My car has this thing that goes into the center console. I guess it’s just a tray or something, but it has dividers, so it’s more like a cafeteria tray than a normal tray. Since it’s a little odd to refer to it as “the cafeteria tray that goes in my car’s center console,” I just refer to it as “this thing.” That’s all it is. Just some thing.
That thing spent the past year in the back of my car, far from where it belongs. It had to happen, because for the past year, I haven’t had a glove box. All my normal glove box stuff went into the center console, and there just wasn’t room for the thing in there anymore. I would feel sympathetic to that poor thing, but it’s just a tray, and there are far more important things going on in the world.
For example, I’m currently sitting in a Starbucks north of Cincinnati, Ohio. Now, there are many unpleasant truths to that sentence, not the least of which being that I am stranded in Ohio, some 11 hours away from home. But it’s all for good and kind of terrifying reason:
Taking advantage of an opportunity nearly six months in the making.
Just Monday, I was packing for a lengthy drive to Ontario. And by packing, I mean I was finding any excuse at all to not pack because I wasn’t convinced I was ready to travel. I wasn’t ready to go spend the next few months of my life in Canada. I wasn’t ready to spend the next few months so far away from home. I just wasn’t ready. So instead of getting ready, I was sitting around my house playing around with a podcast while wearing a green shirt and red basketball shorts since I had placed all my other clothes in the washing machine.
I was overwhelmed. Couldn’t focus on anything at all. And by the time I finally started placing things into suitcases, I reached a whole new level of distraction. I got distracted because I spotted that thing from the car sitting in my room. It was dirty, and I needed to clean it. And for some reason, it needed to be cleaned RIGHT THEN. And the best way to clean it was to hose it down in the front yard.
When I found myself in my front yard, dressed as Christmas and washing off some thing, I realized I had fully lost my mind. In other words, just where I need to be.
I DID need to step outside and wash the thing right then and there. This was the first time in over a year that the thing would be back in its rightful place. Things would finally be the way they should be. That seems to be something worth making a priority.
Suddenly, the trip made sense to me again. I wasn’t overwhelmed. I was able to grab all the things I needed and make all the preparations I needed. I realized I was insane, and that was perfectly fine. I was insane for meeting my girlfriend through a blog, and even more insane for taking a solid two months of my life to drive 1,000 miles north. But just like standing out in the front yard dressed like Christmas washing off that thing, driving north needed to be done. It needed to be done to put things back where they belong.
Here I am, in Ohio, ready to make the final trek to Ontario. Am I really ready? Ready to spend the next two months there? No. Of course not. Not sure I’ll ever be ready for all that life has in front of me. But that’s the beauty of it. None of us really are ready for the things we can’t control.
That’s also why I need to write all of this. Wednesday normally has an absurd essay posted, not a serious tale. But what can be absurd than this? Than the story of a Misplaced Mississippian, traveling to the Great White North? One who has four bottles of BBQ sauce sitting in his backseat? One who days earlier was standing outside dressed as Christmas, washing some plastic thing?
So I’m going to continue writing as the Misplaced Mississippian. I hope you enjoy as I embrace the absurdity of my own life, just as much as I embrace the absurdity of smart phones, politics, and blogging in general. Because once you realize how insane everything really is, it starts to make sense again.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I REALLY need to get out of Ohio.