No. 1 - Kingdom, "I Create My Own Destiny"
It's been a year since we relocated to the Mojave Desert via Las Vegas. Looking back at some of the memories from Facebook, I remember the drive across country from Lafayette, Louisiana via Route 40/Dallas. This is a part of the country that I have never seen before.
I remember how wide open the roads were... how much space and distance there was between the road and the buildings. The sunsets and the sunrises were always framed by watercolored skies and mountains. I remember how lonely and dark this vast space became driving at night.
The shadows of the mountains seems ominous and threatening, but I journeyed ahead, into the darkness. Engulf by darkness, and alone on the road, the only light on my passage was glowing from the headlights and the interior lights of the center console.
It was as if I was in outer space.
If you have ever driven through mountains terrain at night, I'm sure you can relate. There are no street lights, and often you are 1 of 5 other vehicles on the road at the busiest times, but many times you are driving alone.
I drove through the night against all best motherly advice. I drove through Alburquerque, Sante Fe, Flagstaff at the wee hours of the morning - the witching hours. After a short pit stop at a mountainous general store in Flagstaff, around 4am in the morning, I started to see light.
The sun was warming up and lifting the veil of night. I paused and scanned my surroundings to put my finger on some sort of landmark, just in case. But how do you pinpoint your whereabouts on a hill where there's a highway, truckers, mountains, and just 1 store clerk. I could barely read the sign of the general store that I was in because the front was poorly lit and the parking lot only had the light of the day and vehicles passing through.
I remember thinking to myself at that moment. This is the farthest I have driven on the road, by myself and away from anyone who knows me. Even on a motorcycle, I always hugged the east coast, where I have many people in my network and the invisible safety net of the community never seemed that far away.
Unlike, my road trips on my bike, this was different. I wasn't anywhere near anything familiar. There was no safety net. I was just me.
I gathered myself, while weary from the road, without much sleep, and thought, do I find a place to rest then continue the journey to Las Vegas? or do I ground pound all the way into town?
According to the GPS, if I kept going, I would arrive in Las Vegas before 8 am. Weary and anxious, I did the one thing my mother stressed to me not to do, I kept going.
Having been on the road for over 24 hours since the last rest stop in Ft. Worth/Dallas, TX, I didn't see the point in stopping. I was literally 4 hours away from my destination. I couldn't let the fears and warnings of another person stop me from pursuing my goals and dreams.
My mind, body, and soul was tired of living up to others expectations.
At that point in my life, I had been through enough and had enough. Most of the advice that I had been given about my life was faulty, outdated, and jagged.
What crippled me the most, is that I wanted to believe in the fairytale. I wanted to believe that someone would see me and rescue me. Someone would love me. Someone would honor and respect me. Someone would make a way for me. Someone would take the pain away.
But no one came....there was no knight in shining armor. Even, my own family had abandoned me. Despite there reservations, there was little to no support. I had no role models.
This time, unlike the others, I was going to do it my way.
As I twisted and turned through Kingsman, AZ into Boulder City, NV and I crawled over the final hill into the Las Vegas Valley, it was sunrise. The warmth and light of the sun greeted me and the beauty of the valley captured me.
I cried as I began to dial my mother .... I told her my location.
"I made it and it was so beautiful".
Shocked and concerned, as mothers tend to me, she asked, how did I get to Las Vegas that fast and in less than 3 days. I told her that I did everything that you advised against.
All of her fears were not that of my own. I took a trip into the unknown alone, which is something that no one in my proximity of family and friends would have done. They could not advise me. My mother couldn't protect me now and she couldn't protect me then.
I had to learn the hard way.
I kept going.
and now, I am here.