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  • 50statesofmatt

Emotional State of Matt #1: DISAPPOINTED

Updated: Feb 19

Disappointed in Myself

My trip did not kick off with fireworks and confetti. Rather, with disorientation, a dopamine deficiency, and behind schedule. Despite saying I was NOT going to get drunk my last night in town and start the trip hungover, that’s exactly what I did. I let my sadness and anxiety take over, and I’m DISAPPOINTED in myself for doing that.

I woke up over an hour after I told my landlord to meet me for a final walkthrough. When he arrived, I rushed through it then jammed my remaining possessions into bags. Thankfully I had packed the car (and made this video) the night before, so I was able to hit the road just 2 hours late.

Leading up to my departure, I had imagined what the moment I left would be like: driving north up I-5, wistfully thinking about the adventure ahead, reflecting on my time in Portland & Vancouver. But no, my brain felt broken, my head was pounding, and my mood was in the shitter.

To make matters worse, a couple of hours into my drive, my music algorithm served up "Living in the Moment" by Jason Mraz, which was the first dance song at my wedding. "Fuck Amazon Music" I lashed out, and signed back up for Spotify that night - only to discover the Wedding Playlist I had created there. Some days you just can't escape the past.

Disappointed in my Father

I called my dad the day before I left to check in, tell him I was leaving, and ask him to stay in touch. He asked me “what trip?” just like he had the last two times I'd brought it up. I patiently explained to him again that I was taking this trip and spending a week in every state. He replied that he had thought it was a fantasy, and I wasn’t actually going to do it.

I wrapped up the call by telling him I would be visiting Snoqualmie on my first day, where they shot Twin Peaks, and would take pictures. 

My father and I bonded over Twin Peaks (or “beaks” as he calls it) when it first came out in April, 1990. It was fresh and original, unlike anything ever seen on television, and it was appointment viewing for us. We would unplug the phone and settle in for an hour of surreal entertainment together.

Twin Peaks was the last “wholesome” bonding activity we shared. That fall, I entered my punk rock phase, started skipping school, drinking and taking drugs. My behavior escalated until I got busted breaking into a house for thrills with a friend that winter, for which I spent a month in juvie the following spring. 

By the time I left my angry rebellious period behind and pulled my head out of my ass, my father's substance abuse - especially drinking - had significantly escalated. We still hung out, sometimes playing hearts till 2:00am with his buddies, but nothing without alcohol involved. 

As an adult, I’ve tried to address his drinking with him several times, and nothing has ever dissuaded him. After a period of not speaking with him for years, it was my ex-wife who encouraged me to do my best to accept him as he is, and to have any relationship with him - even if it wasn’t the one I wanted. She lost her father a couple of years later, which really drove the point home.

I visited Snoqualmie for myself, but also as a call back of those simpler times when I had a relationship with my dad not completely clouded by booze. As I drove around visiting the falls, The Great Northern, the Sheriff’s station, the R&R Diner, I snapped pictures everywhere and texted them to him.

I call my father a “willful luddite”. He’s not stupid or technically inept, he just chooses to ignore technological progress and lives off-grid. Two years ago AT&T discontinued service for his flip phone and he was forced to get a smartphone, but he flatly refuses to use it for anything beyond calling or texting.

I thought he could get pictures via text, but he called me at midnight (never a good sign) ranting about how he couldn’t access the pictures. I hung up on him, frustrated that he couldn't put in a modicum of effort to learn how to use his phone so that he could share this experience with me like he used to. I guess I'll just send him a postcard.

Despite all of this, Day 1 wasn’t a complete disaster - I really enjoyed seeing Snoqualmie. The sun came out, I checked an item off of my fucket list, had cherry pie & damn fine coffee, and I’m thrilled to be underway.

The subsequent days have been incredible. However, because of my actions and my father's choices, I started the trip on a down note, feeling overwhelmingly DISAPPOINTED.

Yes, and...


UPDATE - One week later. Apparently the technical issue "worked itself out" but the attention/memory issue is alive & well:


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