Finding yourself on the road again is a bit like going back in time and a bit like going towards the future. It’s like the past because the scenery blurring in streaks across the window are full of ghosts: former places you used to go to or abandoned landscapes. You’re moving forwards but the melodies you’re listening to are full of memories. Only the songs that meant something to you last spring, mean something entirely different now or don’t mean anything at all.
At the same time, being on the road is also like hurling yourself towards the future. You’re moving towards something that is about to happen. The place you’re going is still unknown, the memories aren’t yet made. Everything is still just an idea, an expectation. There’s still a hope: that everything will go according to plan, that you’ll find whatever you’re looking for, that you’ll make it to wherever you’re trying to get to.
I’ve spent a lot of my life experiencing the unnerving sensation of going two places at once. I simultaneously felt myself being pulled into the past and thrust into the future.
Being on the road and driving places is no different. My thoughts race backwards as the car carries me forwards. It’s the present that is lost, somewhere in the middle.
And yet, as the car sputters along, I’m aware, deep down, that what’s happening right this moment is slowly transforming into the past and becoming a memory. And maybe the songs playing now will also mean something entirely different next spring, and the ghosts in the landscapes surrounding me will have new faces.
I enjoy being on the road because it proves to me that my life is not stagnant; that I am going places, and that I am sure to meet interesting people and see interesting things and have interesting experiences along the way. Last year, when I consider myself very young, being on the road still convinced me that I was not wasting my life away.
Now, it is different. Being on the road reminds me how much I’ve already lived and inspires me with all the living I still have left to do.