“In love we find out who we want to be. In war we find out who we are.”

I found that in a synopsis of recommended books while sitting at Lindbergh Field in San Diego waiting to board a plane destined for Santa Rosa. I boarded my flight with only a Kindle and a phone, and I sat down next to my seatmate, and I just buried my head in my book. I find that my silence tends to make some people feel weird. I can’t help but feel like that is their own personal problem, and not mine. I’ve spent the majority of my life miserably dwelling on what a loser I am because I don’t feel like I live up to the standards of others. But not today–there’s no time for that when there is war on the horizon.

I do a lot of thinking when I’m travelling. I do a lot of thinking when I’m at work. And what those things have in common is that while I do have people that I interact with somewhat regularly in both, is that I spend a lot of time figuring out things on my own in silence. I’m at war. I enjoy the process of self-efficacy.

I’ve made a lot of choices that have led me to this place, and I don’t feel like really going into the details of those–the point is that I chose. What I have found though, in three nights, and roughly 400 pages of leisurely fiction are some glaring details about my personality, and the way that I operate. What I find the most relieving, is that the only thing awkward about who I am and how I live is my projecting what I think “regular” is, and feeling insufficiently regular–if that makes sense (awkward chuckle).

So I spend my life invested in action and activity. I’m at fucking war. It might not be running around with a rifle, but it’s war nonetheless. When I travel there is a much bigger sense of isolation. There is a lot of freedom, and even more opportunity to distance from the inhibiting distractions and routines that dominate everyday life on the home front. I love that. I’m constantly facing new situations, in new towns, in unfamiliar airports, and I’m constantly facing these things alone. At the end of the night I go back to my room and I sit with myself. I don’t have the overwhelming flood of distraction that I keep cranked on high at home. I just have the overwhelming feeling of being here, and it’s a really neat thing to experience.

When I stop and think of all the things that are wrong with my life, if I’m honest with myself, I come to the conclusion that it’s merely my insecurities and resistance to accept myself. And it’s funny, because from what I see, our world is somewhat obsessed with enhancing our lives with the inclusion of others rather than enhancing our lives with the inclusion of ourselves. And of course this is all just opinion, but if it rings any bells or causes you to question things–by all means… question!

There is nothing like going heads up with life and getting your ass handed to you without someone to run back to for coddling. Day after day struggling to find your balance, and having nobody to assist you but yourself. I don’t think there is any endeavor on this Earth quite like persevering alone. It’s a war, and that’s why this quote got me thinking enough that I felt like writing again. I need to be at war to feel whole. And a warrior is not an easy person to love, but without war I don’t know who I am, and I don’t feel a sense of purpose.

And so I’m out here patrolling on the front-lines of life, solo, up and down the state, and this way and that across the country to wherever it takes me. And I can’t begin to tell you how much of who I am becoming is being influenced by that experience. But after many years of battling, I finally feel like I’m getting somewhere, and that fills me with content.

2 thoughts on “The Inward Journey Home

  1. Yes. Josh, you nailed it. As alone as we feel in our own journey, it helps to know we aren’t that alone after all, which is what your writing does for people. Thank you for sharing, as always.


    1. Thanks, Emma! My late reply surely alludes to the state of my writing game as of late. But the journey continues. Thank you for writing that. It’s strangely timed for me to find right now.


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