Olympia, WA -Two weeks have passed since I left for my latest adventure in the Olympic National Park with my college roommate Angus, the kind of thing where, in times past, I would have reveled in bringing along my computer and logging in from small town outposts (Amanda Park, Forks, Sequim) regaling the web with descriptions of my travels and perhaps manufactured tales of hijinx at the road houses along US 101.
Instead, sapped for time before daylight, intrigued by changes in logging towns that I hadn't seen in more than a dozen years and joined by an old friend who I hadn't seen for more than a day or two in two years, my laptop bag found itself trapped in the trunk gasping for air over a long week.
This was followed by a return to the work week, where the few precious internet hours I scrounged were full of back-dated news gathering and a suffocating sense that I was irreparably far behind on the political, newshounding, social, and perhaps even sports circles that I had left behind two weeks ago.
That first foot forward after a three week daydream is always one of the hardest steps, weighed down by nerves, doubt, ignorance and frightened by unfamiliarity and the now-distant memory of when it was easy.
That same sense of distant memory has been magnetically attached to my mind all day, ever sine I realized late last night just how long I have been out of the pro journalism game.
At this time last year I was still high off the eighteen Guinnesses I drank after the Seattle St. Patty's Day Dash, and preparing to dive heard first into the state legislative races with the goal of becoming the go-to voice on the topic. Today I try to remember the last time I made an actual press inquiry, and wonder if it is something I will ever do again.
I feel like a climber, toproped but not thrilled about it, pondering how wise it is to let his fingers burn while he fidgets with a beautiful but shaky foothold.
Perhaps the NCAA Tournament will act as a weathervane. My initial picks favor 1 seeds and 4 seeds, and remember, always remember, the truth of the 12 seed. I'll die by it just as I've lived in the past.