Vacate; to leave (a place that one previously occupied). That’s my new approach to life as I know it.
Like so many people in their twenties, I found myself wandering around trying to find my place. I got my degree, a comfy eight-to-five, left the nest, lived on my own, paid my bills, drank on the weekends and complained about my job. I did the things. That didn’t even last a year and a half.
I felt restless and disoriented in my own life. Questioning what I was doing with my time became a daily ponder. I felt like I was living someone else’s life, and it wasn’t someone I looked at with envy. I’ve never been one capable of settling into discomfort. I knew I had to get out. I was at risk of losing the very parts of myself that made me who I was.
So, I quit my eight-to-five and immediately started a part time job in the service industry. One that was familiar, and always provided a comfort and a place to explore my creativity. While I’ve only been in this new (old) job again for less than three months, I can already feel the itch coming. This itch, however is different then those I’ve experienced previously. To give you a general idea of what I’m trying to describe, let me rewind a bit.
About a year ago, maybe seven months into my new life away from home, in the “real world,” I realized after many nights of staying out too late and drinking too much, that I wasn’t actually happy. To start, I realized I didn’t even like to drink. That’s right- something I’d been doing for years, something I did with all those I cared for, was something I didn’t enjoy doing. Upon realizing this, I took my typical black and white approach. I quit drinking all together and announced this change to all my friends and family. All were surprised, but most were supportive. Once I implemented this change however, some of those new friendships of roughly seven months began to fade away. Not all of them, some of those people are still those I call a friend today and expect to tomorrow. However, the calls began to lessen, the texts were left with no reply, and after feeling frustrated with these people, I realized something. It wasn’t their fault, no more than it was mine. The thing I shared most with these people was the exact thing I was giving up. Once that was taken away, there wasn’t much of a foundation for a true connection left.
So after drinking was nixed, I began taking a look at some other areas of my life. I found myself with a lot more alone time than I had previously. Once I was done feeling sorry for myself and I remembered I enjoyed my own company, I started doing the things I enjoyed again-sans posse. I went to the movies-alone. I went to see local musicians perform-alone. I explored the city I only knew in the dark-alone. Guess what? I survived! Not only did I survive, I was enjoying myself again!
Now that I’ve given you a little throw back, let me summarize. Moved away, got a job, and went out a lot. Left my job, stopped drinking, and friendships shifted. Now here I am, working my new (old) job, still enjoying the (mostly) booze-less life, and realizing the itch is coming. Life isn’t what I want for myself, and I’m the only one who has the power to change it.
This, my friends, is the answer to my itch. The Great Vacate. I’m refusing to settle into a life that is comfortable, predictable, and overall not that stimulating-I’m vacating life as I’ve known it. I don’t know what I want to do with my life, I don’t know where I want to live, and I don’t know where I’ll be five years from now. What I do know is that I don’t want to waste my youth waiting for the perfect job, a big bank account, or the perfect relationship. I’ve realized I don’t need a ton of money to travel, I don’t need a job with a ton of vacation time, and I don’t even need a travel companion! So what’s a girl to do?
I’ll tell ya.
Over the next eight months or so I will be planning for a trip. We won’t call it a vacation because I don’t know when it will be over. We also won’t call it a move because I don’t know how long I’ll be staying. Over the next eight months I will compile lists of places to go, things to see, and people to meet. This trip will be within the contiguous United States and will likely span over the late spring/early summer of 2017. In the mean time, I will continue my current job, reduce my cost of living exponentially, save every dime, and research the heck out of all the things I need to accomplish before I start on this journey.
Once the research is done, the locations, places, and people to visit are decided, I’ll pack my bags (most likely a carry-on) and hit the road. I’ll travel the U.S. via plane, train, and car and most likely use Air B and B and the occasional couch surfing as my boarding. I’ll learn about the things I ignored in history class. I’ll see the monuments and natural wonders that make up the United States. I’ll meet new people, learn new things, and be open to all the experiences life throws my way. During that time, I’ll be documenting all my adventures here-both the good and the bad. If you’d like to come along for the ride, stay tuned.