The Inescapable You


Ideally, if you follow along from day to day you can notice subtle changes happening. Which is the way I think life is supposed to be.  We aren’t always making huge changes in our life, but like the helmsman on a ship we’re making constant small adjustments to our course.

It feels good to know that we’ve reached a turning point.  The details of what it is that has sort of finally resolved itself for us I’m going to keep under my hat for a while, but suffice it to say that clarity is a good thing!

buckaroo-banzai1
The Cast of the 1984 movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzi Across the 8th Dimension

I wonder how many of you have ever watched the movie The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzi Across the 8th Dimension?  It’s a campy, quirky, 1984 movie with a bevy of stars including John Lithgow, Ellen Barkin, Peter Weller, Jeff Goldblum, Christopher Lloyd and more.  Obviously low budget.  The studio made no attempt to market it to the usual identifiable audiences.  

Studio publicist Rosemary LaSalmandra said, “Nobody knew what to do with Buckaroo Banzai. There was no simple way to tell anyone what it was about—I’m not sure anybody knew”. Lithgow said, “I’ve tried to explain the story line to people and it takes about an hour. I mean it; it’s that complicated. But it’s terrific. Every time I tell people about it, I get so excited that I end it by saying, Buckaroo Banzai, remember where you heard it first!”
— Wikipedia

For such an odd movie it contains a smattering of memorable quotes.  One of which came to mind today as I was driving.  You see, we made another roadtrip this week and we were on our way home — another 180 miles to talk and think.

“No matter where you go,
there you are.”
– Buckaroo Banzi

And what I was thinking is that you never escape yourself. In the words of the memorable Buckaroo Banzi, “No matter where you go, there you are.” We can try to fit into boundaries of someone else, but we always remain who we are.  Any attempt to be someone else, is doomed to failure — everyone else is already taken.

The grossest manifestation of this is something we should have outgrown decades ago. We’re mature, we’ve fought our battles, we’ve had time to decide who we are and to be happy about that;  to embrace ourselves.  But then…

There is the reality that people aren’t always honest even with themselves.  Sometimes we try to copy someone without even realizing we’re doing it.  Or we try to impress. Or perhaps to flatter.  There have been times when I’ve acted to anger — just to get someone’s goat — even when what I did wasn’t me.  Yeah — we all (I’ll just bet) lie to ourselves from time to time.

time-sneaks-up-on-you1 When we’re young we have lots of time — or so we think.  I know I’ve mentioned this before but within a year or two of graduating high school I had a phone call from the parent of one of my school chums to tell me that Brooks Allen had died in a motorcycle accident in Germany.  That was the better part of 50 years ago (our graduating class has a 50th anniversary upcoming) and I’ve lived a long and productive life since his passing.  That early adult shock never left me.

But no matter how lucky we are about long life we are all human and we are all going to die — sooner or later.  Truly, “Time sneaks up on you…. like a windshield on a bug.”  There comes a time when we can no longer put off what we want to do in favor of something someone else wants — not if we expect to accomplish that thing.  We all run out of time.

Over the time of our RV journeys I’ve tried to be honest with myself about things I want, and want to do.  I think the last few weeks with more active searching for a Northern seasonal campground have helped me realize a few things that are really important to me that I might not have admitted before.  Partly about my own personality.  Partly about preferences and dislikes.

i-keep-looking-for-things-i-havent By nature I’m an optimist.  I love learning, I love doing new things, I love challenges.  When I was in about 3rd or 4th grade I came home with very poor marks in reading and my mom hit the ceiling.  That summer I ‘joined’ (whether I wanted to or not) the Bookworm Club at the local library and I read (or was forced to read) every day.  By the end of the summer I’d read a lot of books.  My grades came up to the top of the class and I learned something crucial.  I could do anything in the world if I could read — because by reading I could learn how to do anything.  I’ve never been the same.

Of course my personal windshiel is getting closer and closer and how many new things I can learn, and what I can do with those things all depends on my tenous relationship with that windshield! 😀

I need all the self-revelations I can find.  I mean that.  I’ve always been pretty independent;  I have liked going my own way.  And I have tried really hard to free myself of self-delusions.  Sometimes I’ve been successful; quite often actually.  But not always.

We have enjoyed our time here at Highland Ridge.  There have been positive and negative moments; on balance the positives outweigh the negatives by a mile.  We are enjoying being in one place for more than 2 weeks at a time.  It’s been nearly 5 months and it feels good to have little roots searching for a place to take hold.  I’ve always been a fitful person.  I don’t like repetition; or I get tired of repetition — I’ve never known for sure what it is — but I take pains to keep life new and interesting.

This winter we’ll find out how we feel about returning to S. Texas.  Will it still be as interesting as it was 2 years ago?  We’ll find out.  And if we return here, or if we find ourselves a seasonal campground — no matter where it is, will we be just as happy about were we are in another year, or two, or five, or ten years?  The only way to know is to decide to take a chance and try it.  And that’s what we’re still considering.  But by looking at a couple ideas we’ve had for a long time that probably aren’t ever going to be acted upon and accepting that, we’ve opened up a clearer pathway for ourselves.  By looking at what we’ve accomplished and weighing it I’m willing to say, “Ok, that’s enough,” or “Let’s give this another year and see what develops.” I’ve not been willing to do that.  I’ve been stubborn, wanting to maximize this or that.  But sometimes life isn’t about maximizing everything.the-whole-box-of-crayons  Sometimes it’s about doing a little of everything.  Or, to paraphrase, “Life is about using the whole box of crayons.” 

I don’t have to keep trying new things.  Or new places. It’s OK to decide you like one of them, and stick with that.  There’s nothing either ‘good’ or ‘bad’ about that; it’s just a personal choice and we’re allowed to make personal choices.  That too is what life is all about.

Thanks for stopping by.  The last month has been more about personal discovery in strange ways, but it’s where I’m at for the moment.  Life is unscripted and maybe tomorrow will set off on a new direction.  We’ll find out together.

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7 Comments

      1. I had the “loss experience ” at a much younger age, when my cousin 1 year older than me died at 11 y.o. from an accident with a rope swing. I was close to him and it really affected me to this day. Then later in H.S. we had car wrecks that took 3-4 from other classes at our high school. When a 17 y.o. dies from a speeding car wreck, just 1.5 miles from the school it makes you realize how close we all are to death.
        You are much more introspective than I am, but, I enjoy your writings.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yup, Norm, those loss experiences have the potential to change us significantly. Which is not to say that everyone learns from them, or that everyone profits from what they learned (as in quickly forgetting).
        The really neat thing about this world is that there’s a lot of room for different kinds of people. 🙂

        Like

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