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Introduction to Ransomed Roads

Better Known As - "Finding my Trajectory"


Getting my Bearings


I'm delirious again. It's that heady sensation of accomplishment and sleep deprivation. That's what happens when you decide you're going to launch several different projects at once....and give yourself a two-week deadline. It's cool. Much of the work was already done, years of research just waiting to be implemented. But pondering and doing are two different things, and doing...well, that's how you get the sleep deprivation.

It's worth the pain. In fact, it's all been worth it: the last few weeks and months...and years. False starts, failed ambitions, faded relationships, poor physical and mental health, and a plethora of sleepless dark nights of the soul

At this point, you might, Dear Reader, be wondering when (oh, when!) this piece will say what it's going to be about. After all, any Google search will return scores of articles telling you to hook your reader immediately with what, exactly, the point of your post is (I would know, because research). This is the new normal. Gone are the days when one could write a flowery post without any concern for things like SEO. After all, how will you know if you want to read this if I don't tell you the ending immediately so that you don't have to read it? ...Hmmm....seems contrary. Cart before the horse. And that's fine. There will be posts like that. Still, to appease the Google Gods, this is an intro, hence the title.

But what am I to say in a "first ever" post on a blog that is, in its very essence, about doing things in a divergent manner, about going against "normal"? How about an anecdote...


Tim Ferris might be a genius...

This morning, as with many mornings lately, I found myself dreading getting out of bed. I lay there, going over the things I had to do to get everything ready for the launch of this site and what I now realize is more than fifteen separate website pages of varying purpose. The word "insurmountable" comes to mind. So do words like "lunatic" and "straight-jacket." It's not really a surprise that I suddenly felt overwhelmed and, well, lacking in ambition.

Of course, in such situations, there is only one thing to do: fuck* around on my phone until I feel like getting up. And it was as I proceeded to do so that I came across an excellent article by Tim Ferris. (If you aren't familiar with him, I highly recommend him as inspiration for alternative life-styling.) In the article, Tim talks about the crushing cycle of entrepreneurial depression. In other words, being an entrepreneur plays havoc on your mental/emotional state: inspired phases provoke an optimism that often fails to remain steadfast in the face of the overwhelming disappointments of reality, and gives way entirely to suffocating depressions that leave one ambition-less, dejected, and often unable to get out of bed. I couldn't help but sense a correlation.

*[...oh, right. Did I not say there would be expletives on this blog? There will be. Of varying frequency and intensity. I won't go out of my way, but I won't censor myself, either. It's unlikely I'll reach the levels of my usual conversational style, which more resembles a cab driver...which is appropriate, considering that I learned from my farmer grandmother who drove a cab for several years. So you are forewarned. "No one likes a vague disclaimer."]

Yeah, I get depressed. A lot of people do. And that was kind of his point: these days we are all afraid to lay it out there, the raw, the ugly, the utterly lacking in positive exuberance. We're afraid to be real. Can you imagine? A writer rebellious against social facades and strictures that is afraid to say what she thinks and feels... I shudder.

So, you can imagine my joy at reading - only two days from going live and an impending launch weekend where I had to declare my enthusiastic independence - that it was okay that I didn't want to get out of bed. That I was like pretty much every entrepreneur out there. What's more, he was describing exactly what I was doing...hiding under the covers. I was...normal. The thought made me giggle hysterically, and the reason for this will be come clear as you read farther down.

This is the kind of serendipitous experience I live for, by the way, and I get more than my fair share. It is why I feel such wonder about our universe. The ebb and flow that our paths take, the sense that each thing happens in its own time and way, that our trajectory shows there is really nothing wrong with us, that all will be revealed...well, it's comforting, is what it is. It doesn't change the fact that I eventually had to get out of bed, that I had a boatload of work to do, but the perspective shift is helpful. It isn't about feeling positive, or a can-do attitude. It's more the sense that I just can't not do it anymore. I threw back the covers. Grim determination mixed with the passion to see these ventures become what I've been dreaming. It's not magic; it's not drudgery. It's just process.

And that's how I get things done. 

So let's get real....

"Ransomed" Roads?

So, if you've gotten this far, you're probably wondering what is up with the title of this site. After all, how do you "ransom" a road? You may remember my comment above about the pain being worth it? Well, it almost wasn't.

For years, I've dreamed of living my life a certain way...the certain way is not so important here as the difficulty I've had in achieving it, but suffice it to say it had a lot to do with how I felt about my time here on this earth and what I'm meant to be doing with it. Our society is set up in a pretty dysfunctional way, especially if you are a minority, have a "disability," or simply don't abide by the same philosophy of "normal" as everyone else. I tried to suck it up and work within the system, even after I saw that it was an astounding level of bullshit, and seemed to fail at pretty much every turn. I'm all for failing forward, this was a bit much. What's worse, this was taking a serious toll on my health and mental state. This wasn't about simply whether I wanted to live within society's strictures, but whether I could. I always say that the universe is out to get me for my own good. The universe was telling me something. And I wasn't listening. ...I paid the price.

After years of trying to work within the system, I was done, but it would take still more years to work through the fallout and residual patterns I had experienced as a result. The world does not allow people to do things differently from the norm. You have to be stubborn and just do it. So now I'm listening. No more compromise. No more being reasonable. It's a fight: tooth and nail.

And so it was that this title came to me through yet another serendipitous experience.

I was playing with an online anagram generator. I'm fascinated by the interplay of words, and how you can make multiple words out of the same sets of letters. I had entered my name, and was scrolling through the results, when one hit me like lightning.

Ransomed Roads

Immediately, I was struck by the layers of meaning, and I knew. I knew I had the title for my travel blog. I love to write, and travel is a part of my soul. But not just travel, no. This went much further. This embodied so much of my struggle to live my life by my philosophy. I suddenly felt like a pirate, ready to take back my time and my life from the world that didn't care if it was killing me.

So, to correspond with the upcoming holiday weekend, I am declaring my independence. From this point forward, I am focused on achieving these dreams. I'll have quotes, how-to's, best-of's, polls, lists, reviews of products, movies, music, as well as philosophy, to accompany the Traveler's spirit, to feed that wanderlust and rebellion that needs to be sated and inflamed in the same instant.

Moving on...

The Stopping Place

I once read in a story that in gypsy culture (or Romany), gypsies will wander forever, that is their way. However, every now and then, one will find a "stopping place," or atchin tan. This means they find a place that makes them want to stop wandering, and there they will live for the rest of their days.

I feel no real desire for this "stopping place," and have concluded I must be a gypsy. It makes sense. After all, I come from a military family and grew up moving to different parts of the world. Furthermore, I think my Native American ancestry runs deep through me, because I find the very concept of owning land unnatural and being tied to it in such a way almost suffocating.

It is interesting, then, that I ended up in Iowa, on the family farm, the most stopping place you can get.

I am here for many reasons: spending time with and helping out my grandmother, reconnecting with family and friends, recuperating from stress-induced collapse, and working on my "lifestyle." I've been looking at tiny houses and gypsy caravans for a while and always found them the height of freedom: comfort and independence. And I want one. I want to take my house with me, and travel everywhere.

[To get an idea of how obsessed I am with this idea, my Pinterest Board "Homelust" has almost 1500 pins. (More on intense interests later.)]

So, as I continue this path, I'll also be sharing the process of building my very own tiny house. Materials, design, how to budget, inevitable trips to the emergency room... Join me and learn from my mistakes. I sense there will be many.

One last thing...

Why the hostility towards alarm clocks?

If you're reading this on my site, you may have noticed the description in the left sidebar. No? Go ahead; I'll wait.

The impetus for this site is to fulfill my dreams of living outside of - in a nutshell - the normal 8-5. I can think of no more symbolic item for this abhorrent normalcy than the alarm clock. Interrupter of dreams and sleep thief. I'd smash them all if I could.

But why the big deal? A little context...

I've been writing this post since around 2am. I was up and about since noon, and yet, inspiration on what to write just wasn't hitting. I didn't even get the idea to incorporate today's bed experience until around 3am. And it had been this way for weeks. I've been agonizing over a first post for literal months. Nothing. But now? In the middle of the night, I'm in my element. For the past two nights, I've gotten more done than I had for the last few months.

You see, for a small section of the populous (although I suspect it's more; denial is a strong delusion), mornings are actually painful.  Our clocks just aren't set that way. We are truly nite owls. We're great at night: creative, driven, intelligent. But daytime? We can barely remember our own names. Seriously. You should be deeply concerned at the number of people who are out on the road during early morning rush hour that can barely remember their own names. There are a lot of us.

Many morning/day people fail to understand this. They think you're being childish or irresponsible. They don't understand there is an inherent need...or they don't care. Either way, it's their world, and I became more and more resentful of every single noise that emitted from those devil machines. I can't even stand it wide awake when it's for someone else.

There is something that happens when you realize your need is being categorically invalidated by the culture which you inhabit. Need becomes ideology. It becomes necessary so you don't lose your mind or worse.

So you see, this is more than just another travel blog. It's lifestyle, it's philosophy, it's living the joy and beauty, the frustration and pain. This is what I always want my life to be. I'm living it. Slowly. Oh, and I'm inviting you along for the ride. I'll share stories and lessons from the road, the land, the sky, the sea. Will it be worth it? We shall see, but ultimately, it's got to be better than living a life that leaves me empty and passionless. It's got to be better than going insane and taking everyone with me.

Cue the music....



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1 comment:

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