There is this strange balance between still being in lockdown (mostly self-imposed) and knowing that in a few months I’ll be living the opposite. I sometimes feel like there’s a danger of just moving my prison cell from a house in Miami to another elsewhere. Which kinda trickled into my creativity and mood this week. And then I read a memory on Facebook which changed everything …
As I was writing my weekly Patreon post this morning … (ahem, did you know that we have a Patreon page where you can directly support the channel? Didja? Look on the navigation bar on this post and click away!).
Anyway (and sorry for the interruption) I saw an old post of mine on Facebook in the Memories section. An entry I had made in a journal I was keeping while writing my first book. It was all abou … hell, why don’t I just post it?
Tue, 25 Jul 2017
Sitting in a cafe, chatting with Nikki tonight. Something we’ve done hundreds of times. And yet, it was as different as different can be, over and over the entirety of this trip.
It’s almost impossible to explain, yet I’m going to try. I think it boils down to either having no home, or having home as everywhere. Like I said, a difficult concept. As far as this evening, it was dusk, cool, raining. Not many folks out. We were in an outdoor cafe, and just over Nikki’s shoulder was a train bridge over the Rhine river. The city was starting to twinkle because of the rain. And I got to thinking about something that hits me every few days … how in the hell did I get here? And more importantly, why am I so comfortable?
The son of a plumber, who often acts older than his years, is in Cologne Germany. On the Rhine. Eating dinner in a beautiful setting. Like it was completely, freaking normal. And not once contemplating that home might lie elsewhere. In fact, the concept of home was completely missing.
How did this come to be? It just smacks you in the face. That you are doing something incredible, or at least something ordinary in an incredible way. Or maybe just ordinary and you’re finally paying attention to the details. I get completely overwhelmed, yet remain as calm and collected as if I was sitting in a Taco Bell on Main Street USA. I always knew I would live like this, yet the act of doing it feels like I’m walking on the moon.
As far as home, whatever that means, it’s something that I’m at a loss for these days. I feel like I have no home-base, in the sense of being a tree with roots stuck somewhere. I know I have Miami, but it doesn’t feel like it’s missing. Wherever I am, it seems to be just fine calling that ‘home’. The feeling is real, not just a statement. It makes me wonder when I do go back to Florida, how will I feel about what I see around me? Will I return to being oblivious about my surroundings? Or will I continue to sit back and gawk in amazement at the richness of my life?
It hit me very strongly this evening. Feeling so commonplace, yet being on top of the world with joy and wonder. Feeling all of life. This is why I call myself a traveler. And how I sometimes even believe it’s actually true. That moment of emotional overload and clarity. That feeling of carrying home everywhere I go.
I vividly remember the moment that I wrote those words because I learned something about myself that night. And I’ve also learned more about me in the intervening years. Those last lines of “Will I return to being oblivious about my surroundings? Or will I continue to sit back and gawk in amazement at the richness of my life?” struck me deeply, because I took the former route.
The pandemic helped force me back into my old mindset, but truthfully I was there long before. And even though I have been on many an adventure since that journal entry, it seems to be an on-off switch with me. While I’m out on a walkabout, I’m as free as free can be. I just can’t seem to carry that momentum and lifestyle back into my “normal” world. So now I have this side goal of unlocking lockdown here in the states as well. It shouldn’t be a flip-switch when The Pivot starts, me unwrapping this guy who looks, smells, and acts like a nomad … only to revive his Mr. Hyde when the trip is over.
I know this post feels semi-manic. Or perhaps semi-depressed. I just know that I’m in this netherworld where possibility exists. Where the “me” that I cherish is about to be set free … and I can’t help but wonder why he doesn’t just stay out of the box I tend to keep him in. I know that humans have this “default” that they rely on in times of trouble or rest. Mine apparently is a traditional view where relationship and suburban normalcy is king. But why is that default so powerful at all other times? For someone like me who craves change, change is still hard. Permanent change at least.
But I’m not going to give in to this. The Pivot is apparently more than just quitting my job and wandering the globe. It’s also about making some real discoveries inside me and moving ever forward into whatever life awaits. So … The Pivot doesn’t really begin on December 1st. It begins now.