Anticipating the goings on at the hill beyond yond hill is usually better than being there. Yonder. Yonder yonder yonder yonder. Good word, yonder.
In case you didn't know, I quit my job back in July and then drove around the country for a month. I spent a lot of time studying state maps, memorizing the major highways and then avoiding them as much as possible, fanning off in every direction with a loose plan and no schedule.
I ministered the marriage of two of my friends on a mountain in Colorado. Hit up a rodeo. Then I hit a deer in Utah and was stranded while I waited for shiny new bumper. I finished a case of High Life on a motel porch with a couple of sixty year old Hells Angels in Greybull, Wyoming. I worked at a sheep farm in Montana for board and I camped alone for the first time. Many times. Camping alone is relaxing. I drank wine at Hemingway's grave, hiked a few miles of the Oregon trail, took way too many pictures on the Enchanted Highway, gambled poorly in Deadwood and tailgated the sunset every night I could.
Good country, this.
On a trip like that, there's always something over yonder. Nothing here? How 'bout over yonder? Yep, sure enough, something's yonder. But then once I got to one yonder, THERE WAS ANOTHER THING OVER YONDER.
And I couldn't fucking wait. I wanted all of it. Couldn't wait til I crossed yonder mountain, hiked yonder trail, wandered the town over yonder. Everything looked like this:
All yonder. Distant, but within sight. Possible.Yonder yonder yonder.
I do not miss my job. It was an amazing nonprofit with wonderful humans, but I had a shit job with shit responsibilities. Daily dread. Eventually I started showing up at 11am, daring them to fire me. I just started doing shit without asking. Because fuck off, that's why.
Honestly, they treated me well. Over seven years there were two promotions and seven significant pay raises. But my responsibilities never really changed. Every year the higher ups learned more about my workload, but they never had a clear picture until I left. They split parts of my job between two existing coworkers, hired two people to replace me for day-to-day stuff and then outsourced my event and fundraising responsibilities. If they had doubled my salary I still would have left.
Working in a job absent of variation, growth, and advancement can really murder your outlook on the future. My imagination couldn't take me far. I basically decided that I had to keep earning money so I could survive, sustain, and take care of my parents eventually.
A lot of wanting is involved in that. A lot of self-reflection and inaction, a lot of realizations that zero in on one thing, like the point of a dagger: if I follow this road, there isn't anything over yonder. I had to quit.
Right now I'm scrambling around looking for writing gigs. It's hard. I'm not making much money and I'm burning through savings. I'm inspired, hopeful, worried, restless, daunted, eager, and fucking terrified. IT IS WONDERFUL. There are so many things over yonder, just littering up and down my timeline, and none of it is dreadful. I could move to Ireland! I could get married! I could die alone! I could publish a book! I could start a business! I could fail goddamn miserably! I could get a dog! I could declare bankruptcy! Isn't that brilliant?
Everything over yonder, some of it's good, and some of it is not so good. But all of it is vivid and possible. Distant, but within sight. It's not a stiletto. It's a feather. Yonder yonder yonder yonder.