Day 4 - 1/27/09
Today’s trip was short and sweet. I went to Allston to go play games with Oliver again (the 4 year old that I baby sit) I got on my bike and I thought I would try a new route to get there….bad Idea. I had 5 minuets to get there and got there in 10. I was late which is something I hate, but I got there. The trip was short but I biked uphill on most of it and that made for some pain in my thighs. Biking back I took Harvard Ave. which some of you know is a pretty busy street, but I felt as though I was able to start holding my own on the city street. There IS enough space on the road for all of us…sometimes. As I was biking I was trying to think of what I could write for this trip and I thought that it might be a good idea to talk about the actual trip that I am doing all this work for. So here is goes: The documentary is connecting with this country that I grew up in but never knew. This Documentary will follow myself on a bicycling trip across the southern part of the United States of America.
As a Kid born in Boise, ID I have traveled the world and much of the Northern United States, but do not feel as though I know much about the South. Being fortunate enough to know what much of the rest of the world has to offer and how wonderful so many other countries are, it is easy to say, I know and like what they have and want to see what this country has for me.
I desperately want to be able to be proud and stand strong when I say I am an American. So what does “being an American” mean? What does that relationship with one’s country mean to others, and what does it mean to me? To answer these questions I need to go back to the basics of relationships themselves; mainly, the relationship between my family and myself.
Going through college in Boston, MA and leaving the wing of my parents has been an experience in itself, but now I feel as though I have not just flown the coop but forgotten where it is. To develop a stronger relationship with my parents is something that I want to do because I feel as though it’s time for me to really find out who they are as people, not just my parental figures. My parents are people who have accomplished SOOO much in their lives, continue to do amazing things, and have so much to offer the world. And I have been almost ignoring them for the past several years. They scream silently wanting to tell me their life stories and I have passed it by focusing on other things, but now I want to turn my ear to them and really listen to what they have to say.
My Mother has hiked to base camp of mount Everest, biked across the country, She has taught at deaf schools, worked with special ed, and looks to teach and learn with anyone who wants to listen. She has raised 6 boys and she continues to do more amazing things every day.
My father has raised 6 kids, survived through Vietnam, put himself through school, became a high ranking manager at Hewlett Packard, and now is traveling the world experiencing life in new and different ways. He continues to question and develop new and different ways to live in the world from making a small invention to changing your entire way you look at life.
These are the people that I come from…these are the people that I have at my side to learn from and gain guidance. Who am I? What have I done? I am 22 and I have traveled to multiple countries, graduated from Emerson college with a double major in Acting and Film Production, made friends with amazing people who are smart and talented, and I’m currently acting and making films professionally. These are the things that I have done and am doing. I am learning everyday about myself and my opinions, about religion, politics, sex, drugs, music, race, and relationships.
How can I learn about my country? Is that something you learn from your parents? How could I know about a part of my country where I have never been? The south…. It seems so foreign…I suppose it is. From the history books I get an image of wholesome religious closed-minded farmers that cling to their heritage. Is this really true? Stereotypes are created for a reason right? Every single person is different and I know there must be people and places in the South where I will feel right at home. Conversely, there will probably be places and people that will make me fear for my life. But is that specifically because it is the South? NO! That is everywhere.
I feel as though so many people relay on single sources for their information (MSNBC, FOX, CNN, church) I do believe that each person should not blindly follow the information that they get anywhere. Even in the case of having been influenced by many sources, I feel as though people should not make an opinion about something until they have experienced it for themselves. That’s why I feel as though I need to travel to these places to experience them for my self. I want to go to New Orleans and see the damage that I have been told is unbearable. I want to meet the people who play sax in the streets and bars. I want to meet the farmers In Texas who live off the land and wake up everyday with the sun to keep their life going. I want to see the Grand Canyon and its engulfing caverns that so many artists have created their life around. I want to see the wrinkles in the skin of people who live day by day and call themselves Americans.
I need to learn what truly makes this country a great country. I need to know more than just the parts of this country that I grew up in or that my parents have been to. I want the complete picture, because right now I feel lost and separated from what people say this great country is and what I see it as. And I want to see where I belong in it, or even if I do.
Learning about who I am through this adventure is the goal and also along the way I hope to figure out what the hell that even means…
TOTAL DISTANCE FOR DAY (TDD) : 3.4 miles
TOTAL TIME FOR THE DAY (TTD) : 15 min
TOTAL TIME TRAINING: 2.75 hrs
TOTAL DISTANCE TRAVELED: 19.6 miles