other its

The drive between the Guadalupe Mountains of Texas and New Mexico & Big Bend National Park takes you through Texas oil country. A barren seeming land, its two-lane roads filled with semis and its horizon dotted with blazing flare stacks.

Driving through it strikes me how little I know about how life goes here. The industry, the lifestyle, the people, the jargon – there’s bound to be a whole roughneck sub-culture I’m wholly ignorant to.

And that’s just one example of how this trip is showing me how little I actually do know. My little slice of the world, the industry, the lifestyle, the people, the jargon – my whole little bubble, my everything – is just a blip in the vast sea of “ways you can live and things you can do.”

It’s hard (even now, displaced from normal such as we are) to truly internalize that. Maybe because the way we’re living just becomes “it,” and anything that’s not “it” just doesn’t feel normal or right. Seeing, though, and, even better, if possible, experiencing other “its” is incredibly enlightening.

No, the current way is not the only way. Hell, standing alone as one possible way, the current way isn’t even statistically relevant when compared to the entirety of possible ways.

So take heart, me, there are plenty of other its.


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