Friday, August 27, 2004

Spectator Traffic

So, being the small town hick that I am, now living in the big city of Boise, I'm amazed at the difference in culture that a measly 300 miles makes. Culture and attitudes are both very different here. My first notable experience here, aside from Millty's name calling (Maybe I am a Bronco lover ya Vandal brat. *grin*), I was cruising around getting to know the place a bit, taking note of landmarks to help me find my way. I turned on the radio to find my new favorite stations. As I listened to a good one they would cut away quite often to do traffic reports; something that Idaho Falls obviously never needed. During the traffic report, the DJ casually mentioned that on the "flying Y"; the I-84 connector, there was some "Spectator Traffic" that had things backed up for about a mile and to expect a 5 to 10 minute delay.

What the hell is "Spectator Traffic?"

I catch the next on ramp to the I-84 connector to go out and, well ... spectate. As I approached, a car was off on the side shoulder; just one car mind you. As I came closer to the start of the string of cars I had a great look at what the trouble was. The guy was changing his tire!! That's it! Changing a tire! Apparently people are in the hopes of seeing severed limbs and body parts or something scattered on the road because they were all slowing down to gawk. That was all it took to back traffic up for nearly a mile and it wasn't even a rush hour time.

Later that day I visited the college, then drove from there down town. Now I am a people watcher and I know that sometimes it borders on staring. I'm also very interested in taking in my surroundings, and so there I was doing just that, people watching, taking in the surroundings, making note of new businesses that I hadn't heard of, taking note of landmarks and parks I'd like to go to. I soon realized, with the help of a horn honking, that I had a string of cars backed up behind me. I suddenly became aware that I had become the cause of ... "Spectator Traffic!"

These events started the wheels turning. I began to ponder some powerful questions.

Do we get so caught up in other peoples "Spectator Traffic" that we can't get to where we want to be in our lives? Do other people hold us up/back because we are in line behind their wants or desires?

I once read a quote, I believe it was by Anthony Robbins though I could be mistaken, that "We either make our own life plan, or we become part of someone else's plan."

Now, starting school again at the age of 34 I wonder if I sat around on my arse too long watching other people succeed while I struggle, in a sense becoming part of their plan. It's obvious that that is the case. Though I made the choice to start a family and that became my life. School wasn't an option at that point. But as a parent that young you get caught up in "Spectator Traffic." You end up stuck, not being able to move forward and not being able to go back. At that point all you can do is ... spectate.

So, now I'm starting to see and experience a world that I've never known. A large city, opportunities I've never been exposed to, and education at a university, a chance to improve my life and actually choose a career instead of taking what is available with my current qualifications, and even an opportunity to create friendships with people from different cultures whether they are from other states or other countries. In my very first class, a beautiful young woman entered and spoke in an amazingly beautiful accent. Later she revealed that she was from Russia. That just amazes me. It's rare to meet someone like that in a small town. It's exiting.

On the other hand, do we tend to be so in awe, so amazed by new surroundings that we create "Spectator Traffic" in our lives? Could we be so busy gawking at the world around us that we can't see what could lie ahead of us? And in so doing, are we the cause of "Spectator Traffic" that holds up someone else from getting what they want out of life?

"What lies behind us, and what lies ahead of us, are little matters compared to what lies within us." Ralph Waldo Emerson

There is a fine line to living in the here and now and at the same time keeping a focus on where you want to be. Nothing great was ever built without a plan, and though some great places were found without a map, knowing where you're going to explore is a key to finding something ... maybe the key to finding success?

That's how I see it; how do you see the world?

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Internet withdrawals

Hey everyone!

I've been gone a while; embracing my fears like a boa! Actually I've been more like it's prey.

I've been here in Boise, ID for almost three weeks. (Boise is four hours away from my home in Idaho Falls, literally clear across the state.)

As most of you know from my ramblings here and on Perceptual Enema that I've been deathly afraid to give up my job, sell my home, and enroll in a university to enhance my life. Silly notions. After all ... What could possibly go wrong?

Enter Murphy's Law! *grin*

Considering that Direct TV welcomed me to the company, showed me where I'd be working and filed the employment paperwork, I felt comfortable about things. Though things fell through and I didn't have the job after all.

Isn't that ironic, don't ya think?

Out of a job with less than $100 to my name, in a strange city, and wondering how I'd help pay for a place to live. They say that necessity is the mother of invention ... I suppose then that panic is the father of self reinvention.

I called the Circuit City store here and prayed they'd have something open. They did! My job! The guy doing it had just left a few days earlier. "isn't it ironic how life has a way of helping you out?"

So, luckily, though I'd officially been done working for CC for five days, I was still in the system as an employee and I was able to transfer, keeping my $10 an hour and my product discounts!

Secondly, I've been without the internet for these grueling past few weeks. No email and no Perception Chronicles makes Mel a dull boy.

And now ... Here I am in the center of the Boise State Campus; finding out that I'm the oldest teenager on the campus ... That's kinda cool; Taking a break from my self-guided tour. I was able to get a peek at the Bronco football stadium ... Blue turf instead of green! That's very cool!

I'm on metered parking time and have an email to write so I'm outa here. I hope you all haven't given up on me. I'll be back in the swing soon. Take care!! Internet withdrawals suck!