Monday, September 9, 2013

on wanderlust

it hit me like a brick to the face this morning. all of the sudden, i felt it.

i felt what i felt years ago - the wanderlust. for a while the dull ache was satiated with my spring break roadtrip to las vegas. but now, its back, and i finally think i understand it and what it means.

 my trip to the grand canyon in march

i've always had wanderlust. maybe it comes with the territory when you grow up in a small alabama town and roam the same state for 23 years - I-65, I-10, highway 98 and back again. i was never satisfied with going to college in mobile and then moving back across the bay to see everyone i went to highschool with at target twice a week.

tuscaloosa was the baby step, the bandaid. for the first time in my life, i was not near the coast. i learned how to have a love affair, not with a person, but a place; cliched college bars, full houndstooth body suits on gameday, the trains rattling my furniture at night, the fact that tuscaloosa is slowly, but surely, sinking into the black warrior river. tuscaloosa was a kind to me.

and now here i am. i've graduated. my love affair with tuscaloosa resulted in an inevitable bittersweet goodbye. moving to birmingham for work was another adventure in itself. i've only just begun to explore this town and i'm loving it so far. but while i am enjoying settling into another alabama city, i am already peering ahead and trying not to limit myself.

 hiking in cheaha in 2011

looking back on the years since i've graduated highschool, it makes sense for me to reach this understanding at this particular moment in my life. in the safety of fairhope and tuscaloosa, i've spent a lot of time dating guys, trying to find "the one", trying to plan my life on a calendar and cycle through an endless rotation of "five year plans". come on, we all make them. but why? at 22 (almost 23) i am asking myself why i am trying, so desperately, to make it all work according to plan. my heart wants something different.

i don't know where i want to go, because i want to go everywhere. settling on specific places will be the hardest battle. whether its a weekend getaway or my next living quarters doesn't matter to me, i just want to go.

my plan, it seems, is that i shouldn't make one.

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