Pilgrimage for Steinbeck

by solunabirds

There are some books that I never finish, and some shows that I cannot watch to the end.

However, this is not because they are bad. In fact, quite the opposite: they are too good to finish. I do not want them to ever end, because then the adventure is over, and that in itself is a heartbreak. If I leave before the ending, before the conflict resolves itself, the party is still together and the journey continues indefinitely. It is a little selfish, I admit, to ignore the author’s wish for the conclusion to take place at the end of the tale, but I allow myself these small indulgences. I have never claimed to be utterly selfless.

And then, in this same vein of logic, there are some books I do not read – not because they are bad, but because I am saving them for a special time in my life, a time during which their words would make the most impact. Now is one of those times.

Steinbeck, it is your turn to change my life.

If I were to be honest with myself, I would chalk it all up to restlessness. I just gave my notice at my job, and I start my MBA program in less than a month. I have two weeks to spend as I please before the overwhelming wave of the future sweeps me away. It is not the fear of drowning that gnaws at me, but rather the fear of getting lost. I don’t know if I will match up to my classmates. I don’t know if I will find a job I love. I don’t know if I will lose myself while I reconfigure my mindset to be that of a sharpened, young businesswoman.

I cannot help but think that this, truly, is my last free summer. In years to come, I can take vacations – but I will never again be this young and untethered.

Therefore, in the spirit of wanderlust, I shall embark upon a journey with my oldest and dearest friend. This volatile me of right now will travel with the me I’ve known all my life – a girl who’s always questioning, always searching, always chasing after some unknown ideal. We are currently one and the same, but I have a feeling that soon we will split. Probably, it is time to change.

But before this happens, we will make a pilgrimage to Steinbeck’s beautiful home in the Salinas. We will sit before the sunset on Monterey Bay with the wind in our hair and the smell of salt spray washing over our skin. We will listen for the voice of Steinbeck, and try to understand.

Maybe we will learn something new.

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