As a wandering traveler, I have become a little too good at making changes. I mean drastic changes, and not only that, they happen quickly. From one day to another, sometimes one hour to another I can decide on quitting a job, quitting a course, ending one relationship or another, sometimes friendships, that I realized way back in the past just took more than they gave. Usually the quick, sometimes irrational decisions, grow out from long hours of contemplation, sometimes it’s just the thrill of something new that imposes them.
Through the past seven years of constantly turning my entire world upside down time and time again it has become the only thing I know. While, perhaps, ‘most people’, generally do the opposite – stick around in one place, at one job and around the same people, for long enough to plant the seeds and watch them grow. Some are fascinated by my fast-paced moving forward lifestyle. We’re all different, and this has been more me for as long as I can recall. Therefore, to me, the common is the ‘abnormal’ and I am fascinated by the opposite – sticking around, improving skills and developing deep, meaningful relationships. In my fast-paced lane, I do this a whole lot quicker than the majority of people. I then reach this point where I sort of feel like that bucket is full to the brim and I want to start from scratch again, rock my world, learn everything anew, approach everything with brand new eyes, meet new souls, form new bonds and develop new relationships.
I love challenges and I love freshness and expanding my horizon.
Having stuck around in my hometown for almost nine months – the longest I’ve been in the one and same place since 2009, I am trying to embrace the sameness, the feeling of familiarity and when the routined daily life becomes too mundane for me, I do make an effort to expand my horizons, even while remaining static geographically.
During the nine months I have re-explored my hometown, while living an ‘ordinary’, daily life, I have had three different jobs, finished a class I started at one university eight years ago, started a new university to advance in the same field (psychology). So while basically doing the same things repeatedly, I find ways to spice up the otherwise mundane daily life. Thanks to the fact that I have changed jobs and changed schools, I have increased the likelihood to meet new people, similar to the way I did while on the road. The only difference is that the pace has slowed down, perhaps to something which is more sensible. Additionally, the people I meet share the other of my two passions, namely psychology, rather than traveling and exploring. Not only so, because I am staying put in the same city, it’s technically easier to stay in touch with people that I recently got to know, in contrast to how travelers sometimes so quickly move from one country to another, crossing the globe back and forth which leads to not knowing when or if you’ll ever see them again.
Above all, there is this sense of unconscious security in knowing that your family and oldest friends are geographically nearby, even though you don’t see them any more often than you did when being abroad. Somehow, there’s always that, the past, the original support network to fall back on, if needed.
Even so, every now and again, the itchy feet make it incredibly hard to keep on progressing and moving forward. Sometimes the explorative and irrational mind kicks in and wants to turn that entire world upside down again, just for the sake of it. Just because it has become all I know. Simply because that’s how human behaviours function. It’s easier to keep on practicing a well-established behaviour than forming a new.
Sometimes I do ask myself why I’m even here, sometimes without the ability to answer the question. Sometimes I do regret taking out my degree in journalism one year earlier. Sometimes I feel as if this is all I never wanted. Sometimes I feel as if I gave up on my dream and everything I worked so hard for. Sometimes I beat myself up (metaphorically) for not pushing through just another year, just to finish that damn degree, knowing I’d now be writing the anthology of biographies I planned as early as a year ago.
Usually the doubts and uncertainty dawn on us when it gets hard, when the challenges become a little too overwhelming. We need to learn to master the challenges because it is when we stick around in hard times that the planted seed can bloom. It’s through the trials we grow and progress, whether it is in relationships, partnerships, personal growth or our field of study or work we encounter hinders.
We then need to go over it all again, the decisions we’ve made and why, to remind ourselves of why we are doing it. There is a time for everything and sometimes life just happens. Simply – life cannot be planned in detail. We need to leave space for moderation and complete mental inventories. Goals and dreams can change along the way and only the ones who are open to the changes and are brave enough to truly listen to their hearts and walk the road they tell them will know what would have been “only if they [ I ]..:”
Even though the whole stick-around-project is one way of turning my entire world upside down, it is so unfamiliar that I simply don’t know to do it or how to feel about it. Sometimes I do take a stroll down memory lane and look back on all my years of travelling and living abroad. In fact, wherever I am, may it be school, may it be at work, may it be around any of my new or old friends, or just strangers, all I talk about is my years of traveling – my years of shaping me. It’s evident that traveling and exploration always is at the forefront of my mind and that it is the core of my being.
One of these days I will hit the road again. One of these days the courage will hit me and I will pack that bag and set off to the world again.
But for now, what I am doing is Stockholm, university, growing, learning – and sameness.