What drives change?

I’ve been wondering what drives people to change or at least the want to change?

For the last 12 years I have lived in this city of more than a couple of million people and yet I feel like I’m trapped in a cage.  I’m immeasurably bored with my life and feel aimless and without any direction.  A couple days ago, rather than do any work or take steps towards change, I slept late, showered, and headed to the dentist for a cleaning.

If I move overseas or travel around this country, what will I do about regular visits to doctors and dentists?  Do I come back to this place once a year with everything scheduled around the same time?  Or do I just see whoever is local?  What do other people who don’t have a permanent place to call home do?

With my teeth nice and clean, I headed to another appointment, only to discover upon my arrival that the person I was meeting with thought they had told me they wouldn’t be able to make it.  My reaction was, as it always is…. I was understanding and accommodating.

So I got in my car and drove.  No destination in mind,  I drove.  Empty; no thoughts.  I just drove and drove.  My body’s muscle memory just took control, moving the car forward and around turns.  Pushing forward on green, pausing on red.  I found myself at a place I often eat, without the memory of having driven myself there.  The engine was off.  I had no appetite.

Most probable route that I took.

The most probable route that I took.

So I started the car back up and drove.  I found myself in another part of town – again the result of driving without a destination in mind – near the best of the mediocre bookstores that still remain.  I had been spending a lot of time looking at books of far off lands – places which have seemed more like dreams than possibilities.  Travel books can give interesting overviews of a place, but there usefulness is limited to those places and topics of interest to temporary visitors, not the issues or concerns of someone considering a more permanent visit.  Having already looked through every book in the store on places that generate even a small spark of interest, I had no desire to go in.  The place feels like a hospital.  The employees like patients who are stuck in the kind of limbo that life support provides.  Not dead yet, but not able to recover to a healthy state.  All the bookstores in this town are depressing.  I went past and continued to drive.

That’s pretty much how the rest of my day went; shifting from place to place without thought.  At some point I put on a favorite album from a year ago.  I started to reconnect with the world as I drove and listened to the music.  The lack of awareness I had while driving was replaced with a general numbness.  I listened and drove.  I didn’t think all that much.  I felt catatonic and a sense of blankness on my face, a blandness about my being.

After hours of driving, I was back at that place I sometimes eat, ordering the same food I always order.  Sitting there, I spent some time reflecting on where the day had gone, and wondered if the day was some sort of preview of what life would be like if I chose the option of traveling around my home country.  Would I find myself traveling from place to place with numbness as a companion?

I desperately need to change my life.

Category(s): Exploration
Tags: driving, lost, numb

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