This Saturday will mark the beginning of my 38th year on your planet. That’s right, I have made 37 full rotations around the sun (the light that birthed me).
Let’s take inventory because we’ve got time for these kinds of things, and I’ve got a near endless supply of words, and we’re alive and this is America and what other reasons do we need for the things we do?
I think, according to the manual, I’m supposed to be a responsible guy living in the suburbs, sporting business Dockers at the 9-5, Monday-Friday, and then getting busy in a pair of Levi’s on the weekend while I walk around the house pretending to care about a new couch or investing way too much psychic energy on a basketball game. But I have failed you, gentle reader.
I. Have. Failed.
Because here I am, permanently living on a stretch of highway, endlessly twitchy, not afraid to play mud rugby or wear sunglasses meant for six year olds (but looking like something Superstar Billy Graham would have worn back in the day), not a pair of Dockers in the closet, fully aware that we are only limited by the shackles we snap on our own wrists, fascinated enough to keep peeking around the corner to see what I haven’t seen before and entirely grateful for all of the people who hang out, who walk alongside, who point the way, who tell stories from the comfort of old rocking chairs.
In the last year I’ve made progress in the struggle against it all (because I will not go quietly).
* Reduced my weight from 208 pounds to 180 pounds (went all the way down to 170 in the summer) by going back to nature and tapping into my molecular based predisposition to go hiking and climbing. You can only ignore the programming of your DNA so long, and you do so at your own peril.
* Scratched another state off the list of states I haven’t visited (Hawaii), and now only have two more to go (South Carolina and Alaska) with plans to visit both in 2013.
I sometimes daydream about what other directions my life might have gone if I’d climbed in the back of a semi-truck driven by this dude I used to work with who received mail under two different names and would only smile when you asked him about it or actually gotten into the college I applied to (comical, now, in the thought) and become somebody else. What truths would I know now that I don’t? What things would I have never learned?
I don’t even know. How could you? And would you really want to?
All I know is that it’s easier to do good than well. So that’s what I try to embody, and no matter how hard it gets, I recognize that it’s a blessing, and so are all of you, and I look forward to the day when I see you again and we laugh about stupid things and meet strangers in out of the way places who become part of the extended family.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve been sitting at this desk too long and I’m getting a little restless and tired of the sound of my own voice.