Well, I’ve been back for a few weeks from my 3,000+ mile roadtrip to Pittsburg, KS and back. Since then, I’ve written my farewell columns for the Idaho Business Review and the Idaho Press-Tribune (I posted one below; both were virtually identical). After playing catch-up with my “daily” on-the-road postings,I took some time off from writing my blog. I spent some time with my kids and my grandson Max, did a little gardening, a little cleaning (emphasis on “little”); I got Bob’s guitar (Freedom) strung, bought a tuner, tried to tune the guitar, broke a string — it’s waiting to go back to the shop for a new string (I WILL learn how to do it myself, but, seriously, those strings are little and the knots about impossible!). But I will continue to try — I do have to learn how to play the song I wrote.
As for my book… well, I’ve had a couple ideas and even clacked out a few lines. I’ll keep you posted (or maybe you’ll just have to wait and read it, she says hopefully with fingers crossed).
I know what you’re wondering about the most and it isn’t if I’m playing the guitar or if I started my book.
You want to know, was my 3,000+ mile trip worth it. You want to know: did it change my life? Am I still resolved with the ch-ch-ch-changes?
The truthful answer: yes. And no.
I’ve been pretty good about not letting anything bother me or worry me to the point of high anxiety or panic attacks. I’ve taken myself on mental elevator trips, stopping at each floor to let out stress. I’ve also been pretty good at eating an apple a day, taking my dog Payton on daily, calm, mindful, hour-long walks ala Cesar Milan, The Dog Whisperer and I aerobacize 3-4X week. I’ve focused on the few and far between jobs that truly interest me and are available.
But I guess I’m just waiting, still, for something to, um, happen.
It’s like John Lennon said: “Life is what happens to you when you’re busy making other plans.”
By Jeanne Huff
Idaho Business Review
Update: In my last column, I told you I was taking off, going on a road trip, a soul journey, if you will, to find that metaphorical “road not taken.”
Well, a little more than 3,000 miles later, I will tell you I found it.
Still not exactly sure what “it” is, but I’m pretty certain what it is not.
And so, I bid you adieu.
When I started writing this every-other-week column, on the heels of starting my “First, the good news” blog, I was in a sort of desperation. Out of a job for months, I thought: well, at least I’m doing something, plus I’m writing again. Getting my name out there.
One thing led to another and soon, I was also writing a weekly column for the Idaho Press-Tribune. I found myself writing and blogging like crazy, plus, of course, I continued in my career pursuit. And like I said a few weeks ago, there are a whole lot of us unemployed folks out there, beating the same bushes.
So I hit the road. I did make it to my destination: Pittsburg, Kansas. Pittsburg is a college town of about 20,000 in southeast Kansas. It’s also where I grew up. I attended high school (go Purple Dragons!) and college (go Gorillas!) there. My friend Holly, who was also my first roomie, lives there, too. I sent her an e-mail saying I might stop by. Her response was in the subject line of her return e-mail: doitdoitdoit!
Now, some of you (read: ALL) may be shaking your heads about now, wishing you could have told me: don’t do it. You CAN’T go home. You’ll be miserable, won’t learn anything and you’ll come back more depressed than ever.
I had similar thoughts, believe me, and I almost didn’t go. But finally, I took a deep breath, packed up my dog Payton, my toothbrush and my dad’s Swiss Army knife and off I went. And I’m happy to report: the trip was a howling success.
I don’t think I had any profound revelations, necessarily; but maybe, by giving myself the luxury of time to be alone with my thoughts and by reconnecting with touchstones of my past, I gave myself permission to dream again.
Because I remember what it feels like to have the world by the tail, to jump up in the morning, excited for whatever comes; I remember what it feels like to bask in the comfort of friendship, to wrap it around your shoulders like a favorite blanket.
And I know that what I want to do now, is, well… let me re-phrase that: I know what I DON’T want to do now. I don’t want to spend all of my time writing blogs and columns. It’s not that I don’t like doing it, it’s just that there are other things I want to do — more.
For instance, I’ve always wanted to write a book. And I always wanted to learn how to play the guitar. In fact, on my way back (and yes, I literally took roads I’ve never taken before and only got lost four times), I wrote a song. My husband Bob let me dismantle his guitar-pinata-sculpture, I’m getting new strings put on the guitar (I’m calling her “Freedom”) and my friend Rick says he’ll teach me a few chords. Because I want to sing my new song.
Thanks, dear readers, for coming along with me on this journey. I can only hope that I’ve given a few of you fodder for thought. Or, if you’re planning a roadtrip to Kansas of your own, check out my blog. I posted day-by-day entries, including food reviews and sites to see. (You won’t want to miss Prairie Dog Town and you just HAVE to stop for a bite at Chicken Annie’s. Or Chicken Mary’s.)
And don’t worry — I’m still looking for that pie-in-the-sky job. But in the meantime, I’m going to try to make a few of my dreams come true.
Jeanne Huff currently blogs at boisegoodnews.wordpress.com. She has been a writer and editor with the daily newspaper industry, most recently working at the Idaho Statesman. Send e-mail to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.