Miles since last blog: 23.2
Miles Total: 2168.7
I know, I know. After three days off I made it a mere 23.2 miles, but give me a break I think I might be sick or something. Just real tired most of the day and I found a church to camp behind so I'm letting myself 'get better,' or whatever semblance of that you can get on the road.
Earlier today I was relaxing in a restaurant (as I am tending to relax more and more and take breaks when leaving a city I like) and I was wondering: What is left for me?
I love my journey still, I realize it often, as I started today I felt lucky to be doing what I was doing. I love helping people and making what I think is starting to be a real difference both within the charity and in the day to day world with the people I meet. Still, the first part of this pilgrimage was fraught with personal realizations and growth, I'm not saying by any means I'm perfect mind you, but I have achieved the changes in my life and myself that I dreamed of at the outset. By continuing, do I grow further? I couldn't imagine which way that would go whereas earlier I knew exactly where I was deficient, I see ways to grow, I do, but walking perhaps has brought me what it can for now.
Perhaps you have heard the phrase, "If you want to change the world, change yourself." My biking buddy says, "be selfishly selfless." The point in both of these trusts right to the core of the goodness in humanity, if you become the person you want, that will likely lead you to do good in the world around you. One part of me that has always been true and there through all my changes and lives has been the teacher, like a friend of mine, I am innately a teacher, if nothing else.
I've been lucky enough to lead a life composed largely of thought over the past 2200 miles and I have learned a lot. Perhaps the meaning for me lies in, not teaching, but helping others discover the people they can be. A good teacher never leads, only guides. In Austin I have one, maybe two people joining me in my walk, maybe they are coming along right at this time because we need each other, all three teachers in our own right, all three students. I've said before, changing the world isn't about a tidal wave, it's about ripples, perhaps this is the beginning of that.
I also realized that a benefit of continuing on is the time for reflection and understanding, a change is nothing if it does not sustain itself. Understanding the process that got me here is as valuable as the process itself. I realized that for so long I was trying to relax and be the person that I wanted to be, but as long as I was trying, I was forcing something that wasn't genuine. I had to make the person I am now autonomic, a part of me that is the natural reaction to the world, not an effort. I like this person, the person who is good and free not because he desires to be, but just because he is.
And thought about the external world is on the rise for me, which is interesting. I find myself continually drawn to religions of different sorts to learn more and take from them what I will, to interpret them as I might and move on. I've found some very interesting things and I'm starting to think that when I go back to school it might be for religious studies or philosophy. It's such a deep part of so many lives and a part I have never had but there are certain things that seem to be universally believed and it's these parts that interest me the most.
All in all, by one o'clock it had already been a great day if only because the reason that I am continuing isn't just "to get to the other side."