Cargo City

For merestlessness is an understatement.  I have an insistent craving for something and somewhere new, a desire to ‘go’ unlike ever before, adventure just nipping at my heels. As a college graduate, this is the longest stretch of time since high school that I have been ‘home’ and it has been increasingly frustrating.  Although I have lived and worked mostly at the shore and now spend half of my week at home and the other working with Atlantic City Weekly, I just feel like it’s time for something totally new again.  Like I have said before, there are adventurers and there and lifers, and I could never be a lifer.  It’s so important to surround yourself with others who are purpose driven, it’s the foundation.  A lot of people don’t believe you can do work you love because they’re constantly around people who hate their jobs and don’t know what excites them.  The people you surround yourself with have everything to do with your success and your belief of what’s possible.  You will either rise up or sink down depending on who is next to you.  I admire some of my rare friends that have just stepped out into the unknown and are giving it a shot.  One of my good friends, Nina, a recent NYU graduate is writing and networking in LA, “It’s overwhelming and daunting but I rather be struggling out here than content and comfortable back at home, working in that deli and never taking a chance.”
I need to be fulfilled creatively, and I’m not getting that here, at least not nearly to its fullest.  I look at it this way, why would God give me such incredible ideas for them just to sit in my head? They have so much potential, so I have to take every opportunity and do whatever I can to turn them from ideas into reality. Like right now I like what I’m doing to an extent, but I just know it’s not what I’m meant to do or where I’m meant to be. Sure it works for a time and it’s a great new learning experience but I need to go, and it is unrelenting so I have to somehow make this happen.  We are too young and at the prime to just get rooted somewhere and comfortably.  Passion is contagious and I long for an environment that embodies it and a purpose driven support crew that dreams just as big if not bigger, sharing ideas and conditioning the belief that doing what you love is the norm. This is what fuels our passion and makes the unthinkable possible, even normal. Just look around, do the people you see inspire and motivate?  Are they doing epic things and loving their work?  Friends, environment is everything.

So I feel like it’s time to scare myself a little and live outside my comfort zone.  Passionate people thrive off of uncertainty and I would say, things have been rather uncertain for quite some time now, but I’m seeing a slow but sure path begin to emerge.  If you aren’t doing things that give you a few goose bumps you’re either not learning, dying or bored out of your mind.  None of which are good.  There’s a pretty direct correlation between pushing limits and epic living.  This is the time when we should be ambitions, chasing our dreams and making them happen, not slowing down but pressing on, encouraged and determined.  For me, there’s the journalist that craves chasing down a story, getting the inside scoop, asking the tough questions, walking into danger rather than away from it, seeing the job as a service and a duty to get the people the information and let them know the truth about what’s going on. Then there’s the other side of me, the part that thrives on nothing but relentless creativity, creating fiction stories, characters, scenes, scenarios, descriptions, allusions and illusions, plots with major surprising twists… screenplays… (;

I felt like this poem was fitting to share.  It was originally written by my friend Kristen who has a rather rare, unique, encouraging and inspiring passion that is both noble and admirable: studying American Sign Language interpreting.  I loved this story and then went through and renovated it to fit my circumstances.  Cargo City has always been a special place for me where I have gone to watch planes as a kid, gather inspiration for short stories and novels, rant with my guy friends about girls, and imagine how great of a post-date place it would be with the right person.  Nevertheless it’s a means of escape and the doorway through which many epic adventures lie to many new and uncharted places…

 

 The screaming jet engine of a Boeing 747

has never given me a better feeling of home.

Passing at 30 feet above my head,

this four-engine, 975,000-pound jumbo jet

gracefully maneuvers to the ground.

I sit on the hood of my car, staring up and imagining.

Sometimes, I drive the 9-mile stretch of road to Cargo City

to clear my head, calm my nerves, think things through.

Planes fly in around every ten minutes.

Jet-fuel’s aroma permeates the area, gives me a sense of ease.

I’m six years old again.

“Nothing will ever be as bad as it seems,”

Dad used to say,

while we waited on the next plane to come.

They were giant creatures back then,

identical, steady, and screeching above us.

My father and I used to come here once a week.

As we stood behind the rusty, chain-link fence,

he would hold me high on his shoulders.

This was his opportunity to talk to me,

about things he was afraid to say when I got older.

The first plane passes over my head.

I think about how I’m not ready for growing up,

or at least that’s what I think.

Though I am one of Peter Pan’s lost boys, forever and always.

I wonder if the people just landing,

at Philadelphia International Airport,

if the businessmen and women on that flight,

ever wanted to stay young forever,

as I do.

Do they wonder if they chose

the path that was right for them?

Would they have done things differently?

Do they ever feel like taking a personal health day;

missing that big presentation that can make or break them

because they have been worked up

 to the point of breakdown?

Do they question what the point is, after all the stress?

I hear the distant racket of thousands of lives.

They hurtle down Interstate 95 in their steel boxes

with aluminum body panels,

all heading somewhere,

but do any of them really know where?

Plane number two flies in ten minutes later.

Did the pilot dream of flying when he was a kid,

or was it a job he fell back on,

failing at becoming what he really wanted?

How many people around here just settle,

lose their ambition, just give up and make what they have always known what they will always know?

I don’t want a backup plan;

I want to see where these doors take me.

How can I fail at what I’ve been passionate about for years?

The Boeing 747, one of the fastest planes in the world,

Travels at up to 567 mph.

I could fly from here to Los Angeles in five and a half hours.

I pack my most valued possessions in one small carry-on bag.

A suitcase full of clothes is in the cargo hold.

I board the plane, ticket scanned.

As we take off, I smile;

this is the first time

I’m not worried about all the problems

Philadelphia so graciously handed me.

Although it will always be home I’m thrilled to step out, to take a big risk rather than not taking one at all.

If I only have one shot at this life why would I do anything other than what I love?

With the seat back and tray table in their upright position,

the giant, hollow craft barrels down the runaway.

I can feel the tilt forward,

the wheels lift as the plane plummets,

catching the wind, slanting the sleek metal wings.

My ears pop and I take a deep breath.

The seat belt sign illuminates with a “bing.”

As the altitude increases and the skyline vanishes,

I’m ready to welcome the big,

scary unknown with open arms

when suddenly the roaring engine wakes me

as the next plane is directly overhead.

I sit on the hood of my car, staring up,

imagining…

no more.

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