There is only the mad dash through life, clawing and kicking out of the current version I have created for myself, trying to make it to the next version that I assume will be better than this one. I do not know why this is. I have always felt this way. The desire to leave and move on is ingrained in me. Change, the process of shedding one skin for another—location, job, career, body, nutrition, goals—is something I seem to crave and seek out.
This character trait manifests itself with a sense that I am always going to leave. I am unmoored. The thought of seeing the same harbor for all my days fills me with such dread. The realization that I have lived four years of my life in the same little cabin at the same job driving the same streets each workday makes bile rise up in my throat, enough to choke on. I am running out of time.
When I moved to this little town twenty miles outside of Boston proper, I felt alive and awake. It was a change, it was an unmooring from my previous life of hard nights with a crazy ex and a failed start-up. It was a chance to come back to myself, to find out who I was, to fill my soul with nature and shovel snow off a driveway once again. Contentedness pulsed through my body.
And now, four years later, having just turned forty, I’m ready to leave again. I’m prepared to move on. Internally, I berate myself. Why can’t I be happy with the life I’ve created? I ask myself, over and over. What’s so wrong with this life that you feel the need to uproot it all?
My friends and family know this is how I feel. I have never been good at hiding my feelings. The old adage of wearing one’s heart on their sleeve? Well, the entirety of my circulatory system adorns my body (maybe it’s my Italian and Irish heritage, eh?). I feel guilty for wanting to leave when I should wish to deepen and enjoy the friendships here and strengthen family ties.
But maybe I am looking at this all wrong. I am not running from one life to another. No, I am passing through seasons. Looking back through the puddle of my life, I see the seasons more clearly. The Season of Death, of which is just about twenty years gone by now. The Season of Change, fifteen years ago. The Seasons of Love, of Crazy, of Wanderlust and Fear and Expansion. Some seasons are short…that Season of Death? Just a night albeit probably one of the most affecting events in my life. And others? Much longer.
Redefining my wandering soul, the necessity that change must occur in my life, as a season, rather than running away, seems to be a better way to look at things. Because the one problem I’ve had with my mind’s constant chattering about this subject is the thinking that I’m not living the life I should be living. That I went down one road and it was all wrong. Basically, that I fucked up. This negates my reasons for moving in this direction and that I made conscious decisions about where I am right now.
If I look at my life as a series of seasons, everything starts to make more sense. Each season is predicated by needs and wants and the current state of my life. Seasons also explains the patterns I see in my life as a whole; seasons of movement, of stillness, seasons of togetherness, and of solitude.
Right now, I am coming to the end of one of these seasons, a season of stillness and solitude. Rather than berating myself, I should just enjoy the changing color of the leaves and the chilly air coming in from the North now. A new season will start soon enough, and when it does begin, I’ll be ready for it, knowing that I soaked up this current season for all it is worth.