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I Think My Nomad Is Showing


I'm feeling a deep, dark urge to remain as unencumbered as humanly possible. Which is a nice way of saying that I can't even commit to a bed. Seriously, people. I've been sleeping on an air mattress for the last eight months. And not for lack of options. They do have furniture stores in LA. A friend even offered to sell me a bed, a beautiful bed, the kind of bed I would really like to own someday, for seventy-five bucks. I didn't take her up on it. Because what would I do with it if I decided to leave? I'd be tied down by a bed! It would be one more thing to deal with! CUE FURNITURE-RELATED PANIC AND THE INTERNAL SQUAWKING OF MANY BRAIN CHICKENS.

I don't need that kind of mayhem. So no bed for me.

Guess I'm just feeling squirrelly about permanence right now. I mean, I'm fond of having a place to live. It's convenient to have somewhere to put my stuff. I like having a mailing address and knowing where to buy the cheap popcorn. But you trade a certain amount of freedom when you sign a lease. At least, you do if you aren't Mark Zuckerberg or Scrooge McDuck.

Part of me clings to my routine. Part of me craves motion and adventure and believes that my strength doesn't come from daily stability.

I have one more month in my current place. It's lovely - a beautiful little house with sun and a backyard sculpture garden and a hammock. My bedroom has hot pink walls and a tree that taps the window. But it's time to leave.

I've gotten pretty good at recognizing when things are finished. But just because I know it's time to go doesn't mean I know what's next. Diving into the great unknown every six months is fun and exciting and good for me, the me who really likes stability. It's also a little scary.

So I get to choose. The stability of a lease or the general flightiness of summer adventure with sublets, plane tickets, languages I don't understand, and dashing home just in time for weddings.

You can be stable without roots. I'm learning, over and over again, that everything I need I already have. My peace of mind does not depend on having a bedroom somewhere. If I say it over and over again for long enough, maybe I'll even believe it.

And it's not like I'd be totally adrift. The Bay Area remains my home - it's where my family and most of my friends are, where I can always go and live pretty easily for at least a couple of weeks without taxing anyone's hospitality. There's comfort in that.

I don't know what my plan is yet, but I'm pretty sure it involves digging out my passport and finally putting it to use after a longer hiatus than I ever intended. Sometimes you need your cocoon - I did. Sometimes you need to say to hell with the details and make it work.

Hi, unknown. Let's be friends.