My escapist fantasies have been the driving force behind most of my life decisions. My mom for the majority of my life has called me her little gypsy. My grandmother never understood why I wanted to leave San Francisco so much (or at all for that matter). And the escape theme has let me to both positive and negative choices.
But I’ve learned a lot from both ends of the spectrum and feel like the balance has helped me to realize what’s really important.
Just like how I knew in my bones that I would be ready for the final push after I came back from my trip to Sri Lanka / South Asia / South East Asia, I now find myself feeling similarly about moving to the UK.
There is a growing part of me that feels like once I’ve done this, completed my masters in England that I’ll be ready to stay stop to the random long spurts of travel. That I’ll be ready to settle down, plant roots somewhere. I don’t know where, but it feels like I’ll be okay.
Sure, I still want to go to Antartica, and see Iguassu Falls in Argentina. I still want to see Lake Baikal and visit the Galapagos Islands. But with each mental pow-wow I have with myself over the next step (because it’s always been my focus), my career and academic goals are narrowing. I know what I want to do; I’ve known for awhile now. A masters and then working in international education/development. But my personal life has never been something I’ve cared about too much. I have a core group of friends that I love with everything I am and would do anything for, but beyond that I’ve been very very closed off.
And that ties in with setting down roots and being open to opening myself up again. I laugh as I type this, but it took my best friend from childhood trying to set me up and offering to go to bars as my quasi wing-woman (she’s been in a serious relationship for over a decade) for me to realize how much I’d pushed myself away from the idea of another relationship.
Eight years away. That’s right, it’s almost embarrassing to admit that my last serious relationship ended eight years ago this coming September. I won’t get into too many details of it, but I will say that it was an intense year long relationship, and it’s demise was 80% my fault and 20% his. I wasn’t ready for what he wanted, and there were periods between ages 23 and 25 when I finally understood where he had been coming from.
But I digress.
My point is that I think that while the desire to escape, to explore, to be anywhere but wherever here is for me, that need is slowly dimming.
I’m letting go and holding on at the same time.
I’m trying to learn how to live in the present, even though most of the time it seems like one of the hardest things to do.