I don’t know where to start.
I want to write about the last three days of my road trip, my solo journey, but doing that would require me to go back and look at my notes.
And I don’t feel like doing that tonight.
I feel like drinking tea and organizing my new space.
Let’s start with where I’m at now, and I’ll catch you up on the rest later.
Right now I am at my parents’ new apartment in Kansas City, Kansas. I grew up in Manhattan, Kansas, and while I was away for the year my parents got a new place in the city. I’ve been trying to move to this city for the past two summers, and now it’s just happened.
On my way back through Kansas on my roadtrip, following I-70 and reading the persuasive billboards, I stopped in Manhattan to tell it goodbye.
I went to the cafe I worked at last year, and saw a few old coworkers.
It was strange, because we all knew they didn’t want to hear about my adventures. They were stuck in Manhattan, and they didn’t want to hear about anything outside of it.
My other friends from the city had moved away over the past year, and I wonder if they would have been interested. Do you have to get out to appreciate other’s ability to get out?
I went for a jog before I left town, around city park. I jogged that park everyday last year, preparing myself for the flight to Sacramento, California in the fall. I found myself visiting old thoughts I hadn’t had in a year, and I silently thanked the universe for detaching me from this city.
It does not have opportunities for young people, and has nowhere enough progressive potential for me to be content with at the time being.
On my jog, I ran into the highschool cross country team, and saw my old coach, who became a role model to me early on.
I realized, Manhattan wasn’t all that bad in the end. It taught me how to run.
Making it to Kansas City I was impressed with the chill vibes and luxury of my parents’ new apartment. I haven’t had so much space to myself in an entire year. A whole room, all mine for the time being!
The room is currently a mess, as I have papers and notes and journals and books and pens and reminders and folders strung out across the floor.
This is something I am making a priority to change. Enviornment is everything. I need to get my shit together.
But I’ve only been here for 48 hours, as my New Yorker pointed out, so I should probably give myself some slack.
But man, I’m ready to tear apart the city, and uncover my potential. I’m finally in a place I can set some roots down for the time being, and really begin to learn in a different way.
I’m applying for jobs at refugee and women’s centers and coffee shops. I’m also going to get involved in the Black Lives Matter movement in the city, and I am calling Food Not Bombs tomorrow to see whose house I need to meet at on Sunday.
I don’t think it’s necessarily the transitions that throw me off balance, but more so the ease that we seem to drift into them. In the past year I lived in in forest in Oregon, to a commune in northern California, to a tent on the American river in the center of downtown Sacramento, to a native village in the Arctic Circle, to living freely on road, to moving from my childhood home of Manhattan, Kansas to the big time in Kansas City. What’s craziest to me about all of this is how easy we are just able to slide into new environments, and basically forget everything that was happening just the week before.
Is it bad that I’m happy here, without everyone that I called family a month ago? That’s the beauty of family, though. The family I created on the West Coast this past year is always going to be there. We’ve got each other’s backs. But we are also skilled at living in the present, and it’s on to the next adventure. I will see you all at the top.
Tomorrow I am headed to Lawrence, to grab a drink at my old coffeeshop with my friend Brian. Haven’t seen him a year, he was my rock during my senior year of college. I’m interested to see what he’s up to these days.
I’m also going to try and meet up with my Aunt Donna, and then go write downtown at my old Java Break for a few hours.
Meeting up with this kid Philip I met in Sacramento right before I flew to Alaska. Turns out he’s been volunteering at the same place that Ben C. got a job in KCMO.
Speaking of which, New York is coming to Kansas on Sunday! Trust that flow, man.
I have a few letters to write, and things to process. I want to write a letter to the native rights lawyer I met on the plane to Barrow. We’ve kept in contact, and I want to let him know how much I enjoyed his home, and how much I was confused by the politics of it all up there. I want him to know that I want the Arctic to remain his and his people’s.
I’ll go again if he invites me, but I will never just trample into someone’s home with the naive follow the leader mentality if I have a choice.
I’ve found a great jogging trail in the area, and am going to make it a priority to get there every morning.
I am planning on setting a routine for myself, and making the most of my time in Kansas City.
It is a bit strange, starting out completely on my own. I don’t really know many people in this city.
But after a year of being commanded what to do, it is super empowering and exciting and I am ready to make my own connections.