Dirtbag Day 08

Austin Haedicke bio photo By Austin Haedicke

Week 1 I relied heavily on staying at a friend’s house (4 / 8 nights) and 3 nights were spent in Walmart parking lots. Last night was beautiful, 68 and breezy though a bit humid still. No doubt, this will be a lonely journey. I put over 3,000 miles on my car in July (actually closer to 3,500) between work and crag trips. I’d say that i was on the road more than I was home, but then, really… I am the highway… a modern day drifter.

I’ve been wondering about work too. Finding a full-time job is a tedious process. Come to think of it, my health insurance expires today. Looks like I’ll be paying that federal fee when it comes tax time. Life is hard. Part of me doesn’t want to give up this dream that I’m living now. I suppose a 9-to-5 technically wouldn’t have to change anything or stop me from being a dirtbag… it may just mean that I can take showers more often! But then there is my current job. What is worth holding on to and when is it time to let go?

I'm learnin' to fly, but I ain't got wings.

Comin' down is the hardest thing.

– Tom Petty

I did some math and without seeing any clients I’d actually be losing money at my job and thus need to quit. However, only seeing one client on a weekly basis would cover my overhead and get me groceries; thus leaving my ‘emergency fund’ largely untapped. This could go on virtually forever!

But I’m finding myself in a running (read levaing) kind of mood. How far do i take this until it becomes warped to an entirely different state from what it was begotten as? I’m speaking not just of climbing, but in the socio-political-spiritual realm(s) too. is a relentless pursuit of freedom worth losing a large part of the love of the game that inspired chasing that freedom to begin? I feel myself going to a pretty dark place here. I want to hold and own that, but also the wonder and awe of the present moment I’m writing in. It’s 70-something, 9:00-ish a.m., sunny, and by tomorrow I’ll have been out on the rocks 5 / 7 days. My “neighbors” are – to put it politely – gym-goers, but mostly quiet and keep to themselves. The only sound I hear harmonizing in the background of my own thoughts is a steady breeze with scattered bird-chirp accents. The rising sun is almost in my face now. I’m reminded of Camus’ proverb:

There are those who choose to look their fate in the eye (and cry out "no")."

As my Lacanian colleagues would put it. “Here’s to forever lacking (so as to remain able to be moved).”