So I made it to Washington.
Not sure when I will ever see Oklahoma again. It is a strange thought, having spent the majority of my life in that podunk-esque locale. It didn’t hit me until I was flying away and looked out the window at the only life I have known for twenty three years. At 6 o’clock in the morning the sun was burning, making it’s presence known even then. The lazy hills, plains, trees, and baby mountains of the State who geographically can never really make up its mind. In that moment it hit me like 38,000 feet of Vertigo. A feeling that I thought I was immune to:
I’m leaving home.
It is easy to say you will do it, to make the plans and lay out your dreams and ideas along the coarse carpet of your living room floor and just let your dreams paint your vision. Then, you face a little difficulty making the preparations, but that final step is so effortless that you never even realize you have taken it. That is, until you look over your shoulder and realize what you have done, and it hits you…there is no turning back now. You never notice sitting at the top of the slide, that the pull can carry you quicker than even gravity anticipated, and no amount of static cling or lazy, farm-fed inertia can even begin to slow you down once you tip the scales and make the plunge.
My scales are tipped. My plunge is about to be made. I stare in absolute awe as I watch my life change around me, thrilled by the unknown in what is to come. I can read every book there is on Japan, talk to every single person who has ever seen its shores, but that all falls so short of the reality it is laughable. You can spend your whole life studying and documenting the wonders of the ocean, see videos and pictures detailing every aspect of it, but they are drops of vapor compared to standing knee deep in the swells, held aloft by ceaseless salt and the unfathomable weight of what is in front of you.
That is something paper and picture can never quite capture. Rice paper to Rembrandt. Until I see it, and much more importantly, feel it with my own person, I won’t ever be able to know. So much of what we see isn’t through our eyes. It is so odd that we tend to forget that. That is why a photo never does the memory or actual destination justice, because it isn’t ever really about what we see. It never is. Don’t get me wrong, I love my literal sense of sight, but I choose not to rely on it.
I’ve been in a very hard to explain mood since I touched down on the West Coast. I was walking the beach with my sister and her son trying to place it, trying to put into words what I felt. The day was cloudless and wonderful. Bright, blue, with the huge vegetation and greenery that is so commonplace in the Pacific Northwest, and I could do nothing but look around in awe. This place is like that. I’ve seen it dozens of times, but like someone you truly love, you still find yourself staring at them, drinking in who they are, because they never cease to be awe-inspiring to you. That is what this place is like, especially when it is sunny out.
At first I thought what I felt was contentment. That wasn’t it. I was too restless to be fully content. Then I touched on serene, like the eye of a hurricane can be so calm as to forget what is happening moments away. Getting closer but not quite. The closest I could manage was acceptance. The acceptance of someone who tips themselves out of an airplane with nothing but balooning nylon to keep them company. A lot like that. Sort of being terrified out of my mind, but deciding to say “ahh, to hell with it, lets do this.”
It really is a wonderful feeling, but as you can tell, it has put me into a very introspective mood. Granted I think to much anyways, so being in an overly thinkative mood when you are already a pretty big thinker, is like a really big salami sandwich when you asked for a cracker. Lucky for me I am a sandwich type of cat.
So I compiled a list of things that I will and will not miss about the OK:
Things I WON’T miss from Oklahoma:
Vehicles with Deer/Beer/Fishing bumper stickers,
All people who ever uttered the phrase “get-r-done:
All accents associated with those things listed directly above.
Highway 51. My gosh, what a complete succubus of a stretch of pavement.
The accumulative 986 golf balls and one driver head I lost in less than 20 rounds of golf.
How It could be too hot for pants in the morning and be snowing by 3 o’clock.
Dennis and Vickerman (permit me an inside joke)
Weed Eating every 3 days.
People who chew tobacco. Keep excessively drooling and thinking it is better than a cigarette.
Cows. Nothing against them, just a personality clash really.
Trying to tip a cow and realizing that it isn’t as effective as stories would have us believe.
People who think a potato is a vegetable.
Every OSU male with an acoustic guitar.
…and Burns Hargis. I won’t miss him at all. Even when, at graduation, he said he was really proud of me and I didn’t even know who he was.
Things I WILL miss:
…….just all the people who made everything I just mentioned not only completely bearable but utterly enjoyable at times. 🙂
(except the damn accent, I never could get used to that grating drawl)
The Won’t list was tongue in cheek, the sentiment was not. Everyone one of you gave me the strength and ability to be able to do what I’m doing.
I hope I made it clear to those of you this sentiment applies to. And if not, I really tried to. I hope you know that.
Thank you for that, Truly.
and with that, this Soon to be Gaijin will see you next time.