Four months of not being home. Four months of not seeing my friends in Orlando. Four months of not seeing Mom and Dad.
The truth is that four months on the road isn’t easy at all. I keep thinking about my time in New Orleans back in early June, and how incredibly far away that feels in space and time. I think it’s so far away because I had such a dense summer full of memories with my best friends, old friends, and new friends.
I’m sitting here at a Barnes and Noble in Salt Lake City, 2,086 miles away from home, and I must say that it’s starting to get to me just how long I’ve been away from familiar places and faces.
It does take its toll on you, to do this. Sometimes I forget to do normal everyday things–like drink water–because I’m just so busy driving, working, or seeing new things.
When I signed up to be a digital nomad, I was so ready to see this country. The miles couldn’t tick away fast enough to my next destination. But I must say that I’m weary. I’m weary of sleeping in foreign beds and driving around on foreign roads and seeing all the locals hanging out with their friends at coffee shops while mine do the same with each other in scattered parts of the country. And I’m just here.
Even my car is starting to show signs of weariness. Every now and then the brakes screech ever so slightly, and I have this constant rattle in the back, and all the stuff that I own is strewn all across the back of my car.
When you take a vacation, you’re normally gone for two weeks from the place that you know well. This isn’t enough time to detach. I’ve detached so much that I feel like I’m floating around in a formless void, far away from the voices of my friends and family.
Anyone else would tell me that I’m lost. I would say that I’m exactly where I want to be.
There’s a weird comfort you feel when standing in a figurative burning room. At least you know that it can’t get much worse. At least you know that the fire will go out soon. You know that then will be the best time to rebuild–which is exactly why you wanted the house to burn in the first place.
Take a second to be thankful for your bed at home, because I miss mine so much. I feel like Tom Hanks from Cast Away. Minus Wilson. Well, I do have a baseball from a minor league game I saw a year ago in my door compartment.
I’m starting to think about just how much I’ve learned, and whether I’ve received what I expected to receive. The answer is no, I didn’t receive what I expected to receive, but I mean that in the best way possible. How could you expect to have two unforgettable months in San Francisco? How could you expect to really hit it off with your best friend’s parents after being eager to meet them for so long? How could you expect to know how you’d feel looking at the most beautiful mountains in America at 6,000 feet?
I didn’t expect any of this. I asked and I received more than I bargained for.
Plans changed. Cars broke down. Jobs were quit. My sister got engaged.
This all happened while I was on this journey.
I still remember telling my parents about this journey six months ago and feeling so stupid for thinking it could somehow work. But here I am on the edge of getting back home, and I’ve managed to make it with a massive amount of help from my friends and their families.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’m happy for these four months–even though I’m weary of them. They’ve taught me so much.
Take what you think you know about life and rip it to shreds. I know I harp on this so much–but the truth of it keeps magnifying with each passing mile that registers on my odometer. The vision we have for our lives, no matter how glamorous or difficult, is more than a vision. It’s an alternate timeline that’s right in front of our faces, waiting for us to grab and make it reality.
The people that I’ve met here in Salt Lake City keep catching me staring off into space with a smile on my face. There’s a smile because who wouldn’t be happy after making their dreams a reality? And I don’t mean to make it seem like I’m the only one on this planet doing this. Many of my friends are making their dreams a reality every day.
To realize that you can alter the constellations–what an adventure.
I’m out in the middle of the country, as far from the ones I love as I’ve ever been. But there’s a few beautiful mountains off in the distance with snow collected near the tops. I have a car that turns on with every flick of the wrist. I have new friends that I’ve made nearby. Even though I’m far from loved ones, I’m as close to finding myself as I’ve ever been. And that’s more comforting than the weariness I feel every day.