Sunday, January 11, 2009

Home, for real

This is my time, this is my tear.
I can see clearly now that this is not a place
For playing solitaire.
Tell me where you want me.
This is my time, this is my tear.

Coming on strong, Baudelaire.
Seems to me like all the world gets high
When you take a dare.
Let it rise before you.
This is my crime!

Tear, Red Hot Chili Peppers

Yesterday I moved in to my apartment. There are boxes everywhere, piles of things here and there, and I don't have a couch...

But I can poop in my toilet, whenever I want. I can turn up the heat. I can walk more than three steps in any direction I want to. I slept in my own bed and took a shower in my own shower. Ralgh enthusiastically peed his way around our own neighborhood, and I said, over and over to Dillon, "I'm home. I can't believe I'm home." I never want to leave.

People can live with much less than they think. It was never really a huge deal for me to give things up here and there. Sometimes I had to wear an extra sweater, or find a late night emergency bathroom. Sometimes I ran out of propane and couldn't cook for a day. Sometimes I couldn't find safe parking spots so I had to drive further than I wanted to. Always I had dirty hair. All these things were minor inconveniences, but they had a way of adding up. I didn't climb Mount Everest, or go to Siberia, but I do think I roughed it a bit. Now that I'm home, it feels so good that I can hardly understand why I left.

Of course, I know why I left. I needed to rough it for a few months. I needed to sort my shit out. I wanted to see the country in an offbeat way. I wanted to push myself. I wanted discomfort. I wanted to prove that I could. I wanted to show Ralgh a good time. I wanted change (Barack Obama?).

As my friend from Madison, Brian, says, life is all about moderation. It's about doing something wild, then taking a break and doing something comfortable. Swinging back and forth like that keeps us in good shape, I think, and allows us to admit that we're complex beings and like a lot of different things. Now is a time of comfort and peace for me, while Brian is looking to trade in his comfort as he gears up (see what I did there, Brian?) to build a heavy-duty fixed-gear bike and ride from Madison to Key West next summer.

And the republican real estate agent from Southern Georgia I befriended, George, traded in the keys to the rental property for the keys to an SUV and took off on his own adventure to Tahoe and beyond. He'd been talking about it for awhile and I think meeting me was the nudge he needed to make it happen for himself. I saw myself in him when he confided at our meeting, "I'm meant to do something big, something profound."

Now I'm free to sit back and enjoy watching my new friends go on their own journeys, which will be nothing like mine and everything like mine. And I'll find work and start saving my money again, and give my brain a little rest before it starts cooking up plans for the next adventure. But first, I'm going to unpack all my cute clothes and earrings! And I'm going to wear them around and be really clean and primped for awhile!

And, of course, I'm selling Vanta C.


Shannon said...

oh! That took my breath away! you're selling Vanta-c!! I understand of course, but its a little sad. Please only sell it to someone who deserves it.

Sara said...

Oh I can so relate. We just finalized the sale on our RV last weekend and it felt soooooo good. Closing the book on one part of your life and embracing another is so refreshing and healthy. When we moved into our little rental house after we moved out of the RV, Matt and I would say about 10 times a day "I just flushed the toilet and it's not sitting under my feet" or "My shower was HOT for 10 minutes" or "Hey! Wanna do laundry?" :) It's the little things in life and our journey (as yours did too) made us realize how life truly is about the little things. And we are so SETTLED. Not itching to go anywhere for awhile. But like you said, we'll watch our friends' journeys and start saving up for the next great adventure. Enjoy your deserve it! :)

Dale said...

Congrats on getting in your apartment. As for RV living, it indeed has its ups and downs. I am often glad for the little shack/storage building I use in the mountains even though it is in my home-town which isn’t much of a home to me, and I just don’t belong in it. So I guess I’m just an RV part-timer these days, currently saving for a new adventure. But hey, I am also glad for my camper. I’d not like it so much though if I had to bum a shower all the time and all the goodies didn’t work. Heck I even rigged an extra shower on the outside to go with the one inside. When I’m on the road, I boondock in the thing sometimes as well, but I try to pull into a decent campground after a week or two of boondocking. It’s a bummer that I didn’t get to meet ya on the road somewhere.
And hey! I hope your new adventures are grand as well.

Rachel Tamed said...

I am glad you can poop again!

LiveWorkDream said...

Hey congratulations, you seriously deserve the luxury of your own place again, with a real toilet!