Back but not Done

I have been back in Southern California for a little over a week and back in Los Angeles since Monday.  I’m not finished with the trip yet:  I still have a jaunt to San Diego and a jaunt up north to take care of before I can say the travel part is finished.  Being done, but not done is somewhat unsettling.  It’s not quite time to process through the “Wow, I just finished this really big thing” emotions yet, but I’ve also completed the majority of the travel, so those emotions are present.

I knew something was amiss on my drive from Arizona into California when I wasn’t speeding.  For a variety of reasons on the trip (often tardiness), I would find my speedometer needle residing above the posted limit on any number of miles of this trip.  I don’t think I’ve ever spent so much time above 80 mph as I have these past weeks (don’t tell my grandma).  But as I drove through the desert, I was meandering, moseying even.  I didn’t want to be finished with the trip, so I was trying to delay the inevitable, the impending uncertainty of what’s next.

I’ve had a drastically different daily life the past four months.  My routine included sending emails, driving, exploring, and reuniting with long lost friends.  I haven’t stayed in the same place for more than 2 weeks since September.  But it felt normal.  After months of going and going, I found that the movement of the trip gave me a lot of life and emotional momentum.  I consider myself to be pretty adaptable.  Honestly, if I had kept traveling, I think I could have sustained that lifestyle a good deal longer.  Now I find myself in a familiar setting, staying in the same geographic region for the foreseeable future, but not quite “home.”

Even grocery shopping is cause for confusion.  I love being able to buy groceries and cook again.  I see a vegetable other than a French fry nearly every day, which was not the case on the road.  But wouldn’t you know, the cashier asked me a simple question that completely threw me for a loop. “Are you working today?” she asked.  I had no clue how to respond.  Am I working today?  I’m going to write a blog and send some emails.  Is that working?  It would have been a week ago.  After too long a pause, I answered “No.”  Were I on the road, I would light up and immediately start talking about the cool thing I was doing traveling to see all my Facebook friends.  That was my job.  But now, I’m not so sure.

I think part of me fears what the static nature of staying in one place will do, AND I simultaneously long for that stability and simplicity.  I’ll be living with people the next several weeks, which mimics my on-the-road life.  There are still about 200 Facebook friends to see in Los Angeles and Orange County, so there are still quite a number of visits to be had.  So I’m done, but I’m not done.  I stave off stability a little while longer and live a little discombobulatedly.


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