At this point Kevin and I are about two weeks out from Georgia. There are quite a few things a few thing’s that need to still get done. Kevin will be in town this Sunday, I am not sure if I am excited for us to leave or not yet. Of course I am excited to see my brother, it has been a year or more since we have gotten into any trouble together. Never the less everyone has been asking me two questions; “Are you excited?” And “Are you nervous?”
I know one thing, Aaron or 2.0 was right. This past year has been very hard for me, staying the course, plugging away, prepping and waiting for this moment. The journey here has had many pitfalls to sway me in either way, I feel very strongly about this now. He was definitely right, the hiking part will be the easy part. Not to say that the hiking will easy, that we all know will test me mentally and physically, but it is the more natural for me to do.
The question remains, what am I feeling right now. I am in the final phase of preparation , putting everything in order, cleaning out all aspects of my life. I currently live out of two bags while I rent a small room at a great rate. Nights are spent with no internet, no television, mostly alone on my air mattress. My room is cold and I’ve found myself sleeping in my sleeping bag more and more to keep warm. Kim and I spend every weekend together grabbing as much time together as we can.
My job denied my leave of absence request and Human Resources informed me that it is there opinion I resign and reapply when I return. You know I knew deep in my heart that this would happen. Luckily I took the opportunity to get as much training at my job as I could. The past month or so I’ve been in two other departments training, only to increase my chances of rehire. The funny thing is I fundamentally dislike my job only because I feel like I am not making an impact on anyone’s life, yet I love my co-workers, all 150 or so in my department. Many of them are now just learning that I am leaving and are sad to see me leave. The two most common questions are “Where am going?” and “Will I come back?”
You know, that is the plan right now. Come back and reapply, max out school benefits for a paramedic cert, max out my pay rate, overtime, save, and take the buyout in five years. It is the plan right now, the only question is it God’s plan for me. I’ve had a few very philosophical and deep conversations with Justin, my co-worker. Each time invariably provoking thoughts, inner questions, and dialogue. Justin has been a great person to talk with. He is very particular in the words he selects and how he responds. Always listening, hearing, pausing for a moment, before he says his well thought out reflection.
The biggest thing we have talked about is, what we are meant to do, what our calling is. Justin’s point of view is that once all the noise has dissipated: all the things your friends and family affirm you ought to be, what society says you should accomplish, what you were brought up to “believe” you should do achieve, when all of those outside forces have receded, in those still quiet moments what your mind drifts towards most often is what you’re being called to do.
Justin also considers that our calling changes over the years. That we aren’t bound by one mission for our life. Since life is ever changing, why wouldn’t our purpose grow and change in turn. He has beyond any doubt given a few very insightful things to keep in the back of my mind, always. Justin’s insights remind me of a piece of advice my sister received when she was pregnant with her first child. A little old lady came up to her once and asked her if this was her first child. My sister told her so and this woman gave her the best advice she could have ever received. Everyone will give you advice, telly of what to do for this and that. You will be flooded with unsolicited advice, just smile and say thank you. We have been having children for thousands of years without any problems. It’s your child and you will know best and if you dont, you will figure it out. If you can’t, ask your parents.
I have held on to this for over 16 years now and I share that story with prospective parents should the need arise. It’s comical in a sense that her words, given years before, would echo Justin’s in an all too familiar way. Justin is right, this journey will afford me the time to reflect and find my way. In the stillness of my mind when all other forces have been quelled I will find my way. When a good friend of mine suggested I write this all down I never thought it would take the way it has. Her only advice when I started was to write more and more often, yet here I am writing as often as life affords me to do so.