You get a strange feeling when you’re about to leave a place, like you’ll not only miss the people you love but you’ll miss the person you are now at this time and place because you’ll never be this way ever again
This quote from the book “Lolita in Tehran” really struck me this morning. I’ve been pondering and committing to slow deliberate action these days as I sift through a decade of shuffling from one place to the next. I wonder how much of my adult life has been spent orienteering to a new place and saying goodbye to another. How many versions of myself have existed and which one will persist.
And I realize, so much of my time has been spent chasing after a part of me which may never have even existed. Was I ever really truly carefree? Or is this a story I created to dispel the discomfort I have with my true self or to allow myself to linger a little longer in a chronic unhealthy game of denying the present.
Ten years ago, I say, I had nothing to worry about but the contents of a backpack and a pocket full of maps. Which is not true. The maps, the travel, the days spent thinking I was defined by my distrust of proper footwear and all matters of conforming, were a ruse. A distraction I have continued to play over and over again in search of that one place that would magically make everything click and I’d stay.
And in truth, while I travelled, threw jobs away like candy wrappers and said goodbye more often than hello…I craved the very things I now have. I remember sitting in a tent sewing by hand day dreaming about how great it would be to just have a little room with a little table with a sewing machine. or coffee with a friend. or a familiar haunt to visit. houseplants and a garden and a stack of books to read.
Yes, I have always wanted my own piece of land. I have come close to deciding I must be a failure because at 33 I have so few of the things I thought would make up my life. I thought by now I’d have a family. Maybe a farm. Perhaps I’d run a little tea shop and master the art of sinfully good cookies and scones. In focusing so much on what I have yet to achieve, I have failed to celebrate all that I have and all that I should be grateful for. In spending so much time looking for the person I was, I have failed to celebrate the complexity and beauty of who I have become.