--vacation trip #3: reunited & reawakened--
upper east side, nyc
i was in new jersey somewhere around hour number three of driving alone in complete silence when i figured out the meaning of life. all of my life i've regarded driving somewhere- anywhere- as one of the easiest ways to slip into an introspective mindset. some go to secret gardens, some go to the ocean, i just want to drive.
my comfort in cars started as a child. an insomniac from birth it would seem- i've always had problems sleeping. as a baby my parents would strap me in the car seat and drive around the neighborhood in order to lull me into slumberland. as a teenager, my car was my escape. i never drove too far but i did drive for long stretches of time; to calm myself, to restore my sanity, to collect my thoughts, to unleash them into nothingness. driving brought my anxious mind some much needed comfort.
the thing i love most about driving, is you remain in a constant state of moving even while being completely still. my restless soul finds little comfort in slowing down. i feel guilty taking time to completely stop life in order to examine it. while i allow my mind to become calm and relaxed, my body is moving along with my car...so while i'm never wholly still- i'm close enough to make me happy. (i blame this logic on my being an ambivalent gemini.)
in the past three weeks i've spent over 40 hours driving up and down the east coast- most of that completely alone. my latest driving adventure took me up to new york city. my best friend and her boyfriend recently sold all they own and moved from my utopia, san fransico, to their wonderland, new york city.
jill is an ethereal spirit. she is as intangible as air and yet as focused as a laser. she is one of the few people who has remained a fixture in my life regardless of distance, time, and emotional unavailability. she is also a phenomenal photographer. her cross-country move was two parts impulsively, one part calculated plan execution, and all heart. an unflickering flame glows within her and proves to be an inspiration to all who hear her story.
i found out on friday evening that i had to come into work early monday morning. that meant i had to leave that much earlier saturday morning to optimize my time in new york with jill prior to rushing back home for work. reason told me i would spend 30 hours in the city- tops; i would have to leave prior to fireworks even being considered so it really wasn't worth the 9 hours round trip. this momentary blip of logic was quickly overshadowed by jill's cries of “but it's my first weekend in the city- i used to live across the country...you have no excuses”. she was right- why the hell not...let's go!
so back to my basically solving life's biggest riddle- what is the purpose of life? i've never really stressed this question too much, as i felt confident that life is interpretive and there is probably no actual purpose to it- it simply is what you choose make it. but when i posed the question to myself this long and lonely drive, i chose to dig a little deeper for an answer.
i began to think about humankind on a broad scale. now while it is up for debate for some people, i believe in evolution and going off of that logic it is safe to say that humans have proven to be quite adaptable over the years. the main factor that ties us all together is our ability to grow, change, progress, learn...in essence evolve.
my thoughts then slipped into my own world. if throughout the course of humanity all we have done as a group is evolve, why can't the same be said for the individual? what if all we are meant to do on this earth is simply grow? it may sound like a modest goal for one to set as life's purpose, but would it be so bad if we all challenged ourselves daily to emerge at the end of it transformed...if only just a little?
the weekend went by far to fast. within the blink of an eye i was driving back home in the same symphony of silence that welcomed me in the first place. it was good to see jill again- she's the type of friend that when you see her, all of your insecurities slip away. we understand each other in a way that very few do...she makes me make sense. i was proud for pushing myself out of the world of logic and reason and did something a little impulsive...
in essence i grew as an individual, and isn't that what life is all about?