I’m either coming or going. I think that’s my life now. Maybe when you’re the kind of person who can’t routinize and who wants more, more, more out of this one life and who wants to see the world and meet more people and stand beneath wonders that a photograph will never do justice, you just are never going to settle down in any sense of those two words. It sounds normal. You settle down. You build a life. You stay in one place and you have a home. But, what if your home isn’t something that can be contained within four walls?
But then, what if when you’re traveling or you’re in a new place, all you crave are those four walls? Yet, within two days of being within those four walls you call a home, all you do is crave the outside, the adventure, that weird smell which lurks in all airports? How do you reconcile these two opposing desires? The part of you which craves newness, to be humbled by the vastness of the world that has been unseen by your eyes versus the part of you which desires a true home, a meal you’ve prepared, a dog, a coffee shop where the barista is all, “Iced coffee, as usual?”
It’s strange to have such competing desires. I always feel like I just want my brain to pick a side. Choose a desire, stupid brain! You can’t be a fucking nomad who has a dog. You can’t be a fucking world traveler who has car payments and furniture. And yet, I’ll be in New York—a place I do not live—and I’ll be jonesing for my home—which is, Seattle, for now—and then I’ll get home and within a day I’ll be looking up flights to Mexico and being like, oh, man, I really need some sunshine, la la la. Could I be more annoying? Likely not.
It’s just there’s so much to see and do and yet there’s so much to cultivate and grow. I see the beauty in all those paths. That wanderer path of one suitcase and a bunch of passport stamps to burn through. That homebody path of cultivating a healthy lifestyle and saving money and putting down roots and having a home and a group of friends. It is very difficult to create a life when you can’t sit still, when you’re constantly in transit. I have friends spread out across the globe. Yet, I haven’t lived in a place longer than a year and a half. I have not ever properly built a life. I’ve built, torn down, built again, and on and on, until I die, maybe?
I think every person who loves to travel probably at some point wonders if all they’re doing is escaping their life, their responsibilities. I think I’m chasing nostalgia, but nostalgia is a dangerous game. My memories like to lie to me. They like to pull out the highlights and flash those by me, convincing me that things were better then! I was better then! I just have to get back to that place and all will be great! Then, I remember being lonely and sad and wishing for a home. I remember being stood up after what was not meant to be a one-night stand and all I wanted was to love someone and to be loved. Now, I love and am loved, yet I miss the thrill of being single sometimes. I miss that flash of attraction, the anything-can-happen-ness of that sort of life. I get nostalgic for those hook-ups and flings and the many lips I’ve kissed in order to find a part of myself on their tongue, to feel that heat of desire. Maybe this is a part of life, to want to be elsewhere no matter where you are. Maybe I want too much.
I think what I’ve always hoped was that these opposing parts of me would eventually reconcile themselves. I’d find some sort of lasting desire which would burn greater than the others. It hasn’t. I haven’t. I don’t know if this is a call for me to be more deliberate, to try to find a hybrid life which can support all the parts of me that I desire to explore. I’ve never been one to follow a preordained, traditional path, but what’s traditional anymore?
I don’t know. I’m tired of the coming and going, but maybe that’s because I just came from somewhere. My suitcase sits in the hallway still packed. There’s laundry to be done and grocery shopping to get to and we need toilet paper and I can’t order delivery again tonight. I’m jetlagged and I’m dreaming of warmer temperatures while dreaming of going offline for a week and retreating to a cabin in the snow somewhere. So, like, I don’t know, maybe I just need to get a puppy to occupy me and keep me from just getting so goddamn restless. Fuck. Someone send me an adorable puppy before I go insane.