Road Map

Since my last post, when I discovered no one else wants to go to Mars, I’ve been pondering the source of this ever present need for escape.

You’d think a wholesome upbringing in the country, with home grown vegies and hand made saw mills, might have set me straight.

But maybe I forgot to mention the part where my family was less garden-variety-hippie and more monogamous-Juniper-Creek-meets-Nostradamus freaky.

Growing up, the future my father had mapped out for me was one that would assuredly end.


1833 meteorite shower – A Great Disappointment

The Truth, according to Dad, was that the world should have imploded back in 1844 (or was it 1833?) after the sky fell in somewhere over North America. So now we were literally on borrowed time. A fact, I felt strongly, that he resented on account of having hungry mouths to feed.

As for Y2K. Pfft. We’d be long gone by then.

In eighth grade, we moved interstate. My new English teacher set us an assignment. We had to draw a timeline of the future.

Mine went something like this.

Someone clever would invent an electronic device that would replace our windscreens. So when we drove around, we’d be looking at dots on a moving map, instead of cars on a road.

Road Map to Future

Then, sometime before the Year 2000, the world would end. And we’d all go to heaven and watch the evil undead burn for a thousand years before we made it back to earth for a fresh start.

After I handed in the graphically illustrated project, my teacher came up to me, “Do you really believe all that?”

“Yes.” I said, without a blink. I didn’t understand then why she walked away looking mentally disturbed.

After that, she kept offering to take me on her family outings. I think she was trying to get me away from my parents. But alas, we moved states again and that was that. I never did get my assignment back.

Year 2000 came and went.

With it, this feeling, like you’re standing in a silent, unfamiliar universe, wondering what comes next.

You wouldn’t think so, but there’s something freeing about that space.

Dreams don’t always work out. It’s not the end of the world (unless that was your dream, and then yeah, that kinda sucks).

But moving on to the more positive spin. It’s a chance to start over. Again.


On those days when I feel like my life’s an epic failure, I think about the Year 2000.

Next to an apocalypse, somehow it doesn’t really seem to matter quite so much. What matters is what’s left – and that is You.

No road map. No future. Just You at the end of the earth.

You could do nothing. But, then again, you could do anything, as well. It could be heaven, if you wanted it to be. What have you got to lose?

Where’s your road map taking you? Does it have a reset button?


Credit for images is as follows:

‘Flaming gold’ by Paloetic
‘Earth horizon’ by DonkeyHotey


  1. says

    Oh Alarna how I love your post. At the start of the year I wrote a post called “my life according to no plan.” I was never good into making life plans and always admired those who could. For me, it was more like anytime I plan something, the exact opposite will happen…! I love your words: “No road map. No future. Just You at the end of the earth.”

  2. says

    Hi Alarna 😀 I suppose my motto is “Who knows ??”. So for me, my Path of Life is in the now with a basic thought of my next step which usually turns out wrong 😉 Take care, Ralph xox 😀

    • says

      Thanks, Catherine! It never occurred to me, but now that you mention it… I might just do that. It’s funny how easy it is to forget that the people in our memories are still out there somewhere.

  3. says

    This was awesome! Interesting details re: end of world theories, etc. Hmmm. . . I used to live much more by a road map. These days–I sort of take it in six months chunks. That’s about as spontaneous as I can get.

  4. liz says

    This is amazing Alarna! I love the idea of no road, no map, and just us individuals left in the end. I suppose I have learned the power of living without plans, or at least security. Simply waiting for the next moment to arise. Oh, what a journey life is! 🙂 xx

    • says

      I reckon you do pretty well making it up as you go along! Not everyone can say they’ve moved continents more than once, not to mention your life changing relationships. I’m frankly in awe of your ‘go with the flow’…A journey indeed 🙂 xo

  5. says

    According to the internet, the halfway point between the U.S. and Australia is Hawaii. So I say we meet there for coffee. I think we might have A LOT to talk about. 🙂 I have an ever present need for escape, my finger hovers over the reset button far too often. Sometimes I think it’s because I grew up in a military family and we moved a lot, but mostly I think it’s my personality.*Sigh* I’m probably just going to have to figure out how to be comfortable with my lack of being comfortable in one spot.

    • says

      Halfway point Hawaii? When are we booking it?! 🙂

      Military family, huh? That’s kinda similar to missionary families (though that wasn’t my Dad’s reason for moving). Guess it depends if you enjoyed the moving then or not. I know I didn’t…

      Let’s aim to have that chat oneday! And in the meantime, I’m going to be looking for breaks in the weekly routine to do just as you say… 🙂

  6. says

    More to maps than just the roads we travel, escaping out across the quiet of the wilderness, where the links to thoughts get wider, so why do we curb our lives in tunnel vision, cloaked in strange shadows that were never a part of us, thinking, that’s when it’s time for hand drawn trails, and treks sketched in pencil upon a pocket full of rag paper, something raw, far from the pushing of buttons, out of sight of the concrete, and blacktop, we have our two feet, so maybe we should just walk our way,…. How’s the video project’s going, Alarna?

    • says

      Oh, well, I’m liking that idea. Like following the possum tracks, instead of the main road, correct? Divert, wander and do the unexpected…

      Stage 1 (interviews) is done. But in the meantime, the scope of the project has been increased, so it looks like it will linger into 2014… One of those meandering projects 🙂

      • says

        Plenty of that kind of track can lead to many places, travel to experience, as life never came in a box, with instructions 🙂

        Hope the budget expanded, with the scope. Have you ever looked at writing and shooting a theatrical short film, as an aside from work projects? Went and watched this global (well working towards more coverage) short film festival Friday night…

      • says

        I certainly have thought about it, but the documentary style work projects have left little room for inspiration… We’ll see 🙂 Thanks for the link, I’ll check it out.

  7. says

    What an unusual post.. I love it! I am one of those people who had so many plans but now I don’t make many because it seems if I plan something, exactly the opposite happens. 🙂 Maybe we are the type who should just go with the flow, wake up in the morning and walk out of the door, pack your bags and move to another country type. It could be interesting! 🙂

    • says

      Haha…unusual. Yes. That’s me 🙂 Thanks so much for joining the uncertain ride!

      Everyday, I like the sound of packing up and moving to another country more and more. It might just happen oneday – cheers to that! 🙂

    • says

      Hellow San! 🙂 If only I knew! One day I’m conquering the world, the next I’m lying in bed thinking … does any of it really matter? I’m not sure that will ever change. And therein lies the beautiful paradox that is life 🙂

      • says

        haha, i know the situation and the feeling too well, dangit! yeah, i get to think, where do all these people get the thought that human agency is premium and the world could be bent at will, huh?

        maybe, we need to be in love. maybe, that will give us more determination, make us see that the world can be conquered, haha. 😉 hope you are well. waving…

  8. says

    Your post asks way more questions than I feel able to answer on a packed commuter train…

    However, I’m with you on the roadmap thing. I felt for a long time I had to have a one, five and ten year plan – yet when I look back, most of my most interesting opportunities have presented themselves too me and not been something I’ve worked directly towards.

    I’m embracing the no roadmap approach fully right now having left my fun, secure, well paid job to pursue… Well I’m not quite sure, many opportunities, present themselves, the bills are paid and I see the kids a lot more. I don’t know exactly what life will look like in 6 months time but I’m confident it will still be fulfilling and fun. And maybe I’ll change a life or two along the way (a key shift for me was leaving my job in social media to focus more energy on my work in mental health)

    Jeez. I’m blathering. I hope you are well. Thanks for finding your way to my new blog. Poetry, if you can call it that. A brand new challenge for me and I one I hope to learn from and which I’m certainly enjoying.

    Pooky x

    • says

      Hey Pooky! Glad to hear you are taking a stab at something new and exciting. Sounds like a big and challenging step, but funny how the best things can be the most unexpected, sometimes. I liked your poem… it’s a great comment on our fractured sense of focus and relationships these days. What made you decide to start writing poetry?

      • says

        I decided to set myself the challenge of writing a poem a few days ago when, having written no poetry since school, I found myself penning a short poem for a family funeral – as no existing poems seemed to fit the bill.

        I wondered if I’d have the discipline to keep writing poetry – and if so, whether with practice I could become any good at it. We shall see…

  9. says

    Hi Alarna…The first time I read this, I was not sure if you were joking. I could not you having this kind of upbringing. Your father’s beliefs seem so different from how you feel, which is centred, compassionate, intellectually curious, hopeful and articulate!! As someone who has spent her life working hard, I find myself feeling that “success” in life has more to do with the lives we have touched in a positive way. Judging by the comments on your blog, you seem to be very successful in life! With love from the other side of the world….Kim

    • says

      Kim, I’m so touched by what you’ve said, I barely know what to say. It’s strange the difference between how you see yourself and how others see you 🙂 Some days I wish (the upbringing) was a joke! But mostly I am philosophical about it. Thank you for your kind perspective – that means much. Love and hugs to you xo

  10. says

    I would love to escape, but then I think about all the things that wouldn’t get done if I did escape, plus I’d have to take my kids with me so that’s not really escaping per se. So, I figure I make the best of each day I can and hope the world always turns.

    • says

      Yes, I guess the notion of escape is a little different when kids are in the mix. Now that you mention it, the whole thing seems wildly indulgent. ‘Hope the world always turns…’ I like that! 🙂

  11. says

    “You’d think a wholesome upbringing in the country, with home grown vegies and hand made saw mills, might have set me straight.” 😉

    well, weirdos come in all varieties, dear. especially the writer- weird? i mean, not just your graden variety, hoho. ^^

    so, what happened to your poor teacher, then? 😉 hey, hope things are well, Alarna… 🙂

    • says

      Hehe 🙂 They do, indeed! I really don’t know what happened to my teacher. I can’t remember the name of the school and I have a feeling it no longer exists. So how to locate her – that is the question.


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