Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Day Before - What is this about?

I feel strangely calm. However, upon some quick rethinking, I am completely amazed at how I have gotten to this point. After four years studying in the USA, I will be leaving my school tomorrow, heading right through the innards of this beautiful nation towards my first real job in my dream city, San Francisco. For twenty days, I will make the road my home.

It is not like I have never driven cross-country before, or feel unsure on the route. This road trip is radically different to anything previously done, comparable only to the time I decided to cross the Atlantic and study my way into the animated television industry. Things have changed since then; now, with a little more bitterness but also a complete lack of fear, I hold the reins to my own destiny, to truly do what I like without anybody's crippling expectations.

The vehicle I have chosen is a 1982 300TD, my childhood's favorite car. Since age five, I always dreamed of owning an old Mercedes station wagon, and now, after pulling it from a contractor's backyard in central New Jersey, I have turned it into a major component of my life. It is almost as if destiny had decided to foreshadow my future in my kid years through a strange passion for an even stranger automobile. I never knew what it was about the W123 Estate that I felt so ridiculously compelled to like, but now, after getting to know my car a little more, I am certain I would not have wanted any other vehicle for such a life changing experience.

Drawing on the American archetype of starting a new life elsewhere, I leave behind many friends, inspirational figures, and a heavy cluster of bad choices and sore memories in Providence, Rhode Island. I will miss a very special person in particular, Eddie Oates, who, through the display of his work/life style and affable personality showed me how a man who loves what he does is supposed to live. He taught me that the only life worth living is the life in which one wakes up to something one is excited about. I will also miss all my friends at RISD and outside of it, especially Roger Robitaille, expert bee farmer and kind grandpa, and Jim Grundy, brave pilot and knowledgeable mechanic, who has been a father to me during my stay in the Ocean State.

The one very thing I will not miss is the forced work ethic I subjected myself to in RISD, which, perhaps not being the most suitable environment for me, has taught me a lot of things on art, life and the way people operate, at a HUGE cost. I will not miss the $50,000 a year tuition that made my family downsize our home, and sell my furniture. I will not miss the politics of how or why I quit my in-campus job, or a inspirational leadership position bringing world-class lecturers to our school. I will not miss the people who, in their confusion, took advantage of my kindness. I will not miss RISD's lack of interaction in its community. I will not miss the public transportation brawls in Kennedy Plaza, or the Brown University weekend drunkards. I will not miss Providence's purple and orange sky.

At this point, I am ready for a change of perspective. I want to get involved. I want to experience. I want to get old and tell that I lived through more than sitting on an office cubicle. I want to take the world with me wherever I go, and never stop until my body last fails.

Life, I am ready.

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