Updated: Jan 21
I wanted to start documenting my travels when they began. One year ago, today. However, the fast pace and chaotic nature of what is now my life has hindered me from doing so. I have been unable to halt my awe towards the ever-fleeting nature of each passing moment.
What started as a will to explore new places soon evolved into an ardent pursuit for clarity and self-discovery. I have found myself among people I always hoped I'd meet and in places I always dreamed I'd be. More importantly, I feel as though my life is somehow falling apart yet coming together in the disarray of it all. It is difficult to explain but I have never felt more at home than I do not having a home.
A playground for the experimentally-inclined or a getaway for the emotionally unstable? Either way this nomadic lifestyle has captivated me and thrown me into a whirlwind of extremes-highest of highs and lowest of lows. My life has gone from one of comfortable, quiet despair to a conundrum of disorder and uncertainty. In many ways it is an oxymoron of epic proportions; the most dysfunctional, yet strangely coherent chapter of my life.
Starting over was the most difficult thing I've ever had to do. I left behind the love of my life, my family, the comforts of home and a life that was virtually perfect and hassle-free. And you know what? I miss it every day. I miss my loving (now ex-) boyfriend who would hold me and make the rest of the world disappear. I miss laughing in basements with lifelong friends. I miss watching the seasons change. I miss the magic of Canadian summers spent by the lake and around bonfires. I miss mom's home-cooked meals. I miss sleeping in until people need to check if I'm alive. I miss driving a grey Honda civic around monotonous suburbs. I miss my routine. I miss my dance classes. I miss everything being 5 minutes away. I miss trips to the health food store and cooking my own vegetarian meals. I miss staying home on weekends and looking forward to quiet nights in. I miss marathon-watching 3 seasons of One Tree Hill in a week. I miss the simplicity. I miss sedentarianism. Trust me, I've thought about going back many times. Sometimes the urge has been so overwhelming that I have been extemporaneously reduced to tears.
Alas, I know I would be cheating myself by going back. I would simply be putting off the inevitable. I know I would end up craving the unknown in no time and taking off again. A sedentary life has never been healthy for me. I've always been destined for transience. I have dreamed of faraway places from the time I could read and have never been able to sit still. I knew it then and I know it now. I have far too much soul-searching ahead to be stagnant at this time.
I was comfortable; that was the problem. Comfort was rapidly becoming quicksand. With each passing day, I felt myself sinking deeper and deeper into an apathetic state of being from which I might never have emerged had I stayed. My life had always been just that: comfortable. I tried to convince myself that I could continue along that path but I knew deep down that I needed to break the shackles of stability if I ever wanted to delve into the realm of true self-discovery.
A part of me wanted more than anything to embrace my situation, to accept conformity. The other part fought with all its might to ensure that would never happen. This inner battle brought me to my knees. Day after day, I wished that I could just be happy with what I had. I felt selfish for wanting anything different. You see, my story is not one of heart-wrenching struggles or overcoming adversity. It is quite the contrary; I have been very privileged and have lead a truly blessed life. But that is a struggle in itself; discontent in the most favorable of circumstances.
My journey has only just begun but I feel as though I have already made some breakthroughs that I couldn't have had I remained stagnant. I have managed to tear down some of the walls that have held me back all my life. I have come to terms with the fact that I am a complete and total paradox and that duality is ingrained in me. More importantly, I've learned that I am prepared to do whatever it takes to ensure that I always live passionately and never fall into conformity's lethal grip.
I am dysfunctionally functional. I have accepted that. I crave the high highs and the low lows, the very disparity that lets you know you're alive. I live for the uncertainty, for the complexity, for the disarray. I live for the chaos.
Miami, FL, January 2015.