After 12 hours of relentlessly exploring as many nooks of Edinburgh as humanly possible, it’s now a window. And a book. (Dune) A sunset behind a castle. And the sounds of a dozen languages spoken in what has to be one of the most international cities on the planet.
Life observations at 12:58 a.m. (GIF edition)
1. Human beings don’t need so many possessions. The only thing that keeps me from throwing out half of what I own is the nagging voice in the back of my brain that says one of two things:
- “STOP THINE SELF. You may need that one day.” When I ask that voice what I’m going to need 77 pogs and a slammer still sticky with gross candy residue for, my brain says nothing. It’s silent like it knows something I don’t. And the eerie silence always convinces me that it, in fact, does.
- “PUMP THE BRAKES. Remember that one time in 10th grade when the girl you had a huge crush on said you looked sort of cute in that shirt before she went back to living her life without you? If you throw this garment away, you will never be able to recall that memory ever again.”
Understandably, it is difficult to erase tangible pieces of our life:
But lets try to focus our energies, shall we? My goal: Whittle it all down to a few plastic totes worth of goods and a few quality, worthwhile items. So far on the list: My 1958 Hermes 3000 typewriter, my bed, my lovely oak desk and very lovely dresser. Spend your money on experiences, not possessions.
(Exception that proves the rule: Books. Never, ever feel bad about buying a book.)
2. Procrastination is somewhat vital to creativity. I’ve finally given into this one. We’re all so guilty about procrastination. We always use it as a this terribly universal excuse for not fitting the classic mold of productivity. And maybe we’re not fitting into that classic mold.
But you can’t have love without heartbreak, you can’t have a sense of danger without knowing what safety is. Somewhere isn’t anywhere until you know what nowhere really is:
(Update: This GIF refuses to work. It should show the bird walking down the up escalator. It’s always the little things.)
You need to have a touchstone. Productivity isn’t universal, and when it comes to the creative process, you need to know when you’re being lazy so that you can get your life together and be, well, not lazy.
3. Always, always have something on the horizon to pursue. I’ll be in Scotland in 18 days. After that, scheming for the next adventure will begin immediately. This is what gives life purpose and power: The desire to continually achieve something that makes you fundamentally happy.
It’s almost painfully simple. But it constantly astonishes me how many people reject simplicity because of a belief that life needs to be complicated to be worthwhile. Be like this hilarious owl. Relentlessly pursue new things for you eyeballs to absorb:
And don’t ever stop.
nothing is more helpful than rhymezone when trying to write a jingle about minnesota.
Yes. Every night, I crawl through a window to get to my bed. Because sometimes I could use a reminder that adventure is relative. That it’s scalable. That I can make it what I want it to be, whenever I want it to be. That just because I made it through this awkwardly positioned bed portal tonight doesn’t mean I’ll accomplish the same feat tomorrow.
That yes, there will be a day when I’ll genuinely require the hard hat and neon green safety vest hanging in the corner. That the tool box is for more than stubbing my toes on in the middle of the night. That one night this door, with such ridiculous proximity to my sleeping self, will be worth the cold air it lets into my apartment all winter. Preferably by helping me narrowly escape assassins sent by a devious (and yet unidentified) nemesis.
That I will, in fact, greet the day with a somersault through that opening whilst avoiding carpet burn on the back of my neck.
That’s why I crawl through a window to get to my bed.
And all this time I’ve been calling sgriobn “odd whiskey tremor.”
“Yesterday, however, in an English class I teach to niños, a 5-year-old little boy named Miguel told me, ‘Tu cabello es muy bonito,’ (Your hair is very pretty) as he reached to touch some of my long, blonde hair. I thanked him and then he looked at me and very innocently asked, ‘¿Es oro?’ (Is it gold?) OMG BEST THING A MEXICAN EVER SAID TO ME. SO thanks, Miguel, for making up for the old lady who thinks I’m enormous and my host brother who things I’m a giant and the assclown bus caller who thinks he should say anything to me at all.”
Pretty sure I’m looking down in this photo, but it’s the closest thing I have to appearing like I’m doing the proper amount of soaking in. With the Grand Canyon, that’s tough, because the sheer scale of the thing turns your brain inside-out. Think the first time you read 1984, just amplified by a billion. Or the first time you realized your parents aren’t perfect - just completely opposite and amplified by a billion.
But those examples are all human-oriented. Humans had nothing to do with this:
No Wi-Fi = Best Adventures
A lack of Internet connection has made updating impossible…but that is most definitely the key to good adventuring.
The Grand Canyon will (clearly) need it’s own explaining, as will Bryce Canyon National Park, which is where we dominated the next day. Now, it’s off to Zion National Park and further park exploration. Hiking and mile-long tunnels I hear.
Our direction after that? Who knows. “Due Mexican Food,” according to Lady One. That’ll do.
Back on Day Two, we stopped in Missoula to see…
We went to camp in New Hampshire with her, so it was like a tiny, tiny reunion of outright sweetness. And we decided it would be really irresponsible not to stop by, even if it was just to eat semi-OK fish sticks at Fudruckers. She also gave us brownies for the road, which was one of the most clutch things. Ever.
Below, a (probably paraphrased) transcript of our phone conversation as we approached Missoula:
K: “You guys are coming!?”
J: “Umm, yes!”
K: “Have you ever been here before?”
J&J: (Share looks of complete befuddlement) “No?”
K: “Oh. OK! Are you going to stay or keep going?”
J: “Well, I think we are going to try and get to Bozeman tonight.”
K: (Pause) (slight tone of disgust) “BOZEMAN?”
J&J: “Umm, yes! But don’t worry, we are definitely really excited to see you.”
K: “Aww. You guys are great.”
No Kellyn. YOU’RE great.