post-post warning: i am extremely tired after several days of travel and cannot be held accountable for the waxing (and waning) wisdom that is spewed into this blog post. i consider lack of sleep among one of the most unpredictable drugs on the planet. enjoy.
they say that the first mile is always the hardest in distance running. you are finding your pace, your breath, your rhythm. i don’t know for sure (because i’ve never been able to make it through the first mile without walking out the cramp that forms around the halfway mark), but i am finding the same is true about nomad-ing.
it’s been fifteen months since i packed up everything i own and moved it into the basement of my previous portland home (thanks to my roomies’ kindness). what started out as a three month temporary travel plan that included the holidays at home in chicago and a month long trip to india ended up being the initial mile.
we all have dreams. we sometimes get so far as to lace up our shoes, but it’s that first mile that solidifies the motion.
if i could measure the past fifteen months in miles, i’m sure i would have run at least one marathon by now.
are you starting to wonder where am i going with this running analogy? me too. i have no clue. just running with it… (sorry i had to.)
…and i can’t stop.
i’ve been back from australia for six days. in those six days, i have visited five cities in four different states and soaked in the smiles of several faces that will continue to fuel my journey.
but i am tired and the idea of my own bed, in my own house, with my own bathtub, and my own bookshelf sounds amazing. planting my feet in western australia for two months was a welcome oasis to the constant chaos of bouncing from one guest bedroom to another. i had a bed and a house and a bathtub and a bookshelf.
but now i am back in america. a return to being home-less.
there is a pamphlet that i carry with me on all my adventures called “finding a home.” one of the articles in it from the christian science monitor starts, “a small boy was being pitied because he and his family were living in a hotel. he replied, ‘oh, but we do have a home. it’s just that we haven’t anywhere to put it at the moment.’” (if you’ve seen this quotation in my other blog posts, forgive me.)
i don’t know where to put it yet.
and that is the question that seems to be on everyone’s minds.
are you moving to australia?
are you finally planting roots somewhere?
where are you going to live?
when are you going to stop traveling?
as my facebook feed piles up with news about engagements, weddings, new homes, babies, and more babies, i hear those same questions creeping up into my head. trying like mad to rip apart the safety net i have worked hard to wrap around the present moment.
i am known for not accepting “i don’t know” as an answer. several of my close friends have probably heard one of these annoying mom statements come out of my mouth more than once:
what do you mean you don’t know?
“i don’t know” isn’t an answer.
what don’t you know?
it seemed like a lazy answer, but i am beginning to realize that it can also be a protective response.
why do i want to shatter the possibilities of tomorrow’s tomorrow by answering those questions today?
are you moving to australia? i don’t know.
are you finally planting roots somewhere? i don’t know.
where are you going to live? i don’t know.
when are you going to stop traveling? i don’t know.
it’s not that i don’t care enough to give you thoughtful responses to these obvious questions, it’s that as much as the roller coaster of the unknown makes me want to punch a puppy in the face sometimes, it is also what makes life worth living.
so for now, i’ll continue in the unknown. unsure of what next week will bring. searching for a place to put my home.