So I have returned, but how much have I really changed? Perhaps it is too subtle to even recognize. Faces and places that surround me have changed drastically, but through all my travels, and tragedy, and learnings, I am unaware of a drastic change within myself. I took off for Yellowstone with the intentions of trying to “find myself” and divulge that missing something that I had been searching for, but nothing came. Time spent away from my acquired home proved to only deepen the extent of my ever-worsening confusion. I was not as content among snow-capped mountains, lush green forests, and glacial blue lakes as I had anticipated I would be. So maybe I have changed, in that, I no longer expect a different location to cure my sadness. And maybe this is how it will always be for me, running around in search of something, never fulfilling my undecided appetite. And maybe this is a good thing because it will keep me going, and guessing, and learning. I do miss Yellowstone, and now that I am back home, I am still suffering from homesickness. Upon reflection, I am able to see “the big picture”, but while stationed in the very thick of it, I was unaware of true meanings. Sometimes I caught a glimpse but soon grew weary of interpretation. I can see it now. My life is going to be spent chasing after sensationalized ideas and events that never fully “make the mark” but are always glorified in retrospect which shall forever inspire me to go back for more. Do I just keep getting dumber? Through my Yellowstone experience I did gain friends from all around the world, and this was always recognized even before the moment was lost. Those of us who were exceptionally close still remain in contact, occasionally by phone, often by postcards, and frequently by email. I rather enjoy the postcards. The beauty of the national park that was my backyard was never actually taken for granted either. Although at times, I feared, that, perhaps I am not the nature freak I thought I was, but I know now that this was just a reaction to the inspiration killer known as familiarity. I’m sure I’ll make it back there one of these days. As of now, I’m still trying to decide what I want to be when I grow up. The field of geology is looking more and more likely each day. I’m good at it, and I rather enjoy it, but there is a level of intimidation that I can’t seem to shake. Up until recently, I’ve just never pictured myself a friend of science, but now I find it rather intriguing. Maybe I should just follow in the footsteps of those before me and become a bonafide “mountain man”. Uh, no.
March 23, 2002