The world that broke my heart

Over the past several years I’ve been haunted by an internal struggle.  Answering the difficult questions of who I am, what I want and what it will take to get it has become an arduous mountain to climb.  Rather than sit and wait for life to give you what you deserve (it won’t), you must stand up and take it.  Uncompromisingly.  Constantly.  Brutally.  This breaks my heart.

Sculpture Urbana

And so I have become my own idol.  Envious of no man, indebted to none.  I live the life I’ve dreamed of since I was young; one free of compromise.  And I fight the hollow feeling that accompanies it.  Life is never enough.  It never has been.

bridging the gap

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Central Standard

I’ve washed my body in the Pacific.  While this act alone is not uncommon or difficult to achieve, it is an accomplishment nonetheless.

Of foam and wave

Several things weigh heavy on my mind.  Some are trivial and insignificant in the context of a long (or even short) life, while others have the potential for massive implications.  I tend to keep the paltry thoughts to myself, while the most pressing matters are no secret.   I am still searching for new soil to transplant myself.  I look for more than just a temporary distraction, I search for peace.  Sadly, I wouldn’t know what to do with it if I found it.

Lines and windows

Bouquet of Dandelions

It is interesting to experience a town in the North American West (excluding the Pacific coast) that isn’t in a state of decay.  While there are several metropolises that have overcome hard economic times, Calgary, Alberta has done quite well for itself.   The city has largely avoided the seemingly inevitable decline western towns face in the midst of corporate farming and ranching, dying industry, and little to no economic capital to reinvest.

Cowboys and high rises.

Large skyscrapers are framed by sprawling suburbs with hardly any natural growth boundaries.  The city itself is proof that oil is still king.  Economically – as the headquarters to several large oil and gas firms – and structurally, although a very ambitious commuter rail expansion is currently under construction.

Prairie, water, people

Excluding a few glaring differences (rotated traffic lights, hockey fans, abundant Tim Horton’s), Alberta is similar to Colorado; mind-numbingly boring prairie meets stunning mountainous geography, largely populated by rednecks.  Throw in a few outposts of urbanism and the two look like brothers.

Lake Powerade

I carry west.

-Hans

The birth and death of an idea

Again I celebrate old(er) age by inhabiting a strange city.  It isn’t a conscious habit, rather, a pleasant coincidence.  Good friends, agreeable weather, and interesting surroundings is a present to myself.

American West

I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t enjoy cars or driving.  While I am perfectly adept at operating an automobile, I find the activity itself to be mundane with the strange ability to disconnect you from your surroundings.  But considering where I live geographically, it is also a necessity.

Road trips, on the other hand, are inherently different.  I won’t mention the cliche feelings of freedom and opportunity.  More importantly, they represent one of the only things I can get excited about anymore.  The feeling of uncertainty when venturing into the unfamiliar.  This reassures and concerns me at the same time.

Waking in Montana

Maybe next year I’ll be considerate enough to stay “home” on my birthday.  I make no promises to anyone except myself.

Gold Lion

Analog gps = higher travel prestige

Inspired by my lack of obligations and a conversation I had with my brother, I am leaving on Sunday.  While my destination isn’t incredibly exotic, it requires a passport to reach (which eliminates a remarkable 70% of Americans).  Recently I’ve acquired a piece of advice that took years to fully comprehend.  If an opportunity presents itself, your automatic response should be: “yes, I’ll do it”.  Put yourself in interesting situations and you might just become an interesting person.  Learn to do things for the story.  Make a list of time zones you’ve never been, people you’ve never talked to, and sights you’ve only seen in pictures.  Then place one foot in front of the other, form words, open your eyes.

You will become a better person.  I promise.

The most important ticket you will ever need.

True North

You’ve met me at a strange time in my life.

How pretentious am I to assume that these words are written for anyone except myself?  No, this is personal.  It is written for one person, and it isn’t you.  Yet if you choose to read it, I can only hope it will assist you in some way.  Perhaps it will provide support in finding your own direction.

endless roads

Lets leave names and faces out of this.

The title refers to my constant state of restlessness I’ve dealt with ever since childhood.  Now I find myself in my late twenties, on the backside of a lengthy education, and slave to a constant urge to question the things that most people find obligatory, fulfilling and true.

A good friend summed it up nicely.  “You know what your problem is?  You are never satisfied with anything.  Ever.”

She was right.  It is my problem.  I’ll deal with it.  Welcome to my life of discontent.