Written Tuesday, September 7, 2004

Well, I'm on the Amtrak about an hour outside of Boston...it's been a long train ride...24 hours and counting. One last long stint before my journey comes to an official end and I'm back to actually living in the US. It's been a great couple weeks since I got here...Florida, Houston, and home to Illinois to see my family. It hasn't really felt like I'm back yet so far...but now the hard part is coming...find a job, settle in. Everyone has been pretty supportive of me since I got back and that feels great...even though deep down inside they're probably thinking, "well, now you're just a bum". Alright, maybe it's me that really has been thinking that. Let's face it, I'm not a traveller anymore...I'm just a guy with a pretty interesting story that is too long to tell and that nobody really wants to hear anyway.

The other night in Madison Duane and I went out and I was talking to some people in a bar...and I began to realize that when I get the question "where do you live" the answer is slightly more complicated than expected. I mean, I really don't "live" anywhere at the moment (atleast not for the next hour) which seems to make since when you're bumming around the hostels in
South America...but here in middle America doesn't quite come off like it makes sense. Just from my experiences over the past two weeks, I can tell I'm gonna be answering a lot of the same questions over and over again in the coming months. I guess I like that part though...atleast at this point, but at the end, there's sort of this "and now what?" look I get. Truth is, I've been asking myself that lately too. I'm up in the air about what to do about the job situation. I'm afraid of getting a job that can trap me here...I'm well aware of how easy that can happen. Hell, maybe part of me wants to get trapped...weeeelll...I wouldn't go that far just yet. I guess I've seen some things in the past couple weeks that have made me think, "would it be so bad to stay here?" I guess because just about everyone I know has turned or is turning the corner to "the next stage" of life...sort of makes me feel like a fool for not being ready to do that yet. I know I shouldn't be comparing myself to others or that those things shouldn't influence me...maybe I'm a little vulnerable at the moment though since the next few months have a big question mark on them. I mean, there is sort of a "plan" of what I'm going to do, but just don't know how in the hell I'm going to make it all happen. It was a similar feeling I had back in Feb. 2002 when coming back from South America the first time...but everything came to pass...I guess the mountain just looks a little bigger this time. I'm convinced I can make it over the mountain though...but in light of everything I've done so far, I'm much more afraid of failing this time. I just don't want to let myself down.

Where in the world are all these negative feelings coming from?? This isn't my style. Maybe it's the jitters. I've gotta step into this whole thing and attack it as I have everything else over the past few years. I know I'll make it! I just have to believe dammit. I think in the past couple weeks I have once again forgotten how lucky I've been to live what I have so far and that there is much more ahead of me. I haven't attained everything I want to out of my travels yet and there are many more adventures waiting for me...and these next months in the USA are just part of the whole thing. Yeah...that's right. I'm ready for this.

Thirty minutes to Boston...thirty minutes to my new life in the US. Thirty minutes until the next chapter starts. Hold on to your hats...

AC

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