Sunday, April 3, 2011

on existing in London

Existing in London this past week has brought this recurring, refreshing feeling.

My first thought upon waking is always of where I am (England), how I got here (The Picadilly Line or a double-decker red bus), with whom I am staying (lovely people), and whether or not I am excited to be awake (yes). I can't help but be overwhelmed by the sense that this is The Beginning; that everything about my life and the way that I live it is in the midst of a great change. I can almost feel the paradigms shifting around in my brain. This is the life! I am finally on the road! Living off of hummus, cheese, bread, and vegetables has never felt so rich and filling.

I've been reading more from one of my favorite nomadic authors, who continually inspires me. "I was excited when I realized I didn’t have to do it the way they thought I should. I could design my own life, one that fit my dreams. There is more than one way to do life and I was going to discover one that worked for me." (Rita Golden Gelman) I like her very much, and that fact seems so lost on so many people. Life can be however you want to be; the world's prescribed plan for success and happiness is not 'one size fits all.' It was never meant to be so. True, there is a marked pathway to achieve a secure, normal life, and that in itself makes many people incredibly happy, which is wonderful. I am content to realize, now, that if I choose a different pathway, it makes me no less of a success or a failure.

Yes, I am in The Beginning of this era of wandering, and I enjoy it immensely.

Of course, I must take into account the realism of it all so it won't catch me by surprise later: I am essentially homeless in a foreign land, the days will not always be easy ones, I miss my family and friends, and everything I carry with me weighs less than 20 pounds (I weighed it this morning). I am under no illusion that this will be a perfect journey. Things will not always go smoothly, and I'm sure upon my first illness I will wish I was on my mother's couch at home.

What is close to perfection, however, is waking up in London, wandering neighborhoods I fall in love with, meeting great-hearted people, and being at the very beginning of a long and beautiful road.

I do so like beginnings.