Friday, June 12, 2009

On "getting away" and "becoming at peace"

I have been thinking about this little subtitle. Getting away. What do you mean Omar, when you say get away? Are you running away? Ill tell you thats how it started. I joined the Peace Corps because I thought it was the perfect opportunity to to travel, live and work in Africa. I wasn't running away. I wasn't trying to save the world. I always felt guilt and uncomort when somebody told me they "admired my actions" or were "proud of me". I just wanted to meet some locals and gain some awesome experiences and learn. When I got kicked out I cried infront of trainers who also didn't want to see me go. After three months I had to go back home and when I got there I didn't feel at home. I felt like a stranger parasitizing off of friends and maybe it was just me but I felt unwelcome.
I was supposed to be gone for two years and I had mentally lived in Africa for two years. Now I was back where I started and was depressed especiall when Thanksgiving came around. So I did feel the urge to 'get away' and continue the journey that I was supposed to be on.

I love home. I love Rhode Island. I love Gansett and South county. I love my friends there. I had some of my most best memories with those people in those places. So I wasn't running away. As a matter of fact not a day has gone by since leaving when I didn't think of how much I miss it all. I miss surfing Monahans on an empty summer day. I miss going down Allen Ave on my longboard over and over and over again. I miss partying at the Ocean Mist. Or blazing at Bonnet. I miss my house and my basement. I miss my neighbors and teaching little Zack attack how to skate. I miss skating the bike path with my homies at night. Everyday I miss it. But I was supposed to be gone during this time and that is why I left. The only thing I wanted to escape from was the cold jobless Rhode Island winter, but my loyalty will always belong to that place, through the good and the bad.

Then I made it to Memphis and that is where getting away had to happen. Although I loved my friends there I couldn't dig the place at all. I was not happy. There was no ocean and no good skate scene. Except for Memphis in May nothing exciting ever happened and thats not the way I wanted to live. I needed an adventure. I tried on several different occasions to make it back to Ghana but no avail. I tried to get jobs in Wyoming, Colorado and Alaska. I got so close, but didn't get the jobs. I tried to move to Peurto Rico but that didn't either. So I had to take matters into my own hands after two months and west was where I would begin to head and then see where it took me. Fuck flying that wasn't exciting. I had my longboard. Skating would be ideal. And that is how I got to this point. Memphis was cool in other ways. I had alot of time to reflect on myself and think about my environment. I wrote down many thoughts during that time in many different sessions but it was time to go.

To become at peace? What does it mean to become at peace? I know that in order for me to find peace personally you must acquire knowledge. You could read a book, but nothing is as exciting, rewarding or a true way to learn it than to go through the actual experience. To become at peace I had to learn about myself by meeting the widest variety of people I could and that is what I learned as a traveller my whoel life in living in different countries. Peace to me is acceptance and love of every single thing especially yourself. Your environment, the people. I always as a kid wanted to know why? Why are things the way they are and this was the start to find some answers. I alos found that people who were spiritual were the ones who were really at peace. The faith in something that could not be sensed by anything except the heart was so powerful. I knew how to use my head but have no idea how to use my heart. If I could make the two harmonious I would be at peace.

People might call me many things. Crazy, stupid, dumb, dirty hippie, outkast, rebel, wannabe Forrest Gump, rebel, ignorant, awesome, epic but this journey is much more than a long distance skate to the west coast to find some good waves. It will hopefully last much longer than 1800 miles and 3 months. It was meant to be, in my destiny. There is a reason why, just like everything else, but I haven't found the answer yet. I believe I will at some point. On this note I want to end with a little prayer I learned a little while ago

"May all beings have happiness
May all beings be free from suffering
May all beings find joy that has never known suffering
May all beings be free from attachment and hatred"


  1. i can relate to this post and at the same time disagree. I disagree with your view of Memphis - many words come to mind regarding that place but dull is not one.
    Boredom is a powerful state capable of driving people to self destruction. You have abandoned every artificial distraction and put yourself in a challenging and unconfortable position, which, IMO is the best cure for boredom. You might even catch a rare glimpse of your own ego along the way.

  2. first of all i really appreciate your comment. second, i never meant to diss memphis. it was after all named after an egyptian city. memphis is also home and birthplace to some of the best music on earth. so thats that.

    all i was trying to say was that it wasnt my place to be