Two Calls

Planning for the close to 2000 mile trip is tedious, but has to be done.

Yes, I realise that it’s only 1500+ miles between points, but there are several side trips I have to make. A good example is geolocating scooter shops along the way.IMG00043

Makes for some good beach time anyway.

This morning while clicking away, I received TWO phone calls at the same time. One was for a job here in Pompano Beach, the other for a job I applied for in Tampa over a month ago.

Chatting with that GM was fun. Turns out his latest hire before me was somebody I know from Tartan Textiles, and the reference came from another old business contact.

Small world. Guess my name gets around.

On the trip itself, the options are split. A couple of routes over to Sarasota, then up to Tampa, then to Jacksonville for visits. Stops in Ruther Glenn VA and DC, as well as Petersburg PA and Duncannon PA.

What good is ghosting if you don’t revisit to haunt? Yes twins Kim and Laurie…Providence is on the list too, if I can wing it.

The decision to return came swiftly. Though when I first left I had multiple months of planning, this segment of the adventure has come together in about 12 days. I found myself growing grouchier (is that even possible?) over the last year or so and finally put my finger on why.

I never really left. When a cat walks away, it never looks back. I did so, repeatedly.

A couple of possible gig lined up, but nothing definite.

I think back to the original point of leaving. If you’re miserable, you have not only permission but an OBLIGATION to shuffle your feet. You can start over anywhere.

Provided you’re willing to give up security.

That’s the problem. As a nation of individuals, we’ve grown fearsome of sacrificing our security. We NEED to know we’re going to make a little more next year than we did this one, that the car is going to start in the morning, and that a politician is.goimg to say something stupid today as well as tomorrow.

Change is bad. It’s been drilled into us daily. Change equals fear and uncertainty. Change means you will always have less than you had twenty minutes ago.

If you know you’re an asshole and fear change, you have to be comfortable with always being an asshole.

I’m moving not to change it. Being an asshole has served me well.

I’m moving to perfect the art.

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Reboot

May have lost my job. May have quit my job. Waiting to find out.

Actually, not waiting. Found a gig at a competitor across town, dropped a resume, chatted with the chief engineer. Said my name rang a bell.

That could be good OR bad.

Found a posting for a job back in Maine. Tossed a resume at it, worked the social network connection (“Hey, X…remember when you asked me to look you up when I get back to Maine? I notice your company has a posting…the one we discussed.”)

A week, maybe two more here. Obviously I have to side trip to Tampa to visit someone before I shake Florida loose. And Sarasota. And Jacksonville.

Wondering if the scooter will survive the trip North. Wondering if I will.

Somewhere along the line it became acceptable to exchange being miserable for being comfortable. Hell, that’s almost like marriage.

Once, I told a manager “It’s a big beautiful world out there, cupcake…go discover it.”

Physician, heal thyself.

Reflection

It’s been a long few years.

Based on recent stuff, I’ll be wrapping this blog up soon and shutting down.

Writing. Once a dream, recently a faded memory.

Now dead.

Dead today. Dead tomorrow.

Dead forever. “Mene, Mene…Tekeil Upharsin.”

Tetelestai

A Willie Nelson Tune Comes To Mind

Jacksonville since June 10th of 2014.

Recent upheavals have me checking out the price of backpacks to replace the beat up and functionally useless Himalayan pack. Quick examinations of clothing and purchases since moving have me making lists of what to keep and what to toss.

Looking at a car this time. I’ve seen several clunkers for sale in prices ranging $700-2100. Of course, now being tax return time every clunker-hauler in a thousand miles just added an additional $500 kicker to the price of the useless shitwad that has been on their lot since LAST year.

Questions: Maine again? Keep on truckin’? Go West? Back to the SRQ?

So Round, So Firm, And Fully Packed

In a way, the above title is appropriate. Merle Travis used the words in a song full of advertising jingles (in this case, Lucky Strike Cigarettes) to make a point.

This blog never really had a point, just the meanderings of someone who had reached a stage and state in life when it was the right time to wander. For now, I have to put the itchy feet away for a bit.

Saturday (6/7/2014) I’ll be getting on a bus/plane combo headed back to Florida, full time employment and a future. A year ago, the future looked bleak at the most optimistic view. To see how that all turned around, you have to go back and look at some of the old postings on this blog.

I learned a lot, most notably that my friends were following the blog, looking out for me, and helping me along. I don’t want to dive too deep into the spiritual mumbo jumbo, but there were unseen forces at work. Call it luck, Karma, the concern of friends, or even the compassion of a stranger. In listening to the writers of the day, you’d think all of those things were something that doesn’t happen anymore.

You’d be wrong if you thought that…painfully wrong.

What made me start perusing the industry linked-in group discussion that I hadn’t even looked at in two years at the EXACT moment somebody on the other side of Florida was posting about the difficulties of finding someone with industry experience?

What made that woman who saw me hiking (and smiling, singing to myself) on the side of the road in Virginia decide I looked hungry (I wasn’t) and thirsty (wasn’t that either) on her way to pick up groceries…bought me a sandwhich, a pepsi, and picked me up to drop me off at a truckstop about ten miles down the road in Ruther Glen, VA.

Luck. Fate. Timing…and grace.

So here I am, with my bags all fully packed again, and with the grace of friends a couple of bucks in my pocket, bus ticket bought, and airfare arranged. How in the name of (fill in the Deity here) did I manage to become at least a respectable candidate for a job in less than nine months?

My old boss in Florida said I was a humble kind of guy…didn’t know me that well. That’s what he attributed it to.

I may be successful at this gig, I may not. It may be the springboard to bigger and better opportunities down the road, or may not. What the MOST important thing to pass on from what I learned on this trip is something I talked about a bit at the beginning of the journey.

Inner voice. Listen to it. If it tells you it’s time to move on, do so like a cat does…without ever looking back. I’ve had several friends that are now going through some rough stuff over the last year (divorces, addictions and such) and in every case that little voice told them a while back what to do.

They just stopped listening, mostly because the voice was inconvenient.

Embrace inconvenience and struggle. Find something to laugh about while doing it.

And most importantly, keep picking yourself up and putting your feet down.

There And Back Again

It was a journey, a nine month piling up pf experiences that I’d never had before, or will again. I arrived back in the Pine Tree State after a grueling two-day drive.

While heading Northbound, I forgot about a simple thing: Pollen. By the time I hit South Carolina, the difference in variety (mixed with a lack of sleep) caused my left eye to crust over, and the right one to be blurry at best.

Now, picture doing that same drive in stages, with the culminating event of going through New York City somewhere around midnight, and hitting that vast hill that is the entrance to the George Washington Bridge. Traffic is doing roughly 75 in front of you in a condensed space at night, and you can’t see worth a shit.

I think that bit took about three years off my life,

Now, I find myself in the odd position of having a job waiting for me in Jacksonville in a couple of weeks, and a few other opportunities popping like teenage nipples at an unexpected an inappropriate moment.

Last night the Portland  PD woke me up in my car. I was cool, and so were they. When you’re not an asshole screaming obscenities, talk calmly and in measured tones, they tend to be that way.

I dropped “A” off in Jacksonville. She had been waiting for me a month, and the plan was for her to return with me and get some help with a bad situation. About two hours into the four hour drive from Bradenton to Jacksonville, she told me she wouldn’t be coming along on the rest of the trip,

I see a slow skidding decent into a horrible situation…and can’t do a damned thing to stop it.

This is not the end of the journey. I used the title at the top of this post for a reason that Tolkien fans will appreciate. The journey never begins or ends with that first step outside your door. There are hundreds of little stories that dribble and drab out over time.

I stopped at the “Flying J” truckstop in Ruther Glen, VA on the way back. Headed down, I was stuck there for a few days. One of the employees there remembered seeing me, and now knows that in one case, the story ended well.

Not all stories do, but this one did. There are minor twists and bends along the way, but I can only think of one way to start the long chain of posts.

“Let me tell you a story…”

Stay Tuned.