A week ago I just got in the car, gassed up, and left town. I had no idea where I was going. I had no plans. I had no one telling me to stay or question my motives. But what I did have was this overwhelming and driving need for something unplanned.
So, I packed a weekend bag, finger foods, a case of water, phone charger, and a few camping supplies (just in case I decided to “rough it”). You see, I may have been on the verge of a momentary mid-life crisis, but hey – I’m not lacking in cognitive fore planning even if this was a spontaneous, fly by the seat of your pants escape.
And there you have it. Me, my thoughts, and my beetle hit the road heading north. At first, I considered making the trek to the beach. Sand in my toes. Salt breeze kisses on my skin. Sun on my…”WAIT! What the hell are you thinking?! SUN? Absolutely NOT!” My recently 2nd degree blistered and burned legs screamed at me making me reconsider that weekend option and thus the idea to head north…to parts unknown.
I spent the early noonish hours traversing ‘cross the Georgian countryside. Look at a Georgia map and you’ll get the feeling that moonshine had a lot to do with off the beaten trail routes ’cause not a single road leads straight any place. Needless to say, the drive was peaceful, serene, and as I took in the landscape and scenery, my thoughts bounced from this, that, and the other. I still had no idea where I was headed. I just knew that I wasn’t really in a city mood and since my legs strongly opposed the sunny beach idea, I figured I’d just continue driving until I ended up some place interesting. Interesting, hu? The irony is finally setting my sights on Bristol, TN for a surprise visit to my sister (less than 2 hours away) only to find that she was literally moving back to Florida that same night. Haha! No joking. True story. You see – that little asshole, Murphy and I have been at odds for years and whenever he feels neglected, this is the shit he pulls. Well, Murphy – I’ve got news for you. Sister or no, I’m not turning around. And I didn’t. And Murphy got left in my beetle dust.
My final destination? I ended up in The Great Smokey Mountains. The drive was insane but the sights were beyond beautiful. I needed this drive. I needed to feel free and to sort things out in my head. I needed to recognize that there’s still so much out there that I haven’t explored and not just physical explorations but also personal ones. And more importantly, I needed the time to refresh and renew my personal drive. To step out from the mask of complacency and really take an introspective look at my life and where I want to be. I came to the understanding that we all make mistakes but life is ultimately what we make of it. It’s ok to go off road and take in the sights along the way but eventually, even if it’s the long way, find a way to stay driven towards your goals.
Moral: Sometimes when life has you feeling boxed in…claustrophobic…you need an unplanned, great escape in order to put it all back into perspective.