I was thinking this through during my beach walk and return this evening. What are the necessary and required things of a life? My mentor RWR only told me a few pieces of life advice. I think he thought what would work for someone else would probably not work so well for me. He told me to
always know where you are and where you are going
I carried this with me from the days of doing prehistoric archeology in the Mojave Desert both during work as a Project Archeologist at Edwards AFB, CA and on the weekends when he and I escaped to a butte or lonely dirt road wandering through those mysterious foothills north of Edwards heading perhaps toward Bakersfield or Tehachapi. Its where the desert meets the foothills and the ecology starts ramping up. You can tell there is more water there and less people disturbance.
I always struggled to know where I was going. I knew I never wanted to give up archeology (then). It was like he told when asked that it was the
most fun you can have with your pants on
But the practice of it when I got let go at Edwards was pretty nomadic. Especially with a wife working at a hospital then and a baby that would come later. I was driving all over the state for an environmental engineering company. Working in Barstow and east of Sacramento and all points in-between.
So I knew where I was but where I was going?
That was kinda hella tricky. I just had no grasp of what would happen next besides the beer blast on a Friday after work at the hotel with all the archeologists, the biologists, and the ultimately crazy guys our geologists.
So what does this have with being on the road you ask. What possible connection can it have with travel which has been the predominant thread that this blog has spoken to? It has a few. One of the things that doing archeology professionally led me to was stopping in the late 1980s or early 1990s and moving for some God forsaken reason to IT. One of the advantages though was I suddenly knew where I was going. I knew I hated doing Program Management of complex projects my last few years and I knew I would leave. If you have done IT you probably know that it sucks. If you don’t, you should. I did multi-million dollar infrastructure and data center recovery, relocation, virtualization projects that drove me crazy at the last place. So for sure by that point, I knew where I was going. I was getting the F outa there.
My main message here is that often we travel through times in our lives without really knowing. That beer in the evening in the middle of the Mojave Desert with a bunch of like minded individuals while not yielding the where I was going part gave me this sense of wonder. If you have never done archeology in a field class or as a profession you will have no idea. Its not work really but it has sometimes a really bad impact on the body. Witness the RSI in my elbow from digging up human remains all one summer for PGE. Those damnable dental picks and the fragile human remains and my friend telling me to be careful all the time until we got tanked up at the hotel on beers.
It all helped me find where I was going. Now I know where it all led. It led to a room in Da Nang Vietnam and thinking back on the travels and travails of a life spent in a passion and another part spent laboring in IT. Now I know the rest of the story about what RWR told me.
Am I finally happy? Yes. I lived through IT and loved through archeology. One a passion and damned hard work and the other sometimes boredom and drudgery and horribly hard work as my projects went GREEN to RED with no stops in-between. I hated that. But it took me to 2018 on 1 March and leaving all of it behind.
So sleep well dear readers. If you know where you are and where you are going, you got it made. RWR said so.