The early morning sky today was a gloomy orange streaked with grey clouds from the rain that soaked us through the past couple days departing the area. I was sitting at a busy traffic light while the sun rose over Indy on my way to work, staring off into the clouds and beyond. When suddenly and very abruptly, I had the sudden urge to jerk the steering wheel to the left and completely turn the car around and head back home.

Back home to bed. Back home to my feline babies. Back home to dad. Back home to the home that desperately needs repairs. Back home to Netflix and comic books. Back home to my barely-used art supplies and empty notebooks. Back home to my computer and the soulless projects collecting dust on my hard drive. Back home to coffee and fried egg sandwiches. Back home to daydreams and inspiration. Back home to late nights and sleeping in. Back home to the library and the dollar store. Back home to staring up at the stars and always wondering. Back home to music and the magic of make believe. Back home to freedom.

There’s something ironic about living in the land of the free but feeling absolutely chained to your life and your bills and “the routine.” How do we get back to freedom? How do we discover ourselves again? Or are we doomed to lead these lives forever?

I respect and appreciate my job. I enjoy the people that I work with and I understand and realize the necessity and importance for what I do. I also know that there are a great many that desperately need a decent job and are without — I realize that I’m blessed in that regard and I am humbled and grateful. I never did turn my car around. Because ultimately, my brain outranks my heart and my spirit. But for perhaps the first time in my life, it felt a whole lot like the only person I was hurting was myself in the process.

When I started 2016, I was really trying to get off on the right foot. I joined a gym and was gonna lose the weight. I went through months of physical therapy with the coolest doctor to strengthen my back out and get my sciatica back under control. I went to the dentist and paid an outrageous amount of money to have my teeth worked on. I kept telling myself that I was “investing in myself.” But now the summer is nearly over and I feel like I’m worse off than I was at this point last year. What happened? What am I doing with my life?

I space out a lot because I’m still dreaming. But what is it going to take to start dreaming out loud and making things a reality? One day I want to be in my car at a busy traffic light on an early summer morning staring at the rain-soaked clouds departing the area because I’m on my way to the airport to see my sister in Kansas or my friends in Phoenix or Los Angeles. I want to be on my way to a meeting with very important people who want to buy my book to turn it into a movie. I want to be on my way to pick up supplies for my newly purchased zoo a la We Bought a Zoo. I want to work in Astrometics aboard the Starship Voyager. Okay, that last one is a little bit of a stretch, but it really would be cool…

Maybe one day, I’ll be one of the lucky ones who manages to find his way back to freedom. Until then, I’ll see the real world tomorrow morning.


Author: Joseph Black

According to Wikipedia, I discovered magnesium and carbon dioxide, so that's something.

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