So lately i've been in a funk.
Such apathetic beginnings inevitably lead to one of two extremes: a self-indulgent journey of life, love, and the rest of it...or a bullet-point presentation of efforts for world domination. I'll take the former...for now...
A funk. It's not really that accurate. It's not even really true, the whole "lately" part. I'm pretty sure that I've been on some kind of downward spiral since my first drag off a menthol cigarette at age 9. I just wanted to look cool and have fresh breath. If I had known that, 19 years later, it would lead to losing any ambition to do anything....well...I'd probably have smoked it anyway. Don't look at me like that, I lived in the South, was almost a pre-teen and still hadn't gotten laid, what were my options?
So at 28, having given up menthols for cloves long ago, been in and out of college (occasionally getting a degree), been in and out of the military (occasionally going AWOL), escaped southern xenophobia for New York City (where there is no such thing as racism), found the meaning of life (Daniel Quinn), lost the means to life (my credit score), found the secret to life ("The Secret"), and started up two businesses....I am utterly bored.
Two nights ago, during a "tomorrow's goals" call, my friend and business partner Liz picked up on the depressed tone in my voice, and being the bleeding heart that she is, asked "What's wrong?" -- obviously not a native New Yorker. 2 hours later I felt better, not because I was more optimistic, but because I had succeeded in dragging her down with me. Honestly, whatever works. Where's that clove...
While tearing down those closest to you to not feel so inadequate is obviously the quickest way to happiness, for some reason my new depth of apathy lingered throughout the next day. Late last night though, I'm walking home from the store with my usual yogurt/granola/rice crackers/hummus menu when I almost get hit by a biker trying to pass a taxi. Granted I was in the street trying to pass a couple walking their tiny dog (while happily enjoying the thought that I'm not so jaded that I'll allow the visual discomfort of a grown man walking a tiny dog in Manhattan as acceptable), and I used to be a big street biker myself, but still...a little part of me hoped that he would have the decency to be dragged underneath the taxi he was passing for my right of way. I was wearing my Italian leather power-boots, for god's sake, have some respect for the pretend-rich.
And just like that, I call up Liz with the newest meaning of life, "I want to take a biking trip through South America!" I exclaimed to her....voicemail. When she finally called back an hour later I was still leaving her a message, so I had to start over. She was immediately excited as well, but I didn't let that hold me back, I was on a mission now.
And so here we are. It's the next day and I've already got a list of things to work on. I figure it will take a few years to prepare: learning Spanish, getting my body in shape, learning the local flora/fauna, etc. I'll need to put my income on autopilot somehow too, so I can still be making money while I'm on the trip, which I figure will be at least 6 months. I'm not sure if it's a one-way or round trip, and while Liz approves of the SA portion, when I suggested that I leave from New York instead of starting in the middle, she said that wasn't a good idea. So clearly that's what I'll be doing (because I don't think I can even do SA, let alone from NY). For lack of a more creative title, I have decided to document all the preparation and the trip itself in (drumroll please) "The Great Pan-American Bike Trip".
Plus, I just found out that the legal age of consent for most SA countries is 16, so that pretty much seals the deal.