Saturday, January 12, 2013

on you go

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My feet always seem to get so itchy this time of year! They want to be walking the cobblestone streets of Europe, or hiking through forests and up mountains, or exploring market stalls at an African bazaar. They want to be run run running, moving through and away to a place that is anywhere but here.

It's hard to reconcile that itch with the gratitude I still feel for our little home base, and the satisfaction that comes from being around family and friends once again.

How does one step into her life? Become who she is? Do her life's work? How do you ever figure out just what that is? I'm never sure. I'm good with ideas; less so with the follow through. Sometimes getting lost is what helps you find yourself. Maybe being metaphorically lost here at home, in my own country and culture, is exactly what I need. Perhaps there's something to be said for sticking it out. But oh my god, it can be so hard.

How can I feel so fulfilled and still so lonely? Probably what I want to run away from is me. I want to forget myself for awhile, and travel makes it so easy to do that. In that light, my goal to climb Kilimanjaro by the time I turn 30 makes utter sense (a "to-do" I made at 19, now anticipated for 2014). Testing yourself physically and mentally like that brings all the focus to the moment, to simply taking one step after the other. You stop over-analyzing in an effort to survive. And no, Kilimanjaro isn't the toughest undertaking out there, but it's been brewing deep inside me for so long that I don't think there's anyway I could not do it.

Seeing the world allows me to escape myself -- my "self" -- and become more fully realized at the same time. I'm not sure I'll ever settle for staying put. In fact, I think it's exactly what makes home feel that much sweeter: Gratitude is magnified by the return.

A literal home and to feel at home wherever I am . . . The search gives me both questions and answers, comfort and dissonance. I guess we'll see where it leads. Because, trite as it sounds, it's true: You never know what might happen next. Sometimes you have to keep walking; other times it's a matter of waiting. In any case, on you go.