I started on my first solo road trip days after finishing my last law school exam. I had no idea how well, or poorly I had done. At the time I didn’t much care. I had no intentions of pursuing a legal career. All I wanted was to get my diploma and get out of Kingston. Actually, I wanted to get out of the country. I had purchased a ticket to Taiwan but my plane took off after convocation which was three weeks away. I had nothing to do and no place to be during that time so I decided to go on a road trip.
Looking back, it is reasonable to say that I was in a bad way as I hit the open roads. I was not anywhere near the place I had envisioned three years earlier. I was disillusioned, heartbroken, discouraged and feeling very lost. So, I packed my Sony CD walkman (Not even a built-in CD player in my first car. I AM old!), a box full of CDs and set off to somehow heal what was broken.
My pilgrimage through the prairies had nothing to do with finding God or the meaning of life. It was all about cursing, singing, seat dancing and a whole lot of self-searching. My stops were minimal and for very short amounts of time. It seemed like as long as I was driving, my batteries were recharging. And then it happened.
I have felt happiness, joy, elation pride and even ecstasy countless times in my life; however, the energy and sudden sense of self that I felt when I first saw the majesty of the Rockies shimmering in the distance was electric. I have never been so awake in all my life. At that moment, it didn’t matter how I got there. The point was I was exactly where I was meant to be.
And then St. Elmo’s Fire came on over the radio. (I had long given up on my CD walkman as it skipped every time I hit a bump.). It was like I was in a movie. Oh my God! The eagles nesting in the mountains must have heard the echo of my voice as I screamed out the chorus to the song. (Actually, I don’t know the words to the song. I think I was just screaming.) I remember feeling connected with everything around me. I was alive and very much at peace.
A while still passed before I felt completely healed; nevertheless, that moment of self awareness is something that continues to resonate within me. I think everyone needs to take a solo journey at one point in their life. The journey doesn’t have to be in a car or on foot. It just needs to be solo and personal. We all need to reconnect with who we are. And it doesn’t have to be only once in a life time. I am currently on a second pilgrimage. Don’t get me wrong. I feel happiness, joy, elation pride and, yes, (I mean YES!) even ecstasy almost every day. I know I am exactly where I should be. It is just time for me to rediscover what has brought me to where I am.
St. Elmo’s Fire youtube link