And good riddance. Someone asked a friend of mine, Mandy, what year of her life she would relive given the choice. Not one to answer hastily, she asked would she have to relive the years after as well? The year she was 24 was great, she explained, but if it meant going through 25 again she’d just as soon not.
I can fully appreciate this answer in 2009. The only way I’d go through 2008 again is if I could change everything. Besides just plain life happening, I feel like I’ve made mistake after mistake, leading to misfortune, heartache, debt, and aimless wandering. I think I might have changed the most this past year as well. For the better? Probably, its certainly been a humbling experience, and we all need to be reminded we are not superhuman.
As far as trucking goes I rarely do anything for just one reason, I had the goal of getting my class ABC and M license since I was 14. But as cliche as it is, I became a truck driver to run away from my problems, or at least deflect them. In doing so, however I robbed myself of my support group, my friends, and family. When I talk to them now, tell them about the places I’ve been, experiences I’ve had, and people I’ve met. But it was a goal, not a dream, so the glamor is short lived. Its hard to talk with pride about my travels when I most of it consists holding a wheel, and trying to stay inside the lines. Not that its been a bad experience, before I left I felt trapped, like I hadn’t seen enough of the country and I have seen some beautiful sights. I enjoyed the snow, and even the subzero temperatures. The extremes really put things in perspective, and I recognize the advantages discomfort provides.
Its been fun, but not too much. Its hard to summarize the experience of being on the road. Its so full of highs and lows, even when you’re not going through the mountains. I feel a little manic sometimes, but I think that’s the nature of Long Haul. When you’re moving, you feel good and full of purpose, and when you’re sitting, you get anxious, and bored, no matter how you distract yourself. You’re afraid to get too involved in something because if you’re away from the truck too long you might miss a load assignment.
All I can do is sigh, and say well that was that. I’m going home, and there I’ll stay. I’ll probably still drive a truck, but I’m not kidding myself anymore. It really all comes down to balance. A key principle in art, and life. I needed to do something that would reset my life pattern. In that I have drastically succeeded. At university, especially in the last year, I lived art. It seemed everything I did dealt with art (out of necessity). The preoccupation I saw in others with showing and networking bled into me. But it felt so false, that I rejected it and art after I graduated. I felt like I couldn’t make anything, (and still do a little) that I could only watch and critique. And when I did I saw so much that wasn’t balanced. It was too concerned with ego and not enough with experience. If art imitates life, then a life without balance equals art without balance. When Stan was on the road with me we talked about the artists who are so obsessed with art that they have ceased to become interesting people. And I thought, well if you eat and breathe art, you’ll cough and shit art.
So we’ll chock last year up to an extreme search for balance, and leave it be.This has been probably the most confessional blog post I’ve written, but then again, I don’t think I’ve ever felt so much need to put a year into perspective. But I’m with Mandy, I never want to be 25 again as long as I live.