Here I am on this flight I've taken one hundred times from New York to the West Coast. I blinked and summer was over; I blinked and this chapter of sleepless nights in my five story, West Village walkup have come to a cliffhanging end. Where did the days go? I folded my clothes and zipped up my suitcase, this act of coming and unpacking and leaving and packing feels all too routine. These goodbyes are familiar, but they never really get any easier.
I tried to do a lot of soul searching on this trip home, which is ironic that
+ I just referred to New York as a trip,
+ New York and soul searching are used simultaneously
One humbling year ago, to this exact date, I was talking to strangers on a flight to Israel, a one way ticket. A silly catchphrase that took me around the world: to Parisian hotels, to underdeveloped villages, to cross-country roadtrips with Australian boys who surf the world's most magnificent beaches while I scribble notes in my journal and watch with my toes in the sand from afar.
On this worldly journey in search of whatever it is I'm searching for I repeatedly come back to a funny note to self: only time will tell. Only now upon reflection do I question what that means, for time itself is a funny thing. I've lived more life in one year, three hundred and sixty-five days, than well, this lifetime to date. My adventures, almost unfathomable experiences, underlying insecurities top the charts but this one year anniversary doesn't feel like just yesterday, how all other monumental occasions often feel.
Then, I was so truly amazed at the prospect of the open road as a solo traveler. Vulnerability didn't exist in my vocabulary; I felt intrepid. Now, I am whole-heartedly awed at the delight of this beautiful home as an emblem of sincerity and stability. At home all of my favorite reads perfectly line the bookshelves to admire and hand-crafted trinkets collected from countries far and wide decorate the walls.
When I rode out of New York, across the bridge wide-eyed at the city's magnificent skyline, my mind awakened with a sense of rejuvenation. Rejuvenate: this tiny word that holds so much meaning. For people tend to believe that backpackers are fearless, but truth be told, we are not. We are simply a bit out of touch with reality and need to return to the real world - whatever that means - for a revival. At least that's how I found myself.
Maybe this whole desire for a constant reawakening is part of growing up.
Maybe I don't want to grow up.
Maybe I'm just rolling with the punches.
Maybe only time will tell.