I’ve always hated writing about my personal feelings, which is ironic considering a memoir is composed of a significant amount of small events and an even smaller number of significant ones.
For the past two years since I came home, I’ve fought the urge to hit the road again. Part of that comes from the realization that it’s not feasible, that my money would not last me long enough; the other part comes from the realization that it’s escapism, nothing more and nothing less. It’ll give me nothing more than a break from reality and who on earth hasn’t ever felt that before?
You’ll find that this piece of writing carries with it a sense of bitterness. The millenial generation is familiar with that feeling. We’re the last of a generation that was raised to believe that college was a guarantee for stable income, that the world was ripe with opportunities, and that the path of progress would be measured not by chance but from ambition itself.
With writing comes a sense of nostalgia. There is this impulse to chase after absent memories and revisit the places and experiences that were accumulated. Every slight change in their authenticity is a sacrilege to their significance. The slightest alteration feels like a betrayal, a conjuration, and a lie. There’s also the question of what its purpose is actually for.
The truth of the matter is that it’s been rapidly slipping away for the past couple of years. I can hardly remember the names and faces of the people I’ve encountered. In their place it’s been replaced by responsibility, the return of mundane needs, and the need to accept reality for what it is and what it’s not.
I feel like I’m going insane.
I’m standing on the edge of an abyss between moving forward or leaving it all behind. Yeah, some of you have suggested I return to this later once things have settled. The other half of you have encouraged me to keep pursuing this course as much and as best as I am able. One of you suggested that it’s nothing more than a waste of everyone’s time – you, specifically, can go fuck yourself.
The first step towards solving a problem is realizing that there is one. I’m stuck at a point where the words can’t come out and frankly speaking it’s been that way since two goddamn years ago. You’d think I’d figure out a solution as to how I’d overcome that issue but really it’s not that easy. Nothing in life that’s ever worth the effort is easy. Otherwise I’d have wound up in New York in less than a day.
I realize that I’ve alienated myself from everyone based on my experiences. That is a selfish and fucking cruel thing for me to do to the people who care about me. For all my insecurities, all my self-doubts, I have no right to keep that from the people who have cared most about me. I need to stop retreating and denying my problems and beating myself up along with everyone else who has reached out in the past. That’s how you burn bridges with people; denial, contempt, and the same way it’s caused people to leave the scene it’ll make a person feel very old and very weak.
How can a person readjust to the nine-to-five after having once felt a constant never ending drive towards a single destination? How can a person replace the sudden generosity of a stranger in the company of familiar friends? How can a person be privy to some of the most personal, most private of experiences without the slightest indication or warning?
I can’t even answer those questions without sounding pompous and vain. Those answers must come individually in time and similarly in a way that suits the person asking the most. It may not be what you want to hear and that must sometimes be enough.
I guess part of me is afraid of losing people, whether in terms of broken relationships or from circumstance; the detachment I feel sometimes comes from reducing the pain, the hurt, of losing anyone. I try not to think about the exiled youths I met on the road, the older leather men and women, and even the people I’ve played with abroad. I know I won’t see some of them again in this lifetime.
Part of the problem is my lack of attachment with everyone. Back on the road I had to learn very quickly to distance myself from the people I’d encountered. A traveler cannot afford additional baggage when already overloaded, which is ironic because a flag bearer is meant to shoulder burdens aside from their own. Likewise growing up I’ve always been a loner, keeping myself away from contact, partially due to being an introvert and partially from a lack of common ground.
I realize that a person can never listen enough, that their empathy and compassion can never be limited, and that similarly they must learn to relate not from their own perspective but from another person. Not to sound arrogant but I know this all too well – the road taught me that lesson. What I don’t understand is why I feel tired when it comes to dealing with people, writing about people, or even caring about people sometimes. I feel like an alien. Without the non-consensual anal probing, of course.
Part of my reason for keeping my distance is because I sometimes feel like I can’t relate to anyone. Most of my own personal issues I’ve always taken harshly to myself. I’m always hard on myself these days and even the slightest, most trivial problems I beat myself up over. It’s also unfair for me to say that – I don’t want to come across as holier-than-thou. Everyone has different experiences and journeys. Mine is no less significant than anyone else. A flag bearer, according to tradition, requires utmost humility to their fellows after all.
I keep saying from time to time that I’m haunted by my memories, most of which are long gone and destined never to return. I haven’t slept, eaten properly for the past two years, and I’ve never felt the same since I came home. It’s like one person said, “A wandering spirit never actually stops wandering”.
I guess that’s the reason why I’m always thinking about the road. It was a dramatically different time back then and a lot can happen in the course of two years if not seven months. There’s so much I want to say, so many experiences that I wish to tell so that people can relate to them. How it all came to be, what transpired, and what a person could potentially make out of them – that’s why I wish to carry with me into publication. I don’t want to be seen as unique. I want to relate to everyone but I just can’t seem to do that.
There are also a whole variety of factors that account for my state of mind these days. Mostly mundane trivial things such as finding work, “fixing” my life, and getting back on track. Arguably the most difficult issue I’m having is comparison. I’ve been stupidly jogging my mind back to the past and the road, comparing every little detail to those instances, and that itself is waste of time. I really should be opening my mind and my heart to new experiences before nostalgia blinds me to present moment.
Comparing past moments with the present ones is only a waste of living. I need to stop doing that shit. Plain and simple.
Don’t get me wrong. I have learned to take happiness in small bits and pieces, and to appreciate the time I’ve had with friends, with play, and with the course of everything. There is satisfaction to a degree but never truly enough. Part of that comes from being a restless spirit, the other part from being a total utter hedonist.
I know it sounds like I’m suffering a depression.
But I’m just feeling lonely these days. Lonely and detached.
What a terrible and familiar feeling that is.