I didn't really get a chance to ease into my trip. The flight to LA was short and filled with last minute arrangements for my arrival via wi-fi. I even took a minute to re-read the first chapter of my book I had just finished. The thing about writing the first chapter of a pilgrimage book before you go on your pilgrimage is that it's all going to look different from the other side. I am keenly aware of this. So I cringed, closed Google Docs, and settled in as the plane landed.
It was then that my first existential crisis of the trip was to occur. It had nothing to do with the fact that LA smells exactly like lighter fluid or that I was dressed for New York Fall amidst my fellow West Coasters. No, it had everything to do with my five minute ride in a shuttle bus and the driver whose name I forgot to ask. I even forgot to take his picture with my new camera, because I'm basically the worst journalist on the planet.
It started because he was listening to gospel music and asked if I minded if he continued. I grew up singing it, so we began a conversation about our commonalities. This turned into me explaining Mutiny of Dreamers and within two minutes we had arrived at this question. He turned around and said, "So, who are you?" He wasn't asking my name or what I do.. He meant who are you on your insides. What defines you? What makes you up?
I AM TWO HOURS INTO MY TRIP, DUDE. Back up.
And I fumbled. Because you do. I reached for words about becoming whole and redemption. I sought out phrases like "not as broken." It was the most ridiculous excuse for an answer that a writer has ever given. This was not how I wanted to begin my trip.
From there I had dinner with two friends at this place by the ocean that serves waffle sandwiches. If you've never had a waffle sandwich, go make one. Right now. It will change your life. We talked about so many things and the questions they asked were useful and good but if I'm being honest ripped the scabs off of some places.
nd that's how I came to the end of my night. Exhausted. Spent. Not full out bleeding but opened back up and vulnerable, and unprepared for that vulnerability. I guess that is what happens in a pilgrimage, especially one inspired by a mutiny. And I realized I'm willing to go there. I'm all in. Because I'm learning this....
You can choose to live your story in the shallows, where your feet are entrenched in mud and mire. I have learned to swim and will face pirates, sea monsters, and the edge of the world. I have chosen the Mutiny.
Mutiny Well, Dreamer.