At the time of typing these very first words, it’s 1:42am. I’m in the living room, with the lights off, so I don’t disturb my roommates with my typing. Headphones plugged in, listening to a song on repeat that was until 5 min. ago playing on repeat in my head.
A Seed was Planted
It was about 9:45 when I started watching Begin Again for the second time, a beautiful movie about finding yourself through the thing or things you’re passionate about. It’s the movie where that song came from.
It’s no surprise I relate with that movie.
Because as much as I know what I’m doing day-to-day, I am still very lost.
Lately, I’ve had the undeniable urge to create. Create something, anything, to give back and inspire the people in my life. Whether that’s in person or online. And connect with them. A real connection.
My writing is not read by enough people for me to feel fulfilled in giving back. Though I am grateful for anyone that gives up their time to read my words.
Writing is my only real talent. If you can even call it that. And it has been failing me.
Climbing is only self-fulfilling and doesn’t do anything for anyone else watching. I cannot create climbing. I climb because I am passionate about it, but it doesn’t give back.
Unlike the characters in the movie that could reach out and touch the emotional core of random strangers through music, I have no outlet to engage as many people as I’d like.
I am lost.
The Effect of Words
When the movie ends, I can actually feel the heaviness of sleep upon me. A welcomed feeling for anyone with sleeping problems.
I should have closed my laptop and went straight to bed.
But I didn’t.
I read an article online.
It’s as if it were written for me. Or about me. I couldn’t help but wonder if the author somehow knew me. Or knew I would read it.
The circumstances of our lives could not be viewed as coincidental.
Those words threw me into a tailspin and down a rabbit hole inside my own head. They broke my off switch.
I am awake.
I am awake and questioning. Everything.
Perhaps better than saying I am lost, is that I have been trying to fill a void. Lost in finding something that can fill the hole in my life I’m experiencing.
I’ve never worked harder in my life to try make friends. It’s as if everyone in the Boulder / Denver is so caught up in themselves, their lives, and their existing cliques that it’s impossible to make a true connection. I think I’ve done that with maybe 8 people in the two and a half years I’ve lived here, and 3 of those people are my roommates. Everyone else is just an acquaintance. And no one really goes out of their way for just an acquaintance.
Climbing fills a void. Temporarily.
I’ve been super dedicated to my training for the upcoming bouldering competition. I love how I feel after each session. I love seeing visible progress in just 4 days. But training for me is a singular activity. Eventually the superficial exuberance of seeing my abs again and increasing a boulder grade fades.
The euphoria of climbing outdoors lasts a little longer. Not only are the mountains my lifeline, but I also get to share that experience with at least one other person, my climbing partner. In my life, climbing partners are temporary. A weekend trip, a week long trip, no matter how long the duration, those climbing partners are usually temporary. And then they, or I, move on.
My work is very fulfilling. I am good at my jobs. But I don’t think it’s my calling. I will continue to do what I do, and I will continue to improve because I hate mediocrity. (Ironically, I am about as mediocre as someone can get.) But I have not yet found what I’m truly supposed to be doing.
Is the Answer in a Big White Van?
Let’s just say it. The hole I am trying to fill can only be filled with companionship. Companionship on a friendship level and a romantic level. I’ve been writing about it far too much without outright saying it. So there it is.
I often question myself, “if I seek companionship, why did I choose living alone, in a van, and moving from place to place?”
The answer is quite simple, really —
What’s the difference between not having a group of friends in a stationary place and not having a group of friends while moving around? At least I get a change of scenery.
Despite all the things I’ve said, I actually do have a lot of friends. A lot of friends with real connections. The problem is, they’re spread around the country. When I look at my travel plans, I have very few stops where I know no one or have no one to visit along the way.
Rather than staying in Colorado, I plan to strengthen these friendships through our mutual passion for the outdoors.
When traveling, there will always be something or someone, to look forward to seeing. I may be talking out of both sides of my mouth when I complain about transient friends and temporary bonds, but I think it’s what’s best for me.
I think I may finally have the feeling of belonging to a group of friends once again. Something I’ve missed since graduating college. It’s just a little ironic that I have to live and travel in a van in order to be a part of that group.
But if that leads to filling this void, perhaps my off switch will start working again.
Don’t Miss Your Chance
I was stuck in Corporate America for 9 years. I was miserable.
Then I took control.
You can too, and it starts right here.
I totally get this.
When I moved into a van with F in 2012, I was leaving a town where I was *actually* hated by probably 50% or better of 600 residents. But yet, on the big wide internet I had friends all over the place!
Here’s where the “but” comes in:
But I didn’t find an end to that loneliness.
Part of my problem (and having known you for a bit maybe it’s a bit yours?) is that I’m a social loner. I like doing things by myself. I like reading, hiking alone, and doing my own thing. Sometimes I don’t seek social stuff until I’m way in the dumps and NEED it. I think I finally found that here which is why I’m heartbroken to leave Ridgway. I know I can find people who know me any night at the Boy, I have people I can call and ask to go on a hike, I have allies at work, and I mostly feel understood.
Go, look on the road. But I don’t think that’s where you’ll find your answer. But you just might find where you’ll find it.
FWIW, I love this blog. Keep ’em comin’. I love how you keep it raw, and write your real thoughts in whatever form they take. I have a feeling that the best is still to come..
Thanks, buddy! How’s Spain?
As you write “the best is yet to come…” I’m booking my first hostel in Thailand. 😉