If you take a look at the image headlining this latest piece on my blog, what do you see? A branded product from a popular video game series, a pretentious black and white photograph, a mysterious book with who knows what inside, or the detailed chronicling’s of an uncommon life?
The answer is of course, all of them. But to me, the last one has the most profound impact so far.
Since 2013 and upon returning from an odyssey abroad in the nation of Kenya, I’ve written daily journal entries about my life. First in a knockoff production purchased at a rundown shop in Kenya, and now currently penned in a Nintendo branded folio rooted in The Legend of Zelda.
Like my life, the writing and the books depicting it has grown more complex and cleaner with time. Over these last four years, I’ve changed a lot, learned much and lost a number of things.
Good friends, employment opportunities, paramours, all sifted through the sands of time and in one way or another ever vanishing like ice receding in the spring. Some go away, others come in, they flit off due to differences or my own boorish behavior and the cycle continues on and on.
Do I like it? Some days, I do. Who wants an existence rooted in the same things and people for 40 years? To be trapped in some job with no advancement, doing the same thing each day and never evolving from the rut, why, its almost incestuous. The suburb version of royal depravity.
But, then again, at times, it can be hard. Looking at my writing over time, I can see I’m a man of two worlds. One side of me wants to be ever wandering, shifting from place to place, year after year like a proverbial “Rolling Stone” and never knowing the trappings of conformed routine.
But on the other hand, I might be tired.
To never be in the same place, to never forge a lasting bond with anyone beyond family out in the American West, its exhausting. As the years go by, I tell myself heading out on the road with only the clothes on my back, the dog at my side and the supplies in my car is thrilling, but more and more it drains. Am I to be forever split between both comforts?
Is there even a solid middle?
I don’t know.
But, as time goes on, I will learn and, as I always have, write my thoughts to look back on. A wise woman said she never knew what she thought until she read what she said and that mindset is so true. A journal is more than a dusty old tome, it’s a window into painful but constructive loss, fond memories, personal growth and difficult debates. Though sometimes seen by many as an effeminate act, I am a better man for my writing and having the records to look back on.