So I'm leaving with Audrey for a 6 day run down the Blue Ridge to the Gap and back again starting on Thursday. It'll be the first time since the early nineties that I've done any two-up touring. Due to a scheduling snafu, my buddy Yun can't join us as we had originally planned. It's not like I'm doing much with my life, so I said, "eh, I'm not up to much, how about we go down to the Gap together in July." I did feel guilty that I'll be spending yet another week on the road making no progress on the site while the clock continues to tick. But the plan was set. We leave on July 12th. We'll spend a week riding down to the Smokey Mountains again. It'll be the third time for me this year. The fourth will be on the first leg of the Trans Am Trail trip.
Irresponsible. Decadent. The feelings of guilt are mounting.
I'm already feeling terribly questionable about how I'm living my life. In my mind, the Trans Am Trail trip will be the last big trip before I have to descend back into the life that I don't want.
I should be trying to get investors for M-BY-MC or lining up contracting work to tide me over or, god forbid, getting a job. There's a big part of me that fears I'll end up going back to that grind that was government contracting. I shudder to think about what it would do to me to go back to that.
I should be saving money. I should be doing what I'm supposed to. I should be writing the book. I should be looking to the future. I've had more than my fair share of "time off". Sure, I've busted my worthless ass for months on end developing the expanded software for the site but I have so little to show for the effort. It's not at the level it needs to be and I find it so terribly difficult to bring it to that level. Maybe I'm simply trying to do more than one person should. Maybe I'm making it too difficult on myself. Or maybe, I'm simply not good enough for the task. I suspect the former but fear the latter. Maybe I've just gotten too old and my old school values are standing in my way. In the time I've toiled on this stuff, others have built and sold companies. Granted they were really simple, but nevertheless there's a deep sense of inadequacy that I feel about all of this. It's taken too long and involved too much work. I have a particular vision of what I want to build but I confess of late I've been losing a bit of steam. The summer months are always hard on me and I always slow down. So if I can't go quickly, I go slowly. Sometimes I stop for a while. But the clock is ticking and I really do enjoy this work and I really want to use it. I like the idea of a life involved with motorcycles, travels and stories. I like the idea of building a place where I can live vicariously through the trips of others. I see how people use Facebook and others sites to tell their stories and I keep thinking "I can do so much better. Here, use this ..." but I still have to build it and there's so much more left to build and I'm running out of time. And I've been feeling so poorly of late that my progress has slowed.
But then, as if fate is trying to teach me to let even this thing go, Yun says to me this evening, "I'm thinking of heading from the Gap straight to Seattle and it'd be great if you could go ... "
The answer, of course, should simply be no. No way. A cross country trip is something you plan for months in advance, no weeks. "You do not simply go to Seattle."
Of do you?
Can I test the limits of irresponsibility? Can I allow myself to shirk even the modest pretense, the illusion, of doing something meaningful with my life and just go? It's just an additional three weeks. But if I go, I'll be admitting that the app won't get done before the Trans Am Trail trip. Of course, given my lack of progress there's little chance even if I stayed that it would get done. Does it really matter? It's been little more than a hobby project anyways, the big players are doing big things with real money and real teams while I fritter and waste my life in an off-hand way doing things well below what I'm capable of. Yea, the maps are cool and parts of the site show promise, "a good start" many have said, and I'd love to build the app so I can tag things as I ride ... but for what?
A week here. Three weeks there. Six to eight weeks after that. In the expanse of a lifetime, given that I'm single unburdened by debt and with enough money to float myself for a little while longer, why not?
If I go, what will it mean? If I stay, what does it mean?