Don’t Come Lookin’

Feels good, about time
Blue skies ahead and B.S. behind.
Got the wind in my hair
I got nowhere to go so I’m already there.
And maybe Moab, maybe the Rockies
Maybe the Great Salt Plains or the hills of Kentucky.
Maybe north or maybe south.
I don’t care as long as it’s now.

So long, four wheels turning
Got a tank full of gas down the road I’m burning.
Can’t say I would and I can’t say I wouldn’t.
If I don’t come back, don’t come lookin’.

Jackson Dean

When I was 19 years old, and a sophomore at the University of Nebraska, I decided there was no way I was going to come back for my junior year. Unlike many people I know, I never liked school. I had friends who went to graduate school simply because they enjoyed attending classes and reading textbooks. Oh, and maybe they didn’t want to face the real world.

Not me. I was ready to quit after my second year. I tried to talk one of my friends — who wasn’t attending school at the time — if she would be willing to go on an adventure. Let’s pick a place — somewhere in the United States but far from Nebraska, I suggested. We can get jobs as waitresses (that’s what they called servers in those days), and just experience life in a new place and figure out what we want to be when we grow up.

I nearly had her convinced to go, but she chickened out at the last minute. I didn’t blame her. It was one of my most daring ideas. As for me, I was too scared to go it alone. I did, in fact, quit school after my sophomore year, but aside from moving to Colorado with my parents, I didn’t do anything nearly as daring as my idea of heading out with nary a plan.

I heard the song Don’t Come Lookin’ by country singer Jackson Dean the other day on the radio for the first time. I listened intently, and remembered how I felt those many years ago when I was 19 years old and ready to leap into the Great Unknown. I got nowhere to go so I’m already there.

I began daydreaming about being 19 again with no responsibilities beyond taking care of myself. I wondered what it would be like to get into a car with a full tank of gas and a pocketful of cash with more savings in the bank and begin driving. No map. No ideas of where I wanted to go. Just getting on I-80 or I-70 and heading, say, east. Maybe turning south in St. Louis. Stop in little towns and sleeping in family-owned motels. Driving until I fall in love with a town, maybe in Tennessee, and finding a job and an apartment. Calling it home for a while.

Honestly, that idea is so foreign to my personality that likes to know just what is planned for tomorrow. Still, there was a time in my life when I would have done something like that. Or at least I like to think that I would have. Since I didn’t, I’ll never know.

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