Life: Journey Unknown
This morning, I looked at those two flags as I ran three miles at the track. Those miles gave me time to contemplate why I am still on the coast when it’s long since been time to go home.
Several years ago I drove 800 miles of partial backwoods and semi-finished interstates in the mountains from my roots of Mississippi and Tennessee. I was a reluctant twenty-four-year-old Rebel, and landed on the East Coast. Honestly, I had grieved and cried every mile marker. I was leaving my humongous family who were usually related to most residents of the county via my maternal grandpa. Sounds like hesitant relocation–it felt forced. I am taking about my life, my heart and soul, family, employment and friends from childhood and high school–In other words, my support system ripped away. A support system that makes it imperative to thrive, to succeed!
Fast forward to the present. Over time; I knew I’d move back; it was inevitable. Now, I am at that crossroads with questions. I may never know why a power stronger than life itself brought me here to this location. Although; I did manage over five years of college, two degrees, and a son that I fought to bring into this world. Accomplishments yes, willingly–but I wanted more after college and was denied the vocation of teaching teens, even being a teacher’s aide because of reasons unknown. Maybe I was educated enough, but always met with excuses from high school and middle school officials where I applied. This was another crush of the heart from a writer who was qualified, to be sure. Perhaps, I didn’t know the right people, far be it from me to know why I was denied. Some never even sent letters of rejection to hire while I waited and called. Endeavors were met with silence and no answers. Good health, good education, but rejections.
When shattered like that by incompetent fools in charge, what came next? I couldn’t stop living. I did what my roots and growing up with brothers prepared me for: photographing and writing about nature and sometimes imagination that wandering brings; including, but not limited to: climbing down into creek beds and crawling into caves that could have taken my life, but I had no fear. It’s that attribute that saved me.
“Some” have said I have nine lives, since I’ve had many brushes with death since childhood, but wandering backroads and unknown territory, (to me) and recording it, and occasionally publishing in small town newspapers became enough. It had to be, for there was nothing else for me after five years of college and an innate sense of art to go with creative writing, and communication. Wandering didn’t pay much, sometimes it brought only recognition of being published and nothing more, but I did enjoy myself and still do. I was and still am so tempted to go back to college for more education. Maybe it takes more to be accepted to teach in any manner. That craving never left. Instead, I went where life took me–road trips far, long, and sometimes treacherous.
Nevertheless; I come to the present–the crossroads I envisioned will surely take me home. [That is to say, after I find someone to set my hardwood kitchen flooring and placing the house on the market.]
In retrospect; thank God, I clung to roots of childhood friends; I must have been pretty annoying, albeit loyal in the process, for they are still there. As an afterthought; someday, I may learn why I didn’t get to those crossroads or home sooner, and why I came to be here to be rejected, because my heart never left Tennessee and never will, no matter where my body is.