I have this terrible habit. I think it started around the time I discovered the Travel Channel and Disney World (specifically Epcot: my 4 year old version of studying abroad), and then eventually worsened in my more “enlightened” years followed by Kerouac and Bukowski obsessions. The habit is one you might very well be suffering from too. The constant, and at times debilitating, theory that life could be better somewhere else, anywhere else for that matter. I have this philosophy that if I stay still too long, I’ll never move again. Stuck. A bleak life with little movement and growth, and it absolutely petrifies me.
Let’s go back to this past May. It was the month of my college graduation and I was scared shitless. Of course, if you asked me if I was scared, I would have told you absolutely not. See the funny thing is; despite my desire to live a carefree and adventures post-grad life, I was drowning in plans. Plans made partly by my parents, and plans made partly by the very contrasting side of my personality that needs structure and a clear vision. So, how do you live both a structured and free-spirited life at the same time? I had no clue. I still have no clue.
What followed was months of dream chasing, and by “dream chasing,” I’m eloquently describing floating around with little certainty of what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I spent months traveling and “exploring” new cities and potential career paths. What the hell do you do with a creative writing degree? Each new city, I thought, this is it! Look at how happy everyone is here. Maybe if I move here, and dive into what ever it is these people are doing, I’ll be happy here too. Maybe it will be here I write my first novel, or become a professional dog-walker, or open my own coffee shop, or go back to school for writing (the list continues). Everyday I woke up with a new idea, a new plan and a hopeful venture in mind.
It took me months to realize I had spent a lot of my time running. Running away from just about every big decision I felt pressured into making and disguising it as adventure. I was successfully redesigning travel as escape and turning wanderlust into a diversion. I was running full speed ahead from the past, skipping over the now, and hoping the future would be better than both. The ironic thing is, by doing so; I stopped appreciating all I had in front of me at the present moment. I was a faithful and true believer that the grass was always greener on the other side, and often, you had to travel very far to get there.
By no means am I knocking traveling post-grad. I feel beyond fortunate to have had those opportunities. I am rather pointing out a flaw within myself I noticed during these travels. If I had spent less time running and more time appreciating, I would have been able to live in the moment with more ease – a practice I am still working on today. I don’t pretend to be a wise soul because a couple of months without roots got me thinking. But I do feel everyone has a story to share. And for now, this has been mine.