So far, I have been on the road a little over one week. In 9 days I’ve driven 2599 miles and spent $290.69 on 115.42 gallons of gas…it’s been worth every cent.
I didn’t have any expectations for this journey, but I did have a variety of reasons for setting out on it:
- I wanted to escape the brutal chill of January in Chicago.
wantedneeded to untangle some of the thoughts in my head.
- I wanted to shake the dust off my physical being.
- And financially, I could.
The road has taken me from Springfield IL to Nashville TN, Atlanta GA, Destin FL, Mobile AL, Lake Charles TX, Amarillo TX, and finally to Longmont via Denver. I have visited with family, friends, and even dropped in on a ChooseFI meetup in Atlanta! If you aren’t following along on Instagram (hint hint), here are a few pics from the road…
It’s only been a week and yet it feels like a lifetime.
So what am I doing with my time??
When I am not taking pictures, listening to music and podcasts, or talking on the phone, I drive and sit quietly, replaying moments of my life all the way back to my childhood. Often I laugh out loud, a few times I’ve cried, and an unfortunate amount of times my thoughts have led me to memories where I cringe of embarrassment…like that day in 7th grade when my crush Andy sat behind me in the bleachers. I was acutely aware of his presence which immediately brought flames to my cheeks. When he suddenly traced the back of my shirt with his finger, I thought he may be feeling the same way. Instead, he announced to everyone that I wasn’t wearing a bra. I was horrified!! 20 years later and I still remember that feeling of my flaming cheeks nearly combusting…and I have forever worn a bra since (though there has never actually been a need).
There are other memories that remind me that I have always been who I am now. For example, my older sister and I are 2.5 years apart. Naturally, she got to experience all of life’s milestones before I did and I was soooo jealous of that. Ever since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was be older (FYI – now that I am older, all I want is to press pause…especially on my grey hair). I remember my Aunt giving my sister the Dr. Seuss book Oh, the Places You’ll Go!*. It may have been her high school graduation or perhaps college, but whatever it was, I remember screaming inside that the book was being placed in the wrong hands. I was the explorer! I wanted to go places!! Why didn’t I get that book?!!! Obviously wanting to be older did nothing for my maturity level at the time. 😉
Thinking of that day made me desperate to read the book all over again (for the bazillionth time). What I thought it was when my sister first unwrapped it is so different from how I’ve read it in the many years since. The book isn’t about travel at all, it is about life and steering around and sometimes over all of the inevitable bumps in the road. I realize how I’ve held on to many of those lessons and, being one to always choose the most difficult route, have even found a way to soothe myself with its wisdom. Taking a chance and possibly failing is far better than not taking one at all. Oh, The Places You’ll Go inspires you to take action despite fear. To go out and conquer even if you have no idea what the end result will be. It may be that very idea that set me off on this journey.
In the event you are reading this and at some kind of crossroads, here are a few quotes from dear Dr. Seuss that still resonate with me today, perhaps they will resonate with you as well:
“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You’re on your own. And you know what you know. And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go…”
“Out there things can happen, and frequently do,
To people as brainy and footsy as you.
And when things start to happen, don’t worry, don’t stew.
Just go right along, you’ll start happening too!”
“You’ll get mixed up, of course, as you already know. You’ll get mixed up with many strange birds as you go. So be sure when you step. Step with care and great tact and remember that Life’s a Great Balancing Act. Just never forget to be dexterous and deft. And never mix up your right foot with your left.”
So simple yet so complicated… I can relate. 😉
If you have read it, think of this as a nice refresher. If you haven’t, I implore you to do so. So many great nuggets!! Oh, and if you have kids, make sure to give this book to each of them as they venture out into the world. Whether they realize it at the time, it’s sure to come in handy way down the line (see, I can rhyme too!).
Until next time…
*In case you’re wondering, this is indeed an affiliate link. It won’t hurt my feelings if you don’t use it, promise. I’m putting it there in case my friend at ESI Money reads this and wonders why I’m still not monetizing!! 😉