Before I left on a trip, I had been told that coming back would be an adjustment. I had heard stories of travelers coming home only to break down and cry while staring at numerous options for one item in the grocery store, seized by an inability to make a decision between all the available choices.
Yet, I’ve had friends come back from long adventures only to restart up their old jobs and move forward with their lives like nothing is different. At least I’ve made that assumption. When I returned from my trip, I admit that I felt fine for the most part. The first time I went to the grocery store, I didn’t have any issues selecting food. Obviously, I’ve had a much more laid back lifestyle since I’ve returned. I’ve taken my time looking for a job that will better suit me and hopefully provide me with the ability to lead my life in a more leisurely way. I’ve been going to the gym and for the most part, I feel like I’m in good health. So it has led me to believe that I’ve adjusted fine.
That was until this week. I’ve finally started to notice that I’m having difficulty dealing with some things. For example, the first month, I didn’t have a car. Before that, I hadn’t been driving for 4 months. I’ve since bought an old ’99 Toyota Corolla from a friend of mine and started to drive. Now, after 5 months of no driving combined with a more leisurely approach to life, I’ve noticed that I drive like my grandmother. The interstate speed limit around Minneapolis is 60 mph with a minimum limit of 40 mph. Before my trip, I would typically drive between 65 and 70 mph. Now, my speed is usually around 45, and sometimes drops below 40. People on the highway scare the crap out me when they drive up my ass. Most speed around me, and I’ve caught a couple glances from people like “Who let grandpa have a license to drive.”. Of course it’s then followed by a shocked expression when they see me driving.
I’m somewhat nervous and anxious lately. While spending time looking for work has it’s benefits, the thought of going back to a corporate, structured work environment has me feeling a bit dreadful. The big smile I had plastered to my face after arriving home has been replaced with the numb expression I think I had most of the time before I left on my trip. I feel tired and overstimulated, even more than before. I’m not quite sure where to go from here or what to do with my life. In an effort to give my life some momentum, I’ve started looking into volunteer opportunities. For the most part, those interviews have left me feeling somewhat excited.
I thought after 2 months back home, that I’d be settled and comfortable, but I’m the opposite. I left hoping to clear my head, and have found that after my return, my head is full of new options. Some are exciting and others leave me fearful for my future. There’s a new found pressure that I sense coming from myself. A pressure that this time around, I need to do things better, and with more intention to what I really care about in life. Yet, I know better now that I need to loosen that grip on life as well.
I worry about transitioning the theme of my blog from one that has mostly been exclusively about travel to my original purpose: my adventures and journey on my way to finding myself. I want to write about the things that are important to me, and the other adventures that I have (not related to travel) that I hope will open up new doors for me. My blog has lately taken a more serious tone, one that I hope to lighten over the next couple of weeks.
It’s the growing pains of growth, I guess. Exciting and Scary. I’m not settled nor am I content, yet. I fear that I may never be.