Thursday, May 29, 2008

Day 12: The Siren's Song

On day 12, I woke up early, and made breakfast for the crew.
Mangosteen pancakes with rambutan topping, and scrambled eggs.

Then, for the rest of the day, just kind of bummed around. I had been
running around so franticly for most of my trip, I needed a day to
just do nothing.

Actually, I did laundry. I did it by hand in a trash can, while the
guys played "name that tune". Then we just sat around and talked.
About books we've read, movies we've seen, life experiences and
lessons. We practiced counting in Thai, and went swimming in the
world's smallest swimming pool.

That night, Will and Matt talked about their upcoming sailing class,
and how I should come along. This was the siren's song. It happens
everytime I trek about, and this was no exception. The siren's song
always comes just before I have to leave, at the cusp of rejoining the
mundane, workaday world.

There are times I've listened and stayed, trying to extend my fantasy
of being a globetrotting adventurer. I've done it and had great times
and unforgettable experiences, running my career aground on the rocks
in the process.

The old battle in my mind began anew. Could I actually stay, if even
for a little while longer? How would I get access to my money? Would
I have to buy a new plane ticket back? Would my parents understand
why I wasn't coming to visit them next? This time, my responsible
side won out.

I (a bit begrudingly) decided to part ways with the guys in the
morning. At 8AM, they would ride to the docks to begin their sailing
class, and I would start the long journey back, and finish out the
last leg of my trip in Kansas, where I grew up.

Also weighting my decision, was the fact that I had so many people
depending on me when I returned to Los Angeles. I remembered that I
undertook this journey, not to escape my job, but to renew my love for
it. The fact is, I quite enjoy what I do, and gain a great deal of
satisfaction from my work. I have an awesome boss and co- workers,
and it would take more than a sailing adventure to throw it all away.
It's the only reason I continue to make my home in LA.

When I left the U.S., I felt my well had run dry. The sameness of
sitting, staring at a glowing screen 2 feet from my face, for the bulk
of my waking life had let a complacency settle over me like a thick
dust, dulling my mind.

But anything is like that when it's all you do. Life is yin and
yang. Being away makes us miss and appreciate home. Being home makes
us dream of fawaway places. Too much of one or the other is not
good. They need to be balanced. Too much office can feel like
prison, but too much running around can feel like exile. But the
right mix can optimize everything.

I had been away almost two weeks, but it felt like a a good
way. The well was filled and flowing again. It was time to go.

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