I previously talked about this sense of anxiety when I visited the Rain Forest of Washington. There was so much to do and see, and yet the weather was making it difficult for me to have a good time. I did not want to leave, but I had to. I needed to be warmer and more comfortable, and high winds were in the forecast which is never good for my set-up. In a different way, it is also part of the reason I am on this journey. Fear Of Missing Out.
I am in the middle of my family visits. Cousins, Aunties and Uncles, family by choice, old friends. Catching up with folks I have known all my life and learning about those whose lives have passed me by. Folks who are part of my interconnected family network, who I may not know, but still care about and in whose successful and happy future I am invested. These parts of my pilgrimage were a primary impetus for leaving, for theses changes, for why I live how I live. In part, these visits are why I am here.
These folks, my relatives and friends, who I have known or who have known me all or most of my life are getting older. Yeah, I know I am too, but not only do I not feel it, I do not register just how old we all really are. Most of them, of us, do not look or act or even feel like the ages that are reflected on our driver licenses. Some are grey, though none like me LOL, and most are enjoying retirements, moving around or traveling, working part or full time. They, we, are living lives that do not seem to fit those ages we throw around. I mean, that is great and motivating and I am appreciative that most of the folks in my circle are healthy and mostly happy and doing what they want.
But, the stories. It seems everyone has a story about an early demise, someone who retired only to become ill or pass away months or a couple years after leaving their job. Those folks who are younger than some of us, the same age as others, and yet they did not get the opportunity to be retired or travel or spend time with loved ones. Those who we knew or knew of that are no longer with us. That makes me afraid. That brings FOMO right to my front door. That is another part of why I am here.
I am currently healthy, strong, able bodied, clear in mind. I have some financial resources, but not enough to live another 40 or 50 years with any quality. I felt time slipping away and I freaked. I felt my fears about illness and disability and injury drive me out the fucking door and into the wilderness. Don’t get me wrong, I did not just wake up one day afraid and quit my job and hit the road. I went through months of a process to make this choice, and many more months planning and arranging things to make this happen. It was not an impetuous decision and it was not a reactionary move. I thought, I planned, I struggled and then I arrived here for many, many reasons. But, this line of thinking is part of it.
I did not want to miss out on the lives of my loved ones any longer. I did not want to see time slip by before I got to talk to cousins, Aunties, friends and even my parents. I want to know my nieces and nephews before they have nieces and nephews of their own. I wanted in and I wanted to be part of it and I wanted to know these people before they were lost to me forever. I had a little bit of FOMO.
I realize and understand that not everyone has this choice. Not all people are willing or able to spend the time with their loved ones as they want. I am eternally grateful that I can and am. I am humbled by the openness and generosity I encounter. I am loving this time and these people.
I CHEERS my loved ones! I toast cousins who are more like sisters, sisters who are friends, and friends who become family.
Thanks for warm beds and hot showers and your washing machines.
See you again soon!