I feel like I’ve lived at least 5 lifetimes in the past year.
I was going through the things I put in storage in May 2014, back when I was expecting to return to them 4 months later (ha!). It struck me how hard I worked over the course of several years to assemble my comfortable material life in Providence, and now I get to work to dismantle and disseminate the remains. I expect at some point I’ll collect again. It’s an expensive cycle.
Some things I pulled from storage I did enjoy – I got to dress up for things like Boston’s Distinguished Gentlemen’s Ride, break out my dad’s old denim jacket for summer riding (it’s older than I am!), and it feels so good to wear other shoes and feel a different tread underfoot. I took advantage of having my gym stuff again, and got back into running and HIIT. I even had gear to go climbing with a friend in Boston.
Other things struck me as so fanciful and indulgent, little time capsules from my past life as a consumer – a sock drawer, still neatly folded and organized by color, with enough socks to wear a different pair every day for a month. I have lived with 4 pairs of socks since leaving.
I’m still a consumer, I suppose I’ve just switched to consuming experiences over commodities for a while.
I still struggle with existing long-term beyond my comfort zone and a surprising new nemesis – a depleting supply of emotional endurance. I think this is what people called ‘travel fatigue’. Perhaps traveling solo, in spite of all its magics, leaves me precious few places to truly retreat; I exist in passing through other people’s spaces, fluid and open to the forces of the environment, with minimal impact of my own. It’s wonderful to be so free, and I’m so grateful to everyone who has helped me or shared a part of their lives with me. Each new day can be vastly different from the day before. I still want more, but maybe living so many lives means little time to process. Increasingly, I wonder if I’ll reach a point my heart is too full of stories to continue and still fully appreciate my good fortune.
However, it’s also increasingly difficult to find reasons to stop. Now that the storage unit has been pared down to fit into a car, bound for indefinite storage in upstate NY (thanks, Tim and Tim’s parents!), the saddle truly is my home for the foreseeable future.
My favorite things about being back in New England are the Wednesday night local summer rides at the Cable Car, rallies with familiar faces, and buzzing around the Boston crowd. I wondered if I had to cross the country only to find locals at my start point to share this kind of love (obsession?). But if I were to follow that train of thought and stick around… How would I transition back to just taking my bike to the shops? Who am I if I’m not the person who is always leaving? If a person lives many lives in one lifetime, what will my next life be, and how do I begin composing it? And c’mon, how does winter fit into this?
I’m beginning to suspect I’m more well-adjusted on the road. Just gotta move slower and blog faster!
Everything is impermanent, life itself is transient. Perhaps someday I’ll have a ‘permanent’ residence again, but it’s not today; I would venture to guess it’s further down the road.