Last October, I got evicted from the apartment I lived in for over three years. In the first five seconds of receiving the eviction notice, I felt an immediate flood of dread that scorched through my blood. It’s hard to believe and even harder to process now how I experienced those five seconds, but on the walk from my front door to my home office, something changed. Whatever burned away was immediately quelled with the sudden realization of my ever present freedom.
At the time, I was working on my last big project of the year, a docu-series about the attention economy, and knew this would be my last bit of work because the primary funding for this program was stopping. I was also on the tail end of a dream fulfilled of being on PBS as my four episode series Read Awakening was done airing. So with home and work going through a bout of uncertainty, my life was ripe for a drastic change. The other little facet of this that was creeping its way into my uncertainty bucket, one that I’m realizing more recently, was that all of my friends were in these serious relationships or marriages, and the dynamics of our friendships were changing. No one intends for this to happen, but things certainly change between single friends and betrothed friends in little undetectable steps, that I think the single friends notice sooner. Even when concerted efforts are made to still hang out, married friends have someone to go home to and another relationship to tend to, a time and emotional constraint that for single people is usually spent haplessly staving off debilitating states of loneliness. That was a really dramatic way to say our vices, we’re living for our vices.
So there you have it, the circumstances that spawned my impulse to travel the world. No job, no place to live, and changing friendships that left the very ground under my feet as shaky as a booktuber’s TBR pile.
I’m not sure how I can sum up this particular period in my life in which I’m not necessarily scared about anything, but wouldn’t say that I’m fearless. While I’m not sure of where I’m going or what I have to offer of myself, I wouldn’t say that I’m insecure. I think it’s adjacent to some sort of state of neutrality or numbness that still wants to believe in overcoming, but would accept whatever comes. I’m a hopeful cynic. Most importantly, and what I’ve realized over the first few weeks of traveling is that I’ve unlearned a great deal over the past few years, and perhaps I’m just beginning the process of learning and relearning what I need for the next chapter. Life just might be a series of learning and unlearning and relearning again. If looked at in the right alignment, maybe we’ll see the thread that connects all of the dots of this crazy experience and walk that tight rope with poise, grace, and all the stamina to get through all the periods, five seconds at a time.