So another year comes to an end, for better or worse….

My only question is….what the hell? Where does the time go?

Year Ends

2017 was a year spent visiting many of the charming cities of the Southeastern USA. We also managed to drive the entirety of Blue Ridge Parkway, as well as Shenandoah National Park. More on these trips to come in the future.

I was also lucky enough to visit my mom in Ohio on four different trips, including on Christmas Day.

In addition, I just landed back in Jacksonville, Florida after visiting my Indiana hometown for the first time in over two years.  On Friday night, I flew in and pulled up to the house unannounced to my dad or brother, albeit for a very short visit.

Now obviously, this doesn’t really mean jack shit to you. My point is…time is racing. It’s flying away right in front of your face.

It feels like just last week I popped the champagne cork for the end of 2016 and the start of 2017. Now it’s time to do it again.

We spend so much time getting excited for the future. Waiting for the next big event or whatever holiday or trip is coming up. We try to rush time.

Trying to rush time is probably the worst thing you can do with your life. Time is truly the only finite resource we have.

Slow Down!

We cannot stop time from passing. We cannot go back in time to fix our mistakes or start earlier on our dreams. Time moves on and waits for no man, animal, or plant.

Most of my time spent growing up… was just waiting to be grown up. I wanted to get the hell out of my house, get the hell out of Brownsburg, and get the hell out of the Midwest.

I was tired of dark and depressing winters. I was tired of the slow pace of life, the lack of natural artifacts and interesting geological features for climbing or swimming.

Almost constantly for at least 5 months of the year I subconsciously focused on leaving. I researched towns and cities in Texas, Arizona, and Florida. I didn’t know a damn thing back then, but when I was 19 I was sure I was destined for either New Braunfels, Texas or Lakeland, Florida.

I just needed somewhere new. Somewhere to find some sort of inspiration…and some sunlight for God’s sakes. I didn’t know what I REALLY wanted or needed at the time….I just wanted out. I wanted sun, heat, and OUT of home.

The Transition

The last few years of my life at home….I spent 100% of my time working or out of town, to the point of insanity. We could go on a 19 hour drive to Colorado, or Oklahoma, or North Dakota….or wherever….to chase storms and see new places.

Often times, I would make it home and go to work, having been awake for over two straight days, or even longer on a couple of occasions. This was horrid insanity, but at age 20 to 22, I still can’t think of anything I would have rather been doing. I would go do it all over again a million times, except skip college and spend all of that wasted book money on more gas.

After a couple of experimental attempts, I finally knew where I was going to move for good. I quit all travel and stayed home in Indiana. I worked 7 days a week for almost 8 months….and then I drove to Florida and never looked back.  The fact that all of this was made possible by my now fiance is just part of the mysterious magic of life.

Dreams [Un]Realized

Fast forward through various life changing events, and it’s been (almost) three years since I moved 1,000 miles away from my two midwest home states. I cannot even begin to recall where that time went and how it disappeared so fast.

It seems like just yesterday I was aching to get away from my family and home. Now I wish I had more time to visit and less distance between everyone. My parents are in their 60s, my grandparents in their upper 80s. My baby brother turns 21 any moment now. Troublemaking friends? Married. Time waits for nothing.

Furthermore, as a few of you may know, I’m finally taking my first extended trip abroad in just two weeks. I will be in Hong Kong, Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia until mid April. (You’ll be able to find updates here, hopefully no less than once every 4 days…..I’ll do my best.)

Please don’t let time run away from you too fast, and certainly don’t try to shove it along. It had been over two years since I set foot in my home state, but it is still my home state.

Home is Home

My family is still there, my lifelong friends are there, and my dog is still there. Of course, the snow and 20 below wind chills just happen to be there as well…which was actually quite refreshing.

I instantly felt like nothing had changed. While many things had moved on and changed…..there was no denying this was my home. You cannot change where you are from, and you certainly should not wish to do so.

Where you are born and raised has a massive influence on your personality and all of your characteristics.

I’m not sure if moving across the country made me a better person at all. I’m not even sure if it made me happier. Probably.

It certainly made me different. It certainly made me more appreciative of many things in my past and present.

If nothing else, it absolutely made me aware of all of the subtle and not so subtle differences between the midwestern and southeastern states. The people, culture, history, weather, driving skills, infrastructure, foods, plants, animals…..there is so much to discover out in the world people.

No matter how much I ever complained (or will complain) about the cold, cloudy, dreary plain lands of Indiana or the midwest, there is absolutely no place I would rather be from. There is no place I would rather call home.  Now it’s time to repp the midwest around the globe.

Happy New Year!

….and….I digress. I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and Holiday season with your family and friends. Please spend as much time with all of them as you can. It doesn’t matter how far away or how long it’s been since you’ve been close to them.

You can almost always find a way to click your heels and go home, even if it’s just for a brief moment in the grand scale of time. In that grand scale of time, your life happens in the blink of an eye, and nobody can tell you when that blink is over.

Have a Wonderful and Happy 2018.