Today, I leave for a two (or three)-week roadtrip out of Oregon and through California. It is really something monumental at this point in my life. Without being too wordy, but still being honest, I’ll try to explain what I mean.
December 2010, I graduated from college with some dreams that were ready to become goals (not uncommon, I know), and moved back home to catch my bearings, and make some money by working part time. Things were put on hold by January 2011, when my sister had major surgery. I spent the next month helping to lift her out of the recliner she had to spent her days and nights in, and assisting her walking, and then another couple months driving her places and lifting anything over 5lbs. She was brave, and it was a long recovery.
About the same time she was recovering, my mother’s fight with chronic back issues came to a head. She started having medical procedures every other week that would leave her bed-ridden for two days, and pretty slow for another three or four days after that. With my sister still unable to do the labor, it was up to me (though she did do a lot, but in other ways). Unfortunately, the procedures didn’t work, and she was scheduled for August spinal fusion surgery. She was in the hospital for a week, and rehabilitation center for three weeks after due to complications. Seeing her in that state was among the hardest things I’ve had to go through. It has now been almost seven months since that surgery, and I have been too worried to leave home for more than two nights because she has been recovering much slower than they anticipated. She cannot drive, sometimes needs assistance going down stairs, and many other tasks that require bending are nearly impossible. She will be starting physical therapy this week I believe, but to be honest, I feel like a bad son for leaving to do this, even though I have her, and my sister’s blessing. There is a palpable sadness in my heart while making my final preparations – and a feeling of selfishness. However, I see that I have done very little to make myself happy in the last 14 months, and it has taken its toll. I’ve nearly forgotten what it means to care about myself, and I fear I will lose complete sight of my goals if something doesn’t change. So, here I am…
I don’t know what to expect from this adventure. I’ll be visiting national parks, cities, friends, and friends of friends. I’ll have a notebook, and a camera, and I will fill you in when I return. My best friend, who I’ll be traveling with, also has a blog. He has a laptop and a digital camera, I however have neither, only a medium format SLR so I have to get the film developed before posting. It’s possible we will collaborate on some posts, since he will be the one with the means to instant gratification of digital technology. You’re welcome to check out his page (by clicking anywhere on this sentence). He does great work, and has been to some amazing places in the last year – you won’t be disappointed.
I look forward to catching up with you on the road, or at the end of the trail, where hopefully I’ll have recovered some key parts of myself that can then be shared with you.’Till then, I hope you all stay well in body and mind (or go temporarily mad enough to create something incredible and life-changing).