Intentional Curiosity, Part One: What I Didn’t Expect to Feel After Traveling 35 Hours in a Jam-Packed Car With My Best Friend

It’s daytime, and the expansiveness of the desert leaves you feeling small in the best kind of way.

It’s night, and the stars remind you of being a child. Of the promise you made to yourself that one day, you’d go up there and discover a planet not unlike our own. Except out there, there’d be floating houses, waterfalls full of sparkling magic, and a fairies that guide you through the dark woods as you listen to moss grow, trees talk, and elves sing.

That reality soon taking up more and more space in this one. Time and imagination both eager for your full attention, but since you can’t ever give yourself fully to one or the other, you find yourself satisfied with the in-between, settling in as if it were a comfy arm chair next to a crackling fire.

Sometimes, I pretend I’m running a way from the law after having stood up for something I believe in deeply, while somehow still remaining impossibly whimsical and full of secret lives no one else will ever know about.

Sometimes, I lose myself in a book on tape.

Sometimes, I like to think that I can figure out all of life’s problems.

Sometimes, I’m all consumed by anxiety and can’t seem to find a way out.

Sometimes, I laugh hysterically because driving 17 hours in one day is quite ridiculous and possibly unsafe, so we make the decision to sleep in a Walmart parking lot and have a jolly good time while doing so. Despite the cold feet (not metaphorically speaking).

And sometimes, this time, I don’t say anything for hours on end, thinking about nothing more than what’s in front of me, occasionally wondering why I’m not tempted to think about anything at all. Is something wrong? I find myself concerned, almost, at this feeling that I don't ever associate with myself.

Calm.