Are we aware of the roads we take in our daily commute? Are we willing to take a different route? Are we afraid to explore and get lost to the unfamiliar? Can we live outside of our comfort zone?
We all have sailed to foreign waters. Waters of incertitude, anxiety, excitement, loneliness, lack of control, confidence, or just new waters so we can experience unknown flavors by ourselves.
I see life as a book, where pages continue to be filled with stories highlighting new characters, places, and scenes. Our perception of life changes with every feat we encounter. Experiences in life shape who we are and prepare us for our next challenge. I have been very lucky in life, but it takes more than that to achieve our goals and milestones. The characters in our stories have made this process and transition easier; because they help us decipher the next step in our path so we can continue writing a new chapter in our lives.
Life gives us the chance to transform ourselves.
A new skin
Les rites de passage described my trip to Oregon, a 7-day trip, an analogy.
Driving away from home was bittersweet; I was leaving behind many, many of my friends. Anytime I move, I always look back to the streets, roads, houses, buildings, landmarks, and signs. It is a vivid memory of my last interaction with a place. Unattached, going through my first stage of transformation and dressing up my sadness with high expectations and the unknown.
Concentrating on the road, I teleport to the near future thinking that this will be over soon. I know it is a temporary stage. Images of plains, trees, animals, leaves and far in the horizon, a mirage, a highway holding the skies and the clouds passing by. I am perplexed of the path opening in front of me.
Mountains, rivers and winding roads are a common denominator, and finally Oregon. Driving on I-84 on November 13, 2016 along the Columbia River was a magical and remarkable experience. As an enthusiast of photography, the scenery was almost perfect: a dam, the river, the mountains, the rocks, the waterfalls, the peaks, and of course cloudy skies with a dense fog covering some of the treasures to be explored.
Here is a note I wrote for my friends in Akron after the graduation ceremony: Our experiences in life shape who we are and prepare us for our next challenge. I’m very proud of what we have seen, done and what we are leaving for others to follow our steps. We experienced marathons, concerts, cities, celebrations, movies, museums, festivals, performances and many other activities that brought us together.
This journey does not belong to me; it belongs to those traveling by my side.
How much more is left to be seen? The road ahead of me stretches, and I have only seen a part of it. I prepare myself every day, step by step, mile after mile looking to reach my next big accomplishment.
My next destination is still there to be discovered.