I typically try to orient my writing around adventure or travel and steer clear of emotional writing. This piece however digs deep into myself. I carry multiple notebooks with me everywhere. I have one in my backpack, I have one in my back pocket, I have multiple in different places throughout my truck, and the “notes” app on my phone is full of my writing. It has become a therapeutic answer to the ramblings in my head, a way of expressing myself and attempting to rationalize my own thoughts. I’ve had a pretty spectacular 2015. Throughout the year I’ve fulfilled many a dream and created memories that will follow me through the rest of my life. I feel fulfilled, and I’m proud of who I’ve become through travel and hardships. With that being said, I have my struggles the same as everyone else. If you read through my notebooks right now you’d find just as much writing about the emptiness I feel as you would about climbing and travel.
Throughout the past year one of the most common conversations I’ve had with friends, family, and strangers alike, is what I call the “I wish” conversation. I’m faced with the awkward interaction where people tell me “man, I wish I could live life like you do.” Where I put on a fake smile and respond with “yeah, it’s fun.”
In our tech based social world, we get to access each other’s lives through the tiny windows of our virtual existence. People see what we want them to see. And if you scroll through my Instagram, my Facebook or find yourself on this blog, you see pictures of me climbing all over the United States, enjoying beautiful mountain vistas, waking up to sunrises from the bed of my truck, traveling through beautiful scenery in far off countries and snuggling my dog with a book under the incandescent dome light in my truck’s topper. That’s what I want you to see. Truth is, that I’m tearing myself apart inside.
The grass is truly greener on the other side. People are looking over their fences at my yard and wishing it was theirs, while I’m cowardly peering through the blinds at their yard, wishing it was mine. You see, I’m always moving because I haven’t found a place to stop, to rest, to exist, to live, to love, to grow. While I run 100mph around the globe, I’m scrolling through your Facebook photos of you and your wives, husbands, children, houses, and friends. I’m looking into the warm light of your virtual window and wishing that I too, had that; that I could slow down, that I could feel the warmth.
I’ve never lived anywhere longer than from 5th grade through 9th grade. Every friend I’ve ever met, I’ve left. Every girl I’ve ever loved, I’ve allowed my wanderlust to draw me away. It’s like a plague I can’t escape. I meet people while I’m traveling who can’t wait to get back to their house, to their friends, their loved ones. I don’t have that. I long for the company of Sadey, and dream of a group of friends, a loved one with a sign, a familiar home, a regular town.
While you lay down in your bed, warmed from the body of a person you love whose eyes reveal a longing only love can show, I crawl onto the cold nylon of my hard crash pad, alone except for a quick pat of Sadey’s head. While you sip your beer at your table, food on a glass plate sitting between you and a smiling face of adoration, I find a place at a small table in the back of a restaurant where people won’t see me eating alone. Sometimes, I sit alone in the woods spooning food out of a collapsible bowl longing for company.
The truth is, I want what you have. I want to feel that love, I want to find someone who shares my passions, someone who challenges me intellectually, someone I can SHARE an exciting life with. I long for the challenges of living in and owning a house, for the comforts of having a place to call home. I long for making a group of friends who are always a stone’s throw away. I long for a respectable job that challenges me and can support a happy family in the future. You tell me you wish you could live like me, and inside I’m dying, because I wish I had the capacity to live like you.
It’s important in life, to learn to love what you have. I’m happy with my life, but it holds no permanence. You can only fly by the seat of your pants for so long before they rip. Enjoy your stability, relish in the love you’re given, be excited for what your future holds, and be proud of what your life is. Not even the greatest adventure, the farthest flung culture, or the proudest mountain ascent can reproduce the feelings of a loving home.