I’m more than 90 minutes early for my flight back to Seattle. You’ll notice I don’t call it home. Although it’s where I live, where I work, where I play, where my dogs are. It’s just Seattle. Nothing against the city itself, it’s not home. It’s just where I live. Where the dogs are. The majority of my life’s possessions are shoved into two storage containers, which are stored somewhere in the Seattle vicinity. I haven’t seen them for six months. It’ll probably be just as long until I see it again, until I decide what I’m supposed to be doing with this life of mine.
I’m at the tail end of a trip – a mini-reunion with my Alabama family in Montana. Emotions poured through me during my time with them. But the realization I leave with, while sitting here at the Bozeman airport waiting for another 87 minutes to pass, is that I’m more lost than I was before I came here five days ago.
I’m whittling down my life to find its purpose. Is it in the big city with an important job? Is it at home creating my own company? Is it helping people? Is it in one place or many?
I never lived anywhere for more than four years growing up. People will say things like, “Oh, that must have been exciting!” What it did was create a “nothing is forever” constant state of being/mind/soul. And at 42, it’s no longer cute. Or responsible. But I can’t shake it. It’s as much a part of me as my brothers and being a middle child. Nothing is forever. Or for forever? I struggle with that one. Either way, I can’t stick to shit. I call it Life ADD. I chase shiny objects like dogs chase squirrels. Jobs, men. More jobs than men. I gave up on them after this last debacle. But that’s another story for another time.
I put in 17 years in Alabama. The majority of it in Huntsville with a few years in Birmingham and 18 months in Gulf Shores. I’d give away my car to live in Gulf Shores. Not my dogs or my phone. Those are too precious. But my car, yes. I can buy another one. But I didn’t stay because the job ran out and another one lured me back to Huntsville. I put in 18 months there before returning to Seattle in June 2014. It’s been 20 months and I’m still trying to be okay with it. But I’m not. I hate the traffic, the weather. So seeing my family – my Alabama family – stings me. Their lives continue in the trafficless, wonderful weather of Alabama. Yes, you read that right. I love the weather of Alabama – the heat, the tornadoes, the summer humidity.
Instead I’m in Seattle. Where I get up before 5 a.m. to find parking and I live with my brother – who I love so dearly, but again, at 42 – it’s not cute. So I turned up in Montana with hopes of finding something – but instead resolving everything but nothing all at the same time. Did I expect grand inspiration to hit me while staring out the window at the snow covered mountain? Yes. Did I expect being back with my aunt I’d feel at home? Yes. Would I realize that the separation has broken my heart? Yes. Two out of three came to be. Inspiration didn’t. I see that the life I have isn’t my landing place. It’s a stopover. But what’s next? What the fuck is next? I don’t know and it scares the shit out of me.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m under no external pressures to change anything in my life. I want to be out on my own, but that’s the only thing I have the capacity to change. Can I change into a mental place where I’m okay with not knowing what’s next? Can I accept staying put for a few more years? I have no idea. What I’ll never change is my passion for wandering. Blame it on my upbringing, but I’m always looking ahead and making a plan to move onto the next thing.
And if you ask me, that’s everything but nothing all at the same time.