Oregon Welcomes You

“The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” 

-Saint Augustine (also seen in an article from the editor of some sports and fitness magazine at the Anytime Fitness in Woodburn, WA. 

Travels brought me into Oregon today, and although I had always wanted to see it, I never knew why. Even when I was a little girl there was some magical sound of the word Oregon, something that made it seem like it was a sort of fairy tale type place, I wanted to move to Eugene and open a store that sold tie-dyed shirts and grateful dead posters. I wanted to live in Eugene, have a dog, a yellow car, and be in Oregon every damn day. There’s nothing that I can trace this infatuation back to, which baffles me. 
As an adult I had many friends that were either from Oregon or moved there. The curiosity was still there, and I’d ask questions like “what’s the grocery store like there compared to here” or a typical Nikki question, “do they have nice landscapes? It seemed as is all my friends that had Oregon ties just kind of” had it”. I envied them, and secretly hated the fact that they’d been there, lived there, got familiar with it, and I was still on the outside looking in. Then, I started connecting dots, how many times in life do we hold into something, but don’t quite know why? 

I’ve always been a roamer, a dreamer, a meanderer. Growing up, dreaming of places that I quite possibly would never see sparked my brain in a fire of creativity, and as an adult I get to harness my vagabond nature in a way that most people could only dream of. I’m seeing Oregon right now, but at the same time I’m also seeing some of my childhood dreams come true. I’d daydream whenever I was riding in the car with my parents of being in a black Dodge Stealth in a high speed romp along side of whatever car we were riding in at the time. I had visions of driving that car through deserts, over mountains, and hell, to Oregon. I dreamed of police chases, crashes, jumping bridges, all of the stereotypical cheesy car chase movie scenarios.  That was my mind, that’s what I wanted to be when I grew up…. And the whole tie dye shirt thing…. But when do we let our childhood dreams fade into the background and become an adult? 

“Nice suit.” me

“I’m at super adult level now. I’m not sure how it happened.” my one time best friend  that now lives in Oregon

I look at myself, being not very adult like, and instead of hanging my head in shame, I actually shake my head in disappointment for all of those that don’t have the yearn to get up and go. The propulsion out the door to go explore what’s beyond your comfort zone escapes many people, and sadly, it seems like more and more of the younger generation is leaning towards life lived through a screen. They’re becoming an entire age demographic of virtual reality junkies. What’s wrong with the damn world around you, what’s wrong with what’s right outside your door. Are people afraid to venture out now? When did this happen? 

“There are some drugs that they sell for pain in this country that are very dangerous.”
Neil Young 

  • Medications cure everything
  • Roads are dangerous 
  • TV is reality – or reality is TV
  • Serial killers are everywhere
  • Food will kill you
  • Thin is beautiful 
  • Fake tans and unnaturally white teeth is attractive 
  • Loans are cool and so is bankruptcy

All these things bother me, and I let them bother me too much at times. Letting shit like this manifest in my mind distracted me from getting out and doing what I really was intended to do, roam. I tried the adult thing, I did the adult thing well, and I am still doing the adult thing well, but on my terms. My suit clad friend was just like me, a sort of wanderer, with lot of similarities to me, but he settled, and I’m jealous. 

The problem is, I’m afraid I’ve gone too far down the path of unsettled to ever turn around and find my way back to the reality that is adulthood. Sure, I make my car payment, I cook my own food, and I sometimes even do my own laundry, but that’s about where the adult thing ends. I still want to play in the rain, I still want to make mud pies, and damn it, I still want to move to Eugene and have my store and my black Dodge Stealth. What’s preventing me? Society… 

Let’s face it, there isn’t much of a market for the dyed shirts and even if I did move to Eugene, would I live out if my car or what? I could panhandle, I could find a harmonica and hula hoop and have my own little show on the corner. What prevents other people from having these same aspirations? Who knows.  

Have we become a society so drugged out on social media, politics, and pharmaceuticals that we don’t wee the real world around us? How many people do we see on a daily basis that regulates their day and behavior by popping a pill, taking a drink, robbing a store, beating their wife?

“there are no strings, there is no neck”

Neil Young in reference to how he feels when he nails a song

Riding along right now, the rain is falling on Morris the Truck and I feel how Neil feels when he gets his jam just right. I feel perfect right now, good food in my belly, a good run today, Oregon under my belt, and the sky as the limit. 

There was a disturbing realization, however, that Oregon brought to my attention this morning.while traveling along, running Waze as always.  I was notified of an accident ahead. Looking ahead, all I saw was fog, this freezing fog. Really it was unlike anything I had ever seen, so dense that as soon as it came into contact with the truck it would immediately freeze, super bizzare stuff… But through the fog a sign appeared that read “wreck ahead” and nothing else. A dime sign, no lights, no flashing, just a construction sign. Expecting to see tow trucks, lights, police, ambulances, something, anything, I was disappointed. No sign of any sort of aid whatsoever, just a wrecked semi off in the ditch and a trailer on the side of the road, just sort of abandoned there. It was hard to tell how long it had been there, but it got me thinking, why the hell was it just left there? 

Much like we abandon some of our hopes and dreams because they seem too hard to achieve, I think that semi was abandoned because it was just too difficult to clean up. Oregon just sort of said “eh, let it sit there, maybe someone else will clean it up.”  don’t let your life become the wreck ahead, don’t abandon your dreams. Put down the bottle, the pills, the addiction and start living. 

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2 thoughts on “Oregon Welcomes You

  1. So the road warrior is @ it again. Envious of you in that you are able just get up & take to the road seeing part of this great USA that most people only dream about. @ least the OR part of your dreams has come true. Take it all in lady. See as much as you can while you can. Riches can be defined in many ways, yours is in the vast memories & experiences as you transverse this land. My only observation is that you timing sucks! You always seem to be hitting these gorgeous states in the dead of Winter! Travel on lady, travel on.

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