I think it’s funny the times and places things occur to you. Laying in bed you suddenly remember something you were supposed to do or where you knew someone from. I was sitting in the airport waiting for my interview with Homeland security when I had one of those moments.
I’ve always sort of prided myself on being nomadic. I’ve packed up my car or sold all my possessions and moved without much care, thought or fear. I liked that about me. I’ve lived in 7 states and numerous towns and cities in them. I’ve learned so much about different cultures just within this one country and I think that just helps me grow as a person. I believe that when you’ve only lived in one place you have a very limited understanding of the world. I don’t mean to put anyone down but unless you leave and travel you are limiting yourself. Mark Twain wrote, “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.” I know people in NYC that believe the city is made up from every culture in the world, so there’s no need to leave the safety of their little island. I don’t care where you live you are simply regurgitating information that is passed around you unless you occasionally break away. I haven’t always liked everywhere I’ve lived but I’ve always known the option to leave is available, that is until I met Todd and had someone else’s feelings to consider. He has kept my feet on the ground, at least when it comes to where we receive our mail otherwise he is my favorite traveling buddy!
We moved to the east coast to be closer to family. My dad to be specific. He was ill, and I wanted to be closer. So, we left San Francisco for Manhattan where Todd grew up and most of his family was, job opportunities and close enough to my parents to visit. After two years we moved to New Jersey, cheaper than the city, a bit closer to my family and more space. I was lost. I quit my job and was floundering. This was the first time in my life I felt adrift. I’d never felt this way before. We lived in a place neither of us wanted to be and even though I was with someone I felt totally alone. It was a few painful years, I had to learn to be more dependent on someone than I had ever been in my entire life. I didn’t know anyone and as shitty as this sounds did not like a lot of the people I met. I wanted to move, to run, to find my people, the place I could feel comfortable. It had always been easy for me to leave before but this time, I had Todd and he isn’t as easily movable. That is when I began my practice of sitting with the uncomfortable. I had to start looking at myself and what I wanted to run from, the things in me I didn’t want to face or admit to. IT SUCKED! Growth is never easy. Thankful we don’t remember being babies, imagine what that growth spurt is like! So, I sat with it not because I wanted to but because I had to. After a time, I learned what I needed to grow in the direction I wanted, and I learned how to be with me. I started to meet people I liked and for the first time in a decade I felt like I may be home.
The thing I love about life and lessons is it’s never really over until it’s over. Todd had a job opportunity and it required moving across the country. After years of struggling I finally felt comfortable and wasn’t ready to give that up. That was not like me at all. The opportunity passed, and we stayed put. I began putting down more roots and feeling more secure. At least that’s the way I saw it.
We are sitting in the airport waiting for our names to be called when it occurred to me. This is the first time in my life I would move and feel grounded. I could pack up our dogs, sell all our stuff and move with little thought, care or fear but this time I would know that no matter where I go I have my roots with me. When I noticed that feeling of being comfortable and settled I associated it with my job and the people around me but that wasn’t where it was coming from at all. It came from within. I really don’t like the vegan cheesy sound of that but it’s true. Begin Within! I have dug deep and faced myself and acknowledged all those dark crevices I denied were there. And it’s there in that deep part of me I’ve planted my roots.
Now still living in the same place I feel freer than I have in years. I can feed my wanderlust and explore because “Not all those who wander are lost” (JRR Tolkien) wherever I go there I am.