Tag Archives: Roxy

Young Man Went West #26: The Next Step

I am not afraid of much, but one thing that does scare me is routine: falling into a seemingly endless cycle of daily chores and traditions.  While one grows up, routine is tolerable, even comfortable, because it is balanced out by the ever-progressing, next-step-having stage of school.  Kids do the same thing for a year, then they move on to the next grade, and the grade after that.  Middle schoolers move on to high school, high schoolers move on to college.  But once one is done with college, what is that next step?  Work, eat, sleep, repeat until you die or retire, isn’t that the path?  I don’t want that—at least, not right now—which is why I moved here after graduation.  Even still, between punctuations of random side jobs and extreme activities, I’ve teetered near the edge of repetition.  I’d find myself biking home from work thinking, “I did this yesterday.  Exactly.  And I will do it tomorrow.  Again.  What am I doing?”  This fear of routine grew strong last Spring during several weeks of uninterrupted monotony.  Then, some time last May, I believe, my buddy Ian called me up and changed everything.

Ian graduated from UC Berkeley a semester after I did and, like the rest of us, has not been receiving a million job offers.  He, too, is finding some path in this wonderous post-Recession economy.  Fortunately, Ian has a sense of adventure.  He called to tell me about a grand idea: roadtripping around the continental United States for a whole summer. Ian’s route would start in the Bay Area, go up through the Pacific Northwest, snake up and down towards the Atlantic, thoroughly soak in the East Coast, and head back west through the South.  It would hit every major city and many college towns.  This trip, he informed me, would be low-cost, too.  He’d couch-surf whenever possible, sleep in his car when it wasn’t, and eat cheaply and on the go.

The entire time I was listening to Ian’s idea, I was thinking, “He hasn’t asked me anything yet, he’s just telling me stuff.”  That might have been normal were it some other friend, but Ian calls with a purpose.  I knew what he was getting at, and I couldn’t wait for him to ask.

“So,” Ian continued, “considering the couch-surfing aspect, do you think it’d be better if one person traveled alone, or if there was someone else?  Because somebody offering their couch to a stranger might be more hesitant if there were two, but on the other hand, it’d probably be safer if I wasn’t by myself.”

“Oh, definitely,” I said through grinning teeth, “It’d be much safer if there was someone else.  I mean, not just for couch-surfing, but also just on the road.  What if the car breaks down?  Additionally, it’d always be nice to have someone to talk to. . . and to split the cost of gas.”

“Yeah, that’s what I was thinking.  Would you like to join me?”

I could have answered before he was done with the question.  I could have answered before he began to ask.  I could have answered as soon as he mentioned a roadtrip.

“Of course,” I replied.  I had found my next step.

***

So now, I have something to look forward to, a finish line.  Or, more appropriately, a checkpoint.  Though the weeks aren’t blurring together as much as they did in the Spring, I don’t mind when they do.  This routine, I now know, is temporary.  I have a goal, and that is to save money the best I can until we embark on our roadtrip, which is slated for June 2011.

Of course, the start of this journey marks the end of another; I don’t plan on coming back to Hawai’i. By late May 2011, I will have been here twenty months, which is a good amount of time.  No longer are my “next steps” entering the next school grade, but rather entering the next city.  I want to pack up, move, and start all over again.  My plan after the roadtrip is to move to Seattle.  You all know how much I loved it there.  Plus, I have family offering a place to stay until I find one of my own.  Sound familiar?

Young Man Went North.  Wait for it. . .

Ian's a great friend, but I'd leave him on the side of the road in a second for these chicks.

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YMWW #20: The Ghosts of Writing Future and Past

About two weeks ago, my pathway to a possible writing career grew a bit longer; Cody from FLUX Hawaii magazine called with an assignment for the next print issue! Lisa the Publisher/Editor apparently liked my online trial assignment.  Of course, like I do with any assignment that has a deadline, I put this new one off until the last minute.  And any time I felt I should write another entry for this blog, I reminded myself that I should be writing the article instead.  So I worked on neither.  That’s what happens when you mix a good sense of priorities with procrastination.

I am still baby-stepping my way up to a prime assignment;  this current one is not a feature article but material for the “Green Environment” department.  Every issue showcases some new “green” living development in Hawaii and my subject was sustainableUH, an initiative created by a student-run sustainability group at UH called Help Us Bridge (HUB).  Basically, HUB want to convert the entire University of Hawaii system into a model of sustainability.  I’d go into more detail if I hadn’t just pulled a late-night writing session doing just that.  I guess you all just have to subscribe to FLUX Hawaii magazine and wait for the next issue!

Interviewing The Throwdowns for FLUX Hawaii magazine. Photo by Carrie Hasson.

It’s interesting how I “discovered” that I like to write after graduating from college.  It’s not like it was a new development; I took some writing classes in high school. . .

Dammit!

Alright, so that idea failed.  I was going to lead into the introduction to a new category tentatively titled “From the Vault” wherein I’d share with you writing samples from high school.  I had this grand idea to use those as fillers for the weeks I had nothing to write about, but I LOST THE FILES!  I must have missed the folder when transferring everything to my external hard drive.  (For the computer illiterate: I didn’t take my old writings from my old computer and put it in my new computer.)  Oh well, that will just have to wait until I either awaken the broken beast of what used to be my old laptop, or go home to Livermore and find the hard copies.

I was looking forward to sharing my old stuff with you partly because I thought it would be interesting change of pace, but mainly because it is tough to write about how content I am with everything.  Things are just going well and I don’t know how to write about that without feeling like I’m bragging.  My older posts were more frequent because I was homeless, hungry, and poor.  Now, I have the funds to eat, drink, and be merry.  I guess I have to throw more caution into the wind and see what happens.  Either that or I could start complaining about my love life on this blog, but I swore I’d never do that.

This entry started out as an explanation on how writing has always been a part of me and hopefully always will, but it has turned into an examination of the struggles of a non-struggling artist.  I guess the lesson of this entry is that things rarely go as planned.  Don’t let roadblocks stop you; instead, use them as stepping stones on a pathway to a new adventure.

Roxy model!

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