I’ll tell you, it hasn’t always been easy. It hasn’t always been comfortable. But it has certainly been adventurous every step of the way.
We’ve been without a home of our own for three months now, so I thought I’d take a moment to weigh in on what that means to me. Since we moved from our cramped (but peaceful) Berkeley one-bedroom apartment, we’ve been crashing with ever-so-generous friends and family across the U.S. and abroad. My parents in small-town Nevada for a few weeks, Mark’s cousin in Phoenix for a weekend, my grandma in rural Kentucky, Mark’s parents in the suburbs of Detroit. We left the states mid-July and landed in Vilnius, Lithuania where we’ve been mostly staying with Mark’s aunt and uncle. And right now I’m writing from a crowded bus somewhere in the middle of the wilds of Latvia on our way back from ten days visiting with good friends in Estonia.
It’s been exciting, filled with countless amounts of those moments that just feed your soul. We collected wild blueberries from the mossy, sun-dappled forests, picked wildflowers, built bonfires on the beach at the edge of the sea and watched shooting stars, stayed up late and talked about our lives and plans, laughed about ill-timed hiccups, and made and shared meals together. Good meals, cooked over nothing more than wood gathered from the fallen trees surrounding us.
I expected these kinds of moments as much as I hoped for them. What I didn’t expect was to miss a space of my own so much, so soon. (And my dog. Oh my goodness, my heart breaks when I think of her. Don’t get me started).
See, I’m a person who needs to feel everything. I love; I hate; I’m angry; I’m annoyed; I’m self-righteous; I’m over-caffeinated; I’m drunk; I’m crying; I’m fretting; I’m laughing hysterically. These are all the things I need be okay feeling if and when I feel them. The problem with this is I’m not comfortable feeling these things around other people. Mark, yes, he knows these things about me. He loves most of them, I’m sure. But there’s an enormous amount of insecurity in me that doesn’t allow me to be myself around most people. And so, if I’m being completely honest, I’m left now feeling a bit disconnected from myself.
But that’s okay. There will be time to reconnect. There will be time to get back to myself. It doesn’t have to be today, it doesn’t have to be tomorrow. Right now there is nothing more freeing than living out of a single backpack. Knowing that all of my possessions can be fairly easily carried from place to place feels good and right. I’m sure this experience has taught, and continues to teach, me more than I can measure at this moment. I’ll realize it all when I’m in my next phase, as lessons tend to not seem like lessons until well after the fact. I know there will come a point, months from now, when I realize I’m different. That I’ve changed. And it will be because I gave myself this time to explore, to be present, to be free.
And then I’ll reflect.