Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The first chapter

Who knew it was so hard to name a blog? Apparently, the idea of writing a travel blog is not unique (what's that, you say? There are others? Impossible!) and so all my brilliant ideas for the blog name have been taken. You'll want to take note of the name and type it carefully or you'll end up reading the travel accounts of someone else - and we all know how deadly boring travel blogs are so you really only want to read mine, which will be special and exciting and never boring at all.

At any rate, I found a name that is good enough and available and now it's done. The blog is named and now I can start writing. I've resisted blogging all these years, largely because I felt either that I didn't have much that other people would want to read or because the idea of writing "dear diary" on the internet for other people to read was a bit horrifying. However, the idea of writing emails to 300 different people is far more horrifying, so here we are. The first entry in what will likely be many posts as I travel south (geographically). I rather expect the more interesting journey will be the inward one.

This trip is both wildly out of character for me (the risk-averse, the ultra-conservative - not politically, of course, the home-body) and also something I've been waiting for my whole adult life.

Off and on, for many years, I've fantasized about packing up my life, moving to a far away city where no one knows me, and reinventing myself. I've never had the courage - or maybe the desperation? - to actually try it. For one thing, I've always understood, even at my bleakest moments, that no matter where I go, I'll still be there. In other words: I can't run away from myself.

But as I prepare for this journey into the unknown, I have also come to realize something else: I am the author of my own destiny. I write my own story - or stories, because the story varies depending on who my audience is. And it is well within my right and my power to change my story if I choose. I don't have to keep repeating stories about myself that have grown tired with the retelling. I can't change the past, but I can write my present and make it a story I'm excited to tell.

So that's what this journey is for me, at least in part: it's my next chapter. It's the story I want to tell about myself, the opportunity to reinvent myself - not by running away, but by venturing into the unknown, both inside and outside myself. This is my story. The next (great) chapter. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I plan to enjoy writing it.

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