I think I was born with a gypsy soul. Or I was a gypsy in a former life if you buy into that line of thinking. Or the universe is telling me something I am not quite hearing. Whichever way you look at it, my mind often wanders to far off places. It doesn’t wander off like I need a vacation wander off. It wanders off as in sell everything, pack up what I can, and let’s see where the road will take me. Quite often, in the early morning light, as I sit at the stop sign right by my house, needing to turn left to head to work, I fight that voice in my head that says “go right. Let’s see how far we can get before the sun goes down tonight”. More than once I have had a vehicle behind me blare it’s horn at me, forcing me back to the reality that I indeed need to go to work. I sigh, turn my signal light on to turn left and head off in the direction of work.
I have tried to monitor these thoughts of running away to see if there is a pattern to them. Does this only happen when I am sad? Or happy? Or feeling confused about a particular situation in my life? But there seems to be no rhyme or reason to when this urge to just go hits. There is no catalyst to send my thoughts off on the open road. No indicator as to why I feel that pull to let my life here go and see where I could end up. For a while I thought it might be a fight or flight response. But with no reason that I can tell as to why I would need to stand up and conquer something or run away and hide, that doesn’t seem to answer my questions either.
I have 4 kids. Well, they are not really kids anymore. The youngest being 14 and the oldest being 25, with a 16 year old and 19 year old in the middle. I have raised them to be independent thinkers. I tell them I have given them that skill because when my youngest reaches 18, Mom is hitting the road. They just roll their eyes at me. I have spoken this desire out loud to a few people and many times they tell me that I will miss all of this. “All of this what?” I ask.
Those are the top things that people always list when they answer. My response is always the same. I can visit my kids, friends and family. I can find another job. The last one always gets me; my life. I am not sure I am really living when I am always thinking of what is around the corner. When my mind is questioning if I actually belong here, then am I really living here anyway?
The next line of questions are always about where I would go. Hmmmm, I am not really sure on that answer. Where would I go? I have had the privilege of visiting a few places in my life. Mostly on the western side of the States. Montana is one of my favorite States to drive through. Rolling hills with picturesque views of the mountains. Babbling brooks with planted fields running beside one another. But I don’t know if my heart belongs there. I love San Francisco as well. The hills. The valleys. The boardwalk along the ocean. The friendly people. Yes, it is a wonderful place to visit. So much so, that I have been a number of times. But the cost of living in San Fran is one of the highest in the US, so not sure if I could call that home. I have also spent some time on some beautiful sandy beaches. Again the water, the breeze, the feeling of freedom I get when I walk with my feet in the ocean. But if I am not laying in a beach lounge chair, with someone bringing me drinks, could I actually live in the heat?
Now up to this point in my life, reading has helped curb that voice in my head to run. I can open a book and be taken to whatever location the story is set in. But I find that now, I will google the city or town or area that the setting is laid out so eloquently for me. I will google images, the stats on the area, news articles, etc. Sometimes if the area really appeals to me, I will search for jobs in the area. But then I remember that while I like to think I am good at my job, I actually don’t have a special skill set and applying for a work visa is really just a waste of time as I won’t be granted one. I am not a doctor or an engineer. I am just a dime a dozen regular old Joe.
I worked with a gentleman that used to tell me about how he ran away. He was approached and asked if he would like to work on a cruise ship. He figured he would take the chance and try it for a year. He finally came back ‘home’ after well over 10 years. He lived and worked on a cruise ship, visiting all the places he wanted, till the voice in his head told him it was time to come back to where he decided home really was. I used to listen with bated breath to his adventures. Always asking him to tell me another story. Tell me about another adventure. I would sit and listen like my kids used to listen to bedtime stories. Then I would sigh and think quietly to myself “I wish. I wish I could just follow my intuition and leave it all behind to experience what you have”.
I know that I am not quite ready to leave yet. Again, my youngest daughter is only 14 and I would hate to miss out on the rest of her teenage years. Although some days, that teenage drama is WHY I want to run! But no, I am here till she is at least 18. So I still have a number of years to decide where I will be going. It is not a question of if. Not at all. I need to feed this strong desire to go. And I have a feeling it will be less about where I end up then the destination of getting there that I need.
Because for me, it is never about where I will be, but how I got there.