Monday, April 13, 2009

oh yeah, remember how i did that amazing thing that one time?

I miss the Vantasy.

I've had enough time to finally miss it. I miss crawling up into my loft with a book and a flashlight, sliding into my sleeping bag while Ralgh circled in place looking for the perfect spot to sleep. I miss waking up when my body was ready and the freedom of ignoring clocks. I miss spending half of my day doing things that made me happy, healthy, and wise. Things like jogging and blogging, sitting and knitting, cooking and looking. What joy to have had time and freedom to choose how to take care of myself!

But there was a time for my Vantasy, and that time has passed. I still enjoy the comforts of being home, lingering in the shower, gently turning the cold almost to the off position and frying my skin for just a few minutes longer. I delight in waking up in the morning with Ralgh's nose inches from my own and gently patting the bed, inviting him to hop up and cuddle. I like walking in my neighborhood and recognizing folks that I know. And I'm planning on going rescue cat shopping in the next few weeks and making my family a little bigger!

But, for the first time since my reentry into my old life, I feel a little bit of loss. I have begun to mourn the Vantasy, and see it for the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime journey that it was. I know I can choose to go on another adventure at any time, but the Vantasy is dead.

I remember sailing through the desert way back in September, singing, nervously eyeing the temperature gauge as the needle rose (who knew that I had to downshift during the long, high desert climbs; isn't that what an automatic transmission is for?). I remember being enticed by signs advertising nature centers, the world's largest fill-in-the-blank, garage sales, or anything else, and making a turn which would lead me through a new and unexpected town, or down a long winding road. Ralgh was always game for these digressions, enthusiastically looking over my shoulder as I drove.

I remember discovery, spending nights in darling little neighborhoods, or at gorgeous state parks, or at the bend of a mosquito-laden river. I remember making single-serving friends, and having fresh appreciation for people and places. There was no such thing as boredom. I remember humbly respecting the weather, humbly respecting the power and weight of my home on wheels, and humbly respecting that I, an adult, still have lots to learn.

The trick, I think, to coming back home, is learning to have that same appreciation, enthusiasm, openness, and humble respect for the the people and places I see everyday. The trick is making time, even now that my life is more restricted and scheduled, to still make myself happy and healthy and wise. Maybe that means setting an alarm clock, and it definitely means retraining myself everyday to view my same-old same-old world with fresh eyes. It takes commitment to joy, especially during the stressful times. It means making choices even when it feels like there are none to be made. It means waking up in the morning and choosing to go to work, and choosing to be delighted and surprised by whatever happens there.

I haven't figured out why taking care of myself feels like an effort since I've returned. It felt so natural while I was traveling. Maybe figuring that out is part of my journey. Maybe my Vantasy isn't over yet. Maybe it never will be.


Shannon said...

hooray for cat shopping! also, i do that in the shower too. john doesn't understand it.

Sammy Davis Jr. said...

Hey there young lady!!!

It has been good to see you a couple of times. I hope the new job is going well for you. I'm going to be back there tonight, so I'll look for you.

Plus, we need to go out to breakfast one of these days. Or drinks. Or whatever. We can catch up on everything.

Send me a note, or I will give you my e-mail address tonight if I see you.

Talk to you soon.