Discover more from Bury Me in New Jersey
A dream of home
I guess it was bound to happen–weeks on the road, miles upon miles of travel, temperature changes, eating out constantly. I would inevitably get worn down, or sick. Who knew it’d come at the hands of a salad, on an evening I specifically decided to eat lightly to pace myself before a week in Austin?
Sudden, violent illness is strange and humbling. And somewhat ironically, it’s the first thing that’s really made me feel homesick while on the road.
I guess it’s been fairly easy up until this point–I’ve ended up spending more time with friends than I expected. It’s been pretty incredible, actually, how amazingly hospitable and kind so many people have been–some of the friends I’ve visited with I haven’t seen in years. It’s been wonderful to get a glimpse into their new lives, and see how eager they are to share it with me. I’ve also had so many wonderful opportunities to talk about my hopes for this project, and to hear the powerful stories other people are carrying about their experiences with death and grief. It’s been inspiring and motivating, and I think it’s given me a burst of motivation for exactly what I hope to do next.
Even when I had to unexpectedly re-route my trip due to the weather–Suddenly the upcoming week I had planned was completely scrapped, and I spent a good portion of Saturday furiously researching reasonably priced last-minute flight options. Within hours, I had 3 places to stay, despite such short notice.
I’ve been riding high on all the reconnecting and love and self-confidence of navigating so many new places and plans. Until that damn salad.
Perhaps it’s because this was the first time I’ve really stopped at all during this trip, where I’ve been forced to completely pause and not be busy and distracted with catching up with old friends or seeing new places. I was actually hoping for this kind of a break being in Austin, feeling a bit behind on the writing and life sorting I was hoping to accomplish on this trip. But I envisioned that time being spent in some cozy cafe, pounding away on my laptop, not in an exhausted half-asleep, half-awake state in my friend’s guestroom. But such is life, isn’t it? You don’t get to choose where the lessons come from, or when they come.
Beyond being forced to take it slower these past couple days, I’ve also been shifting my attention to the great What’s Next for when I get home. So many things up in the air with that, but I’m trying to at least sort things enough to prioritize them and then work down the list. Currently, the focus is finding my next gig. There are some promising leads, so I’m hopeful something will shake out, although I admit that I’m not even sure what I want to be working on next. The dream is still to work more directly with companies and organizations for consulting work, but for now, I’m still pursuing contracts through 3rd parties. I have a few leads, a few interviews lined up, so hopefully something will shake out in the upcoming weeks.
I’m hopeful that I’ll get my second (third? fourth?) wind on this trip, but right now, I admit that I’m missing home, and am becoming more anxious about planning my next moves. I know these things take time, and there’s something to be said for having so many unknown possibilities in front of me, but I’m getting eager to start forging that path more.