I like to write; however, this past week has been a struggle. I get home from teaching, and I have no energy to do anything except to kick off my shoes and plant my ass on the couch. This week? Ha! Who am I kidding? These past few months have been like this.
This monotony of 9 to 5, get myself to Saturday, breathe for a moment, and then back at it again on Monday… Whose brilliant idea was this bullshit? And why do we follow it?
I have always said that you can’t bitch about a life you don’t like if you aren’t working to change it. So, why am I bitching? Cuz I’m changing it! The problem, then? That change, or that financial runway, as I’ve heard it called, takes time. And time is precious. We don’t have enough of it, yet I find myself constantly wishing it away, constantly dreaming of May 25, my last day of teaching, my freedom date.
I wish that this post was about how to be present in the face of your dreams, how to enjoy every second, how to treat the journey as the best part of the adventure. Sadly, it is not. It is a vent, a struggle, a litany of words with the hope that they will turn into the action of being present.
I grew up moving every six months or so, sometimes less, sometimes even more. My mom would pack our things into the back of some old boat, and then the four of us – including myself, my little sister, my little brother, and my mom – would somehow cram into the front seat, and off we’d go into the next small town, big city. There didn’t seem to be a rhyme or reason where we went; we just left.
The next day, we started again in a different place. We made new friends, met new neighbors, figured out the lay of the land, got comfortable, and did it all over again. This was my life until I was 16, where we ended up staying put in Colorado. And staying put we did.
I have now been in the same suburban neighborhood for over 30 years, the same house for 25. And although my physical wanderings ceased, my soul never did.
This resulted in a restless career path, never quite knowing where I belonged, so I became a half-hearted enthusiast, trying many careers, but never quite finding that exact fit, even when I thought I found it in teaching.
You may think there is some bitterness towards this early life of mine. To the contrary, there is none. I do believe this is how the travel bug bit me, and for that, I am forever grateful. We may not have traveled to exotic lands, but to a 10-year-old, new places are plenty exotic when you are always the new kid in town.
Once I grew up and had my own family, we traveled whenever we could: road trips here and there, flights to visit family, and ultimately trips to Mexico, Italy, Greece, Turkey, England, Thailand, and more.
But this has not been enough, and that bug has gotten very restless over this past year, and I can no longer ignore its bite.
But oh, it’s excruciatingly hard to stay present, to enjoy my students since this may be my last year teaching, to marvel at the recent lunar eclipse, to linger over a barrel-aged porter, to relish the crisp winter breeze while riding the open bowls of the mountains, to relinquish worries when enjoying conversations with the dearest of friends, to listen to the trees whisper while flying down the trail on my bike, to cozying up on the couch with my family simply just being near… These moments should not be wished away, yet I continue to do so, thinking that life will be one long, wonderful image of perfection once that freedom date rolls around the corner, taking its sweet ass time, driving me out of my skin, taking time away, that precious time.
A litany of words with the hope that they will turn into the action of being present. For now, it worked. Although I have tears in my eyes still wishing for that freedom date, I understand that every moment given to me is a moment to be treasured, so I’m going to start tomorrow today, and that will create my present.
Do with that what you will, and today, I’m just glad to be alive.