I'm Leaving Home to Find Home
I’m moving out with no place in particular to be.
That is, I no longer have a lease in Columbus, Ohio, and for at least the next while I don’t intend to have a lease anywhere else.
Typical millennial! It’s an instinct act on only the essential. When you get some clarity you’ve got to bottle it with action. When things are telling you it’s a bad idea sometimes you’ve got to lean into it harder.
I was recently reminded of the first time I really “got” the whole yoga thing. It’s what keeps you going back like an addict trying to feel “it” all over again. The “it” is what happens at the end of the class when you leave the mat so totally drained and focused that your head reaches a higher calling. It’s been awhile since I’ve had that feeling. Except recently, in this new hot yoga class when it happened again. When I say hot I mean HOT. 110º — and an hour and a half. And the instructor is not messing around. This is “don’t leave the room” or you will be shunned yoga.
But by class end you’re wiped. It’s guaranteed. You look like shit. Your mat has a puddle on it. And then you get to bask in the glory that is “shivasana,” which is 5–10 minutes of laying on your back at the end of class soaking in the feeling of a still mind.
And suddenly it was so clear to me, which things in my life are priority and which things were just taking up space and not letting the essential in.
I was thinking about what mattered, things that I would never regret. And I how I could actively choose those.
It’s my “If I had 6 Months to Live” list. The feeling didn’t lat, but it got me to make the final decision to take a chance on this travel.
The first bit of clarity was fostering a relationship with my parents. This one is complex. If you think about it, these are our oldest and most established relationships we’ll ever have. So the nuances and contexts are insanely complex. They took your whole life to build. So it won’t be easy to improve the hang ups we have.
So my first priority in the cut back of all things non-essential (mental and physical) is fostering a better relationship to my family.
It feels stupid to even write this because of how simple it is. Spend time with your parents. Express myself fully to them to be heard. Hear them back. Learn about their past. See them as separate people. I’m hoping to book a trip with each of them separately to get a start at improving.
Accumulation has it’s own momentum. Consumerism is a constant when left unchecked. And the more weight that piles up, the harder to shake off.
It’s much harder to unroot yourself than you’d imagine. And part of that is because of our stuff. If it weren’t for my community to absorb the ripples, I’d be having a harder time with this.
I changed my address to my sisters. I left most of my stuff with my friend. My office will keep a desk there so I can maintain a Columbus business address. I have a car which can fit everything else, spare a few things I’ll keep back home.
And for now I only want to own things that I love. I don’t want to be surrounded by things that don’t truly matter to me. And living more mobile will help me make those decisions and stick to them.
In college, I was conveniently living right next door to my ex-girlfriend after our breakup. At the time seemed this all seemed earth shattering and a whirlwind of emotion and confusion.
The act of going home was deeply upsetting. Seeing her car. Visiting any old spot we had gone to often. Everything in the area was a potential landmine of negative emotion. In any place we’ve lived awhile, we create these triggers, positive and negative. To the people and the places in our area. It could be small bits of baggage that hold us back from being truly ourselves. The problem is they create walls around us. They block our ability to be open.
At the time I avoided a coffee shop for 6 months because of how strong my emotional trigger was to the location.
While totally irrational, but when you’re confused and hurt you are acting out of fear.
Travel is about being open to new possibilities. It’s blank slate let’s you be naturally willing to let things in rather than push them out. I can set up positive triggers wherever I go, and I intend to work on that.
It’s been both one of the best decisions of my life and also a slight regret, leaving Facebook in 2012. I mean what is the world like without it? It’s a hugely useful tool, I don’t disagree at all.
Without it who is your community? How do you know what the people in your network are up to? Who’s married.. who’s traveling, who’s got a new job?
And how do people relate to me, in not knowing anything about what I am doing? I see an old acquaintance at the grocery store, and they’re mind goes blank when they see me because they have no reference. No “ohh hey how’s your ___??”
I suppose it’s not that people really know what i’ve been up to, rather they know the highlights of what I decided to show them about what they’ve been up to.
Do we avoid conversations about what’s important to us because we’ve already shared the highlights online? Or are we more attuned to each other in a positive way?
While traveling I want to focus on conversations with people. Real conversations that get to the core. I want to hear the stories because they’re new to me. I want to hear the difficult details and the excitement.
I want to ask more questions, because I don’t know that much about anything.
It’s something I struggle with, to find comfort being in a new group or situation. Like you’re meant to be there. Like you’re a part of the crew. I need to dig deep with people to feel comfortable.
So now California, Minneapolis, Chicago, Seattle, the Road, all temporary homes with interesting people and new perspectives. I'll be working to feel at home in every nook and cranny. Every alley and BnB. Every reservoir and 4 lane highway.
Living with only space for the essential. Focusing on the people. Challenging myself to find home wherever I go.
This is what’s hard for me, and why I must do it.