I have always made it a point to tell people that life is a journey, something we all should experience and make interesting. Over the past few months I've been caught between the safety of known mundane life and taking a chance on new opportunities. I had to stop myself from weighing both sides and ask, "What would I tell someone else to do? Which is worse: taking chances or always wondering what the outcome could have been?" I finally relented. And it has taken me a while to find the best way to break the news to everyone. It's a difficult time for me full of new possibilities but not without a few tearful goodbyes and letting go of all things familiar.
In a few weeks, I am going on a journey. It's not merely a "finding my way through life and plotting my course" sort of inner spiritual trip through life. There is very real and tangible travel involved. Simply put, I've decided to make a valiant attempt at living in a new place with new social circles and a different climate. For many people this might come as a shock, but to most who know me it's an inevitable thing. I need something different in my life, something that can't come about from a walk down the road or trip to downtown Cleveland. Most of the past five years have lacked adventure and challenge. Last year, I took huge leaps from my comfort zone... and once you start to see what's outside your little world it's impossible to return. "You can never go home again."
Have no fear. I am not abandoning my blog. And I'm not abandoning the paranormal. Quite the contrary: I'm planning more write-ups on haunted places in the next few months and actual visits (possibly with video tours) of interesting spooky places once I'm settled in. This includes a stop at a historic-home-turned-museum written about in my book, Queer Hauntings. As I explore my new surroundings (and the creepy side of new cities), I'll be sharing my experiences and point-of-view with all of you. This is my ultimate "grand experiment" in radical life overhaul. But it's something I need to do. Even if I fail miserably and end up back in northeast Ohio at some point during the summer, at least I'll have tried my best at making my own life something more that I want it to be.
You'll have to stay tuned to find out the exact details of my adventure. A lot of very difficult decisions have been made in plotting out the course of my life over the next few months. Not everything is set in stone, but the basic framework is there. For now, I'm tearing through my belongings and getting down to basics. I'm packing the must-have items and boxing the second most important things for later, in case I need them shipped to where I'll be. A couple of weeks from now I'll be boarding an Amtrak train at this very early hour and heading off to new horizons, following what was once a trail blazed by some of the earliest pioneers in the United States doing just as I am: pursuing a new life with new possibilities. First stop, Chicago. Final destination... well, for now I'll just say "all points west."
"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
- Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad