My day counter is slow by three days, reading Day 363 when it should mark Day 366. So much to adjust at the end. A year and a day ago, I cut from the moorings of work. Tomorrow, I return to a different job for a new career. In between, I wandered. Now as I graduate, I mourn the end of idleness, cherish the time and memories I earned, and rejoice at the challenging uncertainties ahead in the next chapter.
I remember driving alone amongst buffalo in North Dakota, the early-evening fireflies at Gettysburg, waking up drunk and disoriented in my brother’s Ohio apartment with an art project and anarchy down below on the street, taking my parents to museums on warm summer New England days, driving twice into Canada first to tour Toronto and then to enjoy the oontz, oontz of Montreal’s Mutek, spelunking one of the world’s largest caves in Kentucky, camping next to a river in Dinosaur National Park, gluing too many LED strips to metal skin panels of a sheep bus in an Oakland warehorse, a 42nd birthday hike up the Yosemite valley, breaking up with Greg and suffering all over again, riding a camel with my brother in Lee into the Sahara dunes, learning to swim with Kyle at Rossi Pool, biking to Sacramento breweries with Ruben, writing every morning, sitting on top of the lonely sands of Death Valley, racing through Ho Chi Minh City traffic on the back of a motorscooter, and the great uncertainty of what to do with this time and when it would end.
Did I learn anything? I did sort, simplify, fix, throw out, and got smaller. I slowed down, focused hard, and took stock. I reached out and reconnected with friends, family, and my past selves. I did without to do more. I finally found what I was looking for: myself.
So I begin again in an office tomorrow with coworkers and a company bigger than myself. I’m ready to learn, labor, and contribute. I’d like to bring gentleness, patience, and perspective.
As quickly as I began writing, I stop today with this last message. I’ve written 219 pages, almost 95,000 words. I had a lot to say and a lot to do. I’m done, however, talking about myself. Time to just be for awhile. I’ll return to sitting when the time is right.