Sometimes I feel like I could just pick up and travel the world at a moment’s notice, leaving behind all my friends and family. Other times I feel like I want to be home, with the people I care most about. Still, other times I feel both ways.
Right now is one of those last times.
I’m taking a bus ride to NYC to go to a conference and visit some friends. One thing I’ve kind of realized is that the older you are, the harder it becomes to visit people. It may not actually be physically harder, it may just be a matter of geography or busyness. Since neither of those things is as big a factor for me as I sometimes pretend, I decided/was strongly compelled to go out to the city this weekend.
I was supposed to make the trip with John Mayer, who realized at the last minute that her ticket didn’t go through. It’s fine either way because once we got to the the city we were going to split up. I took a much-needed nap.
I often think about where my next home will be and who I’ll know there. For some reason, this bus ride really has me thinking about that.
Life is pretty transitory. We only stay in one place for a short while. Whether that place is spiritual, emotional, physical, or geographical doesn’t really matter. Life is unsettling. You’re never settled. Something is always less than ideal. Nothing is perfect.
In the transitional moments, we get to think about where we want to settle next or where we will ultimately settle.
On this bus ride, and over the past few weeks, I’ve thought a lot about my next few stops. First: NY. Next: School. Then: Princeton. After: Home. School again, home eventually, then the great unknown. Most of the stops are familiar and not scary; the last one causes some apprehension.
But that’s what buses are for! They take you where you want to go and give you time to think about what you want to do at the destination (or just sleep). They’re just a means of conveyance. Life isn’t just about the journey, it’s how you settle into all your temporary homes along the way.