making excuses, completely retraining myself. It is because of this that I write the following…
No singer gets anywhere without singing, no writer without writing, no actor without acting, no carpenter without building, etc. What we practice is what we get good at. If we practice blaming, making excuses and negative thinking we will get very good at at. If we practice taking responsibility and choosing thoughts that feel better we will get very good at that.
My attitude during my trip was that I would have to do everything alone, by myself. That nobody would help me, nobody cares. That it would be hard and, at the end, that I couldn’t do it anymore, that I was done. I kept saying and thinking that, I was done. Guess what? My experience was everything I imagined and practiced it to be! Yet someone else doing the same thing could have and would have had an entirely different experience.
I recall the few episodes we got to watch of the second season of Alone. There is that one man, battling the wilderness, cussing and swearing. There is that other man, going Robinson Crusoe, even making himself a little faucet. Same island, similar resources, different experiences. I wonder who will last longer, the one enjoying himself or the one fighting with himself and nature?
I have failed. I wonder how many times a person can fail before they have to be called a failure. I am sure I am close to that number. I did not practice the guitar, or singing. Idid not practice drawing or painting. I did not practice computer graphics or programming. I have never stuck with anything of merit and saw it through. I have never mastered anything through consistent practice.
I can turn things around. I can practice whatever it is that I want to pursue. I can change my mindset. But something in me just does not want to do it. Something in me just wants to give in and give up. Something in me no longer wants to even try. I know how I need to be, I know how I need to think. But I just can’t seem to summon the strength I need to put in the effort. I can almost say that I just don’t care.
I see where I need to go but I have no idea how to get there. I see no way out of this dilemma, and I don’t really want to try and find one. I think all I really want to do is just give up. I am concerned and frustrated by my lack of finances. I am certain I need to leave again, by the end of July, and this time I can not return, because I really have nowhere to return to. I can’t just quit and come back like I did before. Because I can no longer accept living here in this motorhome with my parents.
I saw a man, either my age or a little older, on the bus the other day. He was very fat, he asked my friend for some money for food. I had the distinct impression I was looking at my future, should I continue to live with my parents, as that man said he did. I have not ignored this warning, or the warning from the TaI-Ching telling me of trouble in the 8th month (August.)
But I never want to experience another night like Parkdale, and I don’t want to be biking down the road near dark without any place to stay, unable to think about anything else. I have nowhere to go and nowhere to return. What do I do? ACIM tells me I am only seeing my past, not what is truly there. But ACIM is not helping me figure out an option. I hope I can find the courage and the means to do what I have to do to end my suffering. I know others have gone through and are going through far worse than I. Compared to others my life would be seen as blessed. Or at least better than those poor unfortunate others.
I have no excuse, and I will no longer make any. I will not assign or pass blame. I will face the truth of the matter head on. I have failed. I may be what my dad thinks of as soft. I may be spoiled. I may be lazy. Ultimately it does not matter. I am in a tailspin and as far as I am concerned I am unable to pull up. So I am not going to. I am going to let this thing crash and burn, just get it over with. I am tired of fighting and I am tired of pain. I am also damn tired of failure!
I hope things get better. But I can’t bring myself to believe they will.