what sort of life?
This is ridiculous. What am I doing here? I'm in the wrong story!
Once upon a time, almost ten years ago, I started a blog. I called it "Riding in Cars with Ducks," and I didn't have a clue what I was doing.
A lot has happened since 2010. I came out as queer. I realized I was autistic. I fell in love with my beautiful wife. I fell in love with New England. We bought a house, acquired some cats, and discovered a passion for hammocks. We joined a trivia team and went on no less than five trips to the northeast without seeing a single moose.
One thing has remained constant, in all this time.
I still don't know what I'm doing.
I've spent my life waging a battle between wanting to be epic and wanting to be perfect. Some days, perfect wins. And when it does, I curl up under the covers and lament that I'll never be able to do everything. I get overwhelmed in the minutia of planning, overcome by unfinished projects and a house that will never be perfectly clean and shelves of books that will never be all read. I embrace all of my self-loathing and feel like a failure.
But on other days, I'm able to see that it's only the feeling like a failure that is a failure at all. I want to see and do everything, and maybe I can't get to it all, but that doesn't mean I can't try.
Those are the days when I jump into waterfalls, scale impossible mountains, and ride self-propelled rollercoasters through National Forests. Those are the days when I see the Milky Way, camping out in the back of my car in 20 degree weather, in the middle of the Chihuahuan Desert, or pick up a stray kitten, put him on a leash, and hike with him through the Smokies before throwing him in the car and driving 1,800 miles back to Texas. They're the days I say to my wife, "What if we did a thru-hike of the Appalachian trail? With a dog? Or a kid? What if we went for a triple crown? What if we just... did it?"
And on those days, I get to be epic. Even if I don't know what I'm doing, I have learned enough in the past ten years to know that this is the sort of life I want to live.