Recently, my mate was relaying a conversation she had with her partner about me.
“So, where is Tara living these days,” he asked her.
My friend, who I speak to every other day, went momentarily blank. “I have no idea.”
I laughed. She then went on to say that – in terms of location – I’m the most unsettled person she knows. I shrugged. It was true. Over the course of our friendship, I’ve moved fourteen times in seven years (and that’s not including the weeks or months spent crashing in friend’s guest rooms [including hers] between rentals).
I rattled this fact off to another mate who brushed it off as a mere exaggeration (maybe I exaggerate…sometimes…but only to people I really care about).
It wasn’t just the moving my friend was referring to. Having family and friends spread across the North and South, I frequently find myself on road trips every three to four weeks. Following this conversation, I actively decided to go nowhere for the whole month of September. A promise I kept, and with the addition of a severe head cold, I also avoid social outings for two weeks. The result? My monthly word count doubled to 67,000 words.
I tried to replicate this formula during October. Somehow…as if by some evil magic… I wound up doing a five-week stint in a town six hours away from home. If you require any further anecdotes regarding my gypsy sensibilities, how about this: I don’t own a jewelry box. The few decorative pieces I own live in a travel bag on my night stand; ready to go at a moment’s notice. (To clarify, I do own jewelry boxes, it’s just that they’re in a shipping container on a cattle farm in rural Queensland….)
Sarah Wilson often talks about her own nomadic tendencies on her blog. In one insightful comment, she connects our infantile preference of falling asleep in our mother’s arms with the calming affect we experience as adults while being on the move.
“Studies show babies are most settled when rocked at the same pace at which a woman walks. We are calmed by the primitive memory of our moving ancestors.”
When things get tough, how many of us dream of packing a suitcase and just…leaving? Traditionally speaking, humans are nomadic. It’s natural for our bodies to be in movement. And yes, look, constantly being “on the move” can also be exhausting and hard.
Yet, I continue to be in motion.
Because there’s nowhere for me to go but forward.
Image: Sesion Moda by ClaudiaSantosFotografia