“Where are you headed?”
“Do you have plans for the future?”
“When are you headed back home?”
I sit there blankly staring. In my head I think. Hmmm, make something up. Anything is possible. You have lots of ideas of where you may go. But you don’t really know. But say something, you do not want to see unambitious or lost.
“Well, maybe I will go to New Zealand for awhile. Or South Africa. Or maybe Australia. The time line is not really set in stone. I haven’t made any decisions yet.”
I think to myself. Why is it so easy for so many people to plan out their futures? It seems like the most frightening, and committal thing to do. The most difficult decision I make these days is how many pair of underwear I want to travel with, and which pair of yoga pants I want to bring along to wear for a full year. These are big decisions. Buying a house, or a car, or getting married, or having babies …..how the hell does anyone decide to make those decisions?
I think maybe I am still twelve years old at heart. But I am not. I am about to be 32, and thinking about these things makes me a bit claustrophobic. What’s up with that? Why am I so afraid? And is it fear, or lack of interest?
I just haven’t gotten to the point where these large parts of our adult lives have become desires of mine. I am still set on seeing the world, and learning how to play all the instruments, and playing all the sports, and meeting all the people, and understanding all the languages, and filming all the experiences, and sharing it all with the world through spoken word, art, or film.
So tell me if I have all of that on my to do list, where does the rest of it fit in?
So I sit here. Listening to everyone at the lodge bar. Everyone telling their story. Everyone eager to hear each other’s story. But my story has no punch line. There’s no finale that tells the listener that I found my path. There’s no plot I can set forth to create a fluid story, one that the listener can try and predict the ending. Because not even the writer knows the ending. I am sitting here with a pen, and 5000 sheets of paper. Each piece of paper has one sentence on it. This story can go any which way.
My story isn’t really a story though is it? Here’s me talking to myself again. Jotting down thoughts. Trying to make sense of myself so I can calmly, and cooly explain it to other’s. My story is a bit more like the story books that you read as a child that had alternate endings. You could start on page 3, and depending on what decision you made by the end of a certain paragraph you could jump ahead to page 85. And from there maybe back to page 6, and onto 120, and so forth.
Things shift constantly. I keep learning things about myself. I can’t tell you what my future plans are, because I can’t keep up with myself. I add hobbies to my life like a collegiate trying to find a major they want to get a degree in. I have picked up crochet, skydiving, kayaking, triathlons, writing, poetry, singing, violin, origami, film making, photography, marketing, event planning, mountain climbing, bouldering, yoga, yoga, yoga, and yoga.
So when someone asks me a simple question like.
“So what’s your story?”
“What do you want to do?”
“Where’s home for you?”
“Where to next?”
I just sit there thinking to myself.
My story is written in a million books from all over the world, spoken in languages I haven’t even heard yet. What do I want to do, well hmmmm I want to do everything. Even the things I do not know are things yet. I know myself. And once you tell me about them I am going to want to do those things as well. Home, well hmm home is wherever I happen to plant my feet, and wherever I happen to have an open heart. So home is right here, right now I assume. Right here behind this bar. I live here now. Where’s next? I guess wherever the plane, train or car lands, pulls up to or parks.
But instead of sounding like an absolute mess. I say “Well you know, I have been thinking of spending some time here or there. But I have not made any final decisions yet. I want to make sure I find the right way. Only time will tell I assume. We shall see.”
Next time you meet a gypsy. Ask her about the weather instead, or what her favorite dessert is, or maybe if she’d like to go on a walk. Asking her simple questions as you see it, may send her into one of her existential melt downs.