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3:39 a.m. CST.  I’ve been awake for about an hour now, unable to sleep, debating about what to do.  I’m tired, lonely, sad, deeply disappointed and feeling a very strong pull to get back on the road for home.  To put it mildly, this excursion hasn’t panned out to be nearly what I hoped it would be.  Such is life, of course.  You can’t “win ’em all”.  I guess one of life’s many lessons is to try and figure out the balance between when to see things through and when to cut your losses.  The resort unlocks its doors at 6:00 a.m. and I am really debating whether or not to go over there then, load up and hit the road — or if that is just the cowardly thing to do, the “easy” way out.  Truthfully, nothing feels easy about that decision – it hurts and it makes me feel like I’m somehow not fulfilling some promise that I made, whether it’s one I made to the organizers of the conference or one that I made to myself.  All I know is that this trip, despite the wonderful people I’ve met and the truly heartfelt connections I’ve made with a handful of folks who really appreciate what I do and what I’m about, has, for lack of a better word in my sleep deprived state, largely been a flop.

When I got back here to my room last night, I started looking up “open mics Milwaukee” and “open mics Madison WI” and found a small handful of interesting hits that all intrigued me and set my mental wheels turning.  In all honesty, though, I’m feeling such a strong pull towards home – yes, home, the place I’ve been bitching about lately, with its long winter and unwelcome (at least to me) snowstorms and what not.  I miss seeing mountains on the horizon and clusters of pine trees hugging the roadways.  I miss Tina and the kitties and the taste of well water.  I miss my own bed and my own cooking and I really miss Shawn.

Meteena suggested that I do something nice for myself, either here or on the way home.  My route home does take me right through Buffalo, just a hop skip and jump from Niagara Falls.  I realize, too, that Chicago (Georgi!) is close by too.  Exhaustion is pulling me in just one direction though…

Obviously by the time I post here next I will have made a decision about what to do, so stay tuned – and thanks for sticking with me this far.