A Return to Convention

Here I am, writing in my rented room in Wisconsin. I have been off the road, I am working, we are a world in crisis. Never, ever could I have predicted THIS would be my reality. I fulfilled my vision for my first year of nomadic pilgrimage and I was starting to bring my second year’s vision to life. I was on the first part of my plan for year two. Then it stopped. It unraveled as fast as a ball of yarn in the paws of a rambunctious kitten. Now I am here. 

I find myself sliding back into a life of convention. I have a work schedule and I commute. I had to buy some clothing items for the job. I eat and sleep at certain times. I am not living where or how I want. I find I am missing things I have in storage, as conventional life takes different things than nomadic life. I need my kitchen and my lunch containers.

On the one hand, this makes me sad and depressed and angry. On the other hand, given the current pandemic situation, I am extremely lucky and have suffered only minor inconveniences. Many lives have been disrupted in ways that are profound and probably long lasting. I work hard to live in gratitude and light, finding the good in each and every day. I can do hard things and this is a challenging time. Though, I struggle.

I am trying to see the lessons and areas for growth. I am working to connect when and where I can with loved ones, valued friends, family and communities. I am mostly bored and work as much as my body will allow. It is a challenge and I am getting tired. 

I have not worked this much in about a year. I have not held a steady job or had a regular schedule. I have not lived in the city or stayed indoors to this degree. I have not had a regular paycheck or earned money to cover my living expenses. I have never lived quite like this before.

I find that, during this time of conventional life, it is tempting to start to buy and collect things. I did need a couple items for the job, like indoor shoes and less expensive pants. My clothes are designed for the out of doors and are specially designed to perform. These are not clothes I will sacrifice for some temporary warehouse job. My shoes are for the wilderness and not the city streets. I spent more money on my three pairs of shoes than I will earn in a week! Well, nearly, anyway. I find that I need things that I do not have, like tupperware for my work meals. I don’t have a lunch box or microwavable bowls. I am out of my element. 

I am also mindful that I am living this life when NOBODY is living a life of convention. I am sure there are a few who are grateful for this time at home and with their families. I also assume there are those who have the financial means to not suffer during this time of challenge. But, I also know the vast majority of us are not in our usual lives, not living in our usual ways, and are probably feeling some sense of loss. I am sure most of us are not doing or going or living how we would be sans pandemic. 

And so I go in circle after circle. I feel the downslide into “normalcy” and I feel the familiar struggle of not doing what I want or being where I want. This time, it is not so bad. This time, I know it is temporary. This time I have something to compare it to. This time, I know I can do nearly anything in nearly any place for a short time. When that thing or that place is not by choice, I know I will make the best of it and come out OK. I fall back on my faith and my resolve and my resilience. I fall into gratitude and appreciation; because I don’t want to fall.

I also know with every fiber of my being that a life of convention will not be for me. I will not return to the doldrum of a routine work schedule or job tasks. I will not have a daily commute and I will not do the same thing each and every day. I know I need to be outside and I need to move and I need to contribute. I also need my own space and my own things. When I am ready to settle down, I will need a moderate sized home that will be in the country or the wilderness. I know I need built in jobs, such as caring for animals or orchards or gardens. I need to feel the sun on my face and I need a fire in the winter. I need snow and rain and wind. I need to see the weather coming, I need to see the sky with the stars and moon. I need to hear the birds and see the deer or elk. I need to live in tune with the Universe, the cycles of nature, be in and of the earth. 

During this time of convention I struggle. During this time of pandemic, I pray. During this time, I learn.

Cheers to your journey. May you arrive healthy and sound!

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