“Staying in hostels, I’ve met a lot of people that are traveling for a year, like you, but I couldn’t do it. I can go away for two weeks, maybe three, but then I want to get back to my space, my stuff.” This was what the German doctor staying at the hostel with me in St. Augustine told me one night. Once again, someone had come into my life to say just the right thing at just the right time. “That’s exactly what I’m feeling,” I told him. I confessed that I wanted nothing more at the moment than my own space, by myself. I wanted to curl up in my recliner chair with a good book, my blue crocheted blanket keeping me warm. Not have to search for food, but being able to go right to my fridge and find exactly what it is I’m craving – my favorite locally made goat cheese, delicious bread, and roasted red peppers I just made that afternoon. Or pine nut hummus and pita bread. Or all the ingredients for my favorite quinoa dish, sitting there ready for me. I want to cook, not have to figure out where I’m spending the next night, or how much money I have left for my year of living without a job or a permanent home.
Instead, I find that I have difficulty enjoying where I am in the present moment as I’m too confused about my future. Do I really want to do all those things I’ve said I was going to? But if I don’t, then what will I do instead? Will I feel defeated if I just go back home? But home to what? I don’t even have my own space to go back to. Yes, plenty of friends have offered me rooms in their homes anytime during this year or when I return, for which I am deeply grateful, but it’s not the same.
Do I even want to go back to New York? Yes, because my family is there and I happen to be one of the very lucky people who actually likes their family (for the most part). But were they not all in New York, it’s not a place I’d choose to live. Though I can’t tell you where else I would choose. Or do I know and am just too scared to, again, move to a place where I have hardly any connections and start – seemingly – all over?
So this is why I haven’t written a post in so long. I tend to write mostly positive posts and just didn’t have the energy for one of those – because I’m not really positive about my life at the present moment.
But then I realized that might not be the reason at all for my lack of writing. It’s just that I haven’t been taking care of myself. I know what I love doing. Writing. Cooking. Spending time with people. Reading. I’ve done the last two, but am severely lacking in the first two. So tonight, having a half hour to myself, I decided to just start writing and see what came. And here you have it.
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I’ve been wondering where you were and missed hearing from you about your continued “year off” and also wondered if you had gone home to New York. Don’t you think that it’s because of the upcoming Christmas holidays that you yearn to be with your family and your “roots”…good possibility I’d say! Take care and keep us all posted…Merry Christmas!
Will be home in NY tomorrow, Ann. Also went home for Thanksgiving, so got my “dose” of family then as well. My sister just called and asked me to babysit so she can do Christmas shopping, and I can’t tell you what joy that brings me – being able to help her out while spending time with my nieces:)
Do you still like those toasted tomatoes with parmesan and bread crumbs? I always think of you when I think of them!!
Oh wow – I totally forgot about those! Haven’t made them in ages. Thanks for the reminder:)
Dear Rebecca, I know you must feel “rootless” right now. Take the holidays and enjoy your family and do as Miz Scarlet said, “I’ll think about that romorrow. After all, tomorrow is another day.”
But don’t feel defeated if the “year off” to explore the world is not all you thought it would be. Think what you have learned. We hardly ever know exactly what we want until we experience it first hand.
You are smart, you are a thinker, you enjoy learning, but you are also a writer and most writers find they need some isolation from the world to digest what they have experienced and to be able to write about those experiences. We also like our creature comforts and that is what I’d miss if I didn’t have a plac eo come home to.
You will figure it out.
Thanks, Glenda. -Scarlet