Coming back home from Ohio last month was an emotional experience for me. It was 5 days of driving (two around Austin and three to Ohio), a week of visiting, and then more than 3 days of driving home.
I came back through KY, TN, AL, and then across to the west through MS before heading towards Lake Charles in LA. From there I headed west to Houston. As soon as I hit LA, I realized it was my last day on the road, and I was not looking forward to it ending. When I got to Texas, I was feeling, "We're not home just yet," trying to make the drive last as long as possible. When I saw "Harris County Line," I started crying. I had enough presence of mind to grab my camera and position myself for the final photo of the trip, the skyline of Houston. I'll caption this as, "This is not what I wanted to see."
At the moment I started crying, I realized that I had bonded with my Jeep, as silly as it sounds. I just wanted to stop by my gas station, gas up, and just keep going. Also, I wasn't ready to come back home, mentally. It was a full day after arriving home before I could turn on the computer (and I don't have a TV), and that was to pay bills I had to pay online, and then I was back off the computer until around noon the next day. Nothing felt right, nothing looked right. I came back a changed person, a different person. I felt like my old life did not fit me anymore.
I did some serious inner work on this trip, namely my priorities in my life. I still have more to do. When I have done my trip journaling and put this trip up on my web site, I will be more ready to get down to the serious business of determining what I want to do next. One thing I had started doing during the trip was the closing down of my associations within my financial research I had done for nearly 7 years. It was very hard, but I had to do it for my health and happiness. I decided that I would be retaining two sources to guide me in my financial decisions for the future. I remain somewhat connected to a specialty area, but that's all.
I just know that I was not happy coming back home, and I was still living off my phone for several days after arriving. I came back on a Monday afternoon. My next work shift was a Friday, and it was that day, two minutes after I clocked on, when I found out that a dear friend and former coworker had committed suicide. He died two days before my whole trip started, and I didn't know he wasn't there to receive my trip journal e-mails in person. I was crushed. First of all, without his death, I was already on dicey grounds, emotionally-speaking, about coming back to work from vacation. I mean, I didn't know how I was going to relate to coworkers and customers, what I was going to think or say. I've given my company nearly 9 years, and I was nervous, a little lost. I've never experienced this before. It was like, "I live here? I work here?" Like I was looking at a different person. To have my friend's death on top of this was like rushing it through the meat grinder. It just shattered.
I'm ready for a change. I just don't know what that is yet...