It’s 10:15 PM as I write this. I’m due to leave around 5 AM tomorrow morning. I’m tired and slightly tipsy and my room is a total mess.
God, this is going to be one hell of a shitshow…
In last year’s “Ghost on the Highway” I did a similar “night before” post, focusing on all the prep work I’d done before my trip and how I was nonetheless left feeling inadequately ready to hit the road.
Well this time I’ve done maybe 1/10 of the prep work I did last time. True, I’ll only be gone for 2 weeks but still, I feel like a goddamn mess right now. I spent 3 or 4 hours today buying supplies; food, water, a cooler, baby wipes (don’t laugh, they’re essential) and so on. I didn’t have a list, I just drifted through Target and Trader Joe’s like a man in an Ambien sleepwalk and grabbed whatever seemed like a reasonable thing to consume. The end result amounted to this:
Fans of my 2017 posts will observe that this pales in comparison to the shelf-stable smorgasbord I amassed for my previous trip, including several days’ worth of yummy homemade granola and breakfast bars.
This time around, I simply didn’t even have time for that. I’ve been so busy juggling my day job, the house sale, and my myriad family issues (some of which I’ll probably get to over the course of this journey) that this trip was constantly on the back burner. Truth be told I only very, VERY recently decided to do it at all.
Why? Why wouldn’t I do the thing I love and enjoy the most? I suppose it was fear. Fear and guilt. I feared for my siblings and feel guilty that I’m abandoning them when we’re all so vulnerable.
Earlier this evening I related these concerns to my friend D, with whom I agreed to grab a drink even though I still wasn’t even completely packed yet. D reminded me how pointless it is to think that way, how important it is to focus on self-care; otherwise you’ll never be able to give others the best version of yourself. I know she’s right, I know I have to stop worrying and let go.
I have an important life rule I occassionally tell people: Never do anything out of guilt or spite. I think it’s totally true, but sometimes it’s hard to remember to live up to.
Tomorrow I’ll be drivig 12 or 13 hours through the most boring part of the country; the central plains. But by the end of it I’ll be in Hot Springs, South Dakota, in the heart of the majestic Black Hills.
I can’t fucking wait. Let the shitshow begin!