I have been finding myself go back to when it all started a lot recently. To the summer of 2012. To the day I’ve been waiting for for so many years. Finally done with school. Finally not stuck in this more or less predefined path I had been following for my entire life up to that point. Finally free. Free to breathe, free to move, free to leave. So that’s what I did.
I left without looking back. And without looking forward. I just left, because that’s the only thing that ever made sense to me. I didn’t expect anything. I had absolutely no idea what my life was going to look like. I didn’t have a plan. I didn’t have a goal. I just went.
Obviously, at this point, I also had absolutely no idea that this was only going to be the very first of many journeys like that — the first, but by far not the last time of leaving. I have lived in 9 different places since then. 9 different places, 9 different lives. And yes, it does get tiring at times. Just a few months ago, I thought all this moving was slowly driving me crazy. Back then, this is what I wrote in my journal:
» It’s funny that it’s Monday afternoon as I write these words. I tried to establish a “writing Monday“ back in Antibes, my very first home abroad. I decided to go to a café every Monday afternoon. To write. To get my shit together. Hoping that it would allow me to keep track of everything that’s going on. Hoping that it would keep me sane. I guess I first realized how lost I was back then. How leaving keeps me from arriving. How wandering makes me even more restless. How seeing all those opportunities makes me not being able to choose one. How moving paralyzes me.
Now, more that 6 years later, here I am. Sitting in a café on a Monday afternoon. To write. To get my shit together. Hoping that it would allow me to keep track of everything that’s going on. Hoping that it would keep me sane. It’s quite amazing how one can constantly try something new and yet run in circles. 6 years. And yet I’m in the same place. Not physically, obviously. But mentally. Emotionally. Still in the same place of in-between. In between what and what — who knows? In between loosing and finding myself, maybe. In between leaving and arriving. In between forgetting and figuring out what I want to do with my life. Will I ever, though? Find myself, I mean? Arrive? Figure it all out? At this point it’s a little hard to imagine.
How the fuck do people do it? Choose the life they want to lead. I think most of them don’t, really. I guess they just somehow stumble from one thing to the other and then at some point end up with something I would call a life. Stuck somewhere, without ever having consciously gone there. But maybe they’re better off, after all. Maybe being lost isn’t actually better than being stuck. Maybe I was wrong all along. And maybe, at the end, I do want exactly what I’be been trying to avoid all these years. Maybe this whole freedom thing is nothing but a big lie. A big lie that’s actually capturing me more than anything else. That’s been keeping me hostage. Because if freedom becomes an obsession, it locks you up like nothing else. God, how I fell for all of this. Forcing myself to be free, not realizing that it’s tying me up in the worst possible way: secretly and isolated.
Through all those years that I thought I had never been homesick, I actually always was. I just never had a place to direct it to. But deep down, I’ve always been longing for a place to call home. Always. And all those years, I haven’t really allowed myself to have what I really want. I’ve been running from what I should actually be running to: A life, a home, a close circle of friends. Stability.
I just really hope that I’m not cursed to be wandering forever. Because while my feet may be able to carry own, my heart sure as fuck isn’t. It needs a home. It always did. «
The way I saw it back then, it’s been 6 years of running and restlessness. The way I see it now, it’s been exciting 6 years. 6 years full of ups and downs, of hellos and good-byes, of arriving and leaving. And of course, it wasn’t always easy. Having a gypsy soul is both a blessing and a curse. I have come to know and accept that over the years. But with all the struggles I may face, all the people I have grown fond of and then had to let go, all the places that cost me a little piece of my heart, I still wouldn’t want it any other way. Because most importantly, it’s been 6 years of living the life that I chose. And I choose it over and over again. Every day of this wonderful, nomadic life. Because this is who I am. This is who I always was. And for the past 6 years, I have been free to finally express and live that.
So all in all, it’s been 6 years of freedom. 6 years of doing whatever I wanted to. And of course this didn’t always lead me to where I should have been. Of course that means that I took some detours on the way. But essentially, right now, I’m exactly where I want to be. In this chair, in this town, once again alone with my countless thoughts. And everything I did to get here — be it good or bad, pleasant or full of struggle — I did it because I chose to, not because I had to. And that’s probably what makes all the difference.