Returning is Impossible
Minneapolis has been rainy, cold, and windy since we arrived a week ago. The weather has shrouded us in a depressing gloom that even chocolate zucchini cupcakes cannot shrug off. (So much zucchini!)
I expected to feel nostalgia upon returning to Minneapolis.
What I didn’t expect was to feel nothing else. Minneapolis offers many of the things that I love about cities: good food, great outdoor spaces, fun people, and eclectic events. Yet, I’m not inspired. The city feels tired, like a worn out pair of socks.
Visiting friends and family has made this stopover wonderful.
I loved being able to help my cousin celebrate her last day at her job. I loved being able to get to know her friends while sipping a beer at the Freehouse. I loved watching Martin jump on the trampoline with two of our nephews for hours. I loved seeing our little niece twirl while singing “Let it go!” I loved being able to celebrate birthdays (Mom, Dan, Nathan, Karl, and Ana – I’m talking about you!). I loved meeting my college roommate’s now 11-month-old for the first time. I loved catching up with former co-workers over a leisurely lunch. I loved talking, really talking, with my friends.
Yet I’m keeping my distance. After all, this is only a visit. I no longer live in Minneapolis. It was the perfect city for me for 7 years. It is no longer the perfect city for me.
People often ask me how I’ve changed since I started traveling last July.
Mostly my confidence has grown. Whether I’m meditating for days on end, climbing a volcano in Guatemala, exploring the Amazon Rainforest, or hiking the Appalachian Trail, I know that I’m strong enough mentally, emotionally, and physically, to handle it.
A lot of people tell me how much they wish they could travel around endlessly. Thank you, but my happiness isn’t dependent upon traveling. We are living our lives how we want to live them, not by some imagined rulebook imposed on us – that is what makes me happy. You don’t have to quit your job and become a vagabond in order to be happy. You just have to do what you want to do – especially if it is scary.
It’s scary to be in Minneapolis for me. I’m scared of being drawn into the ease of living here again. Nevertheless, I’m here.
Eventually, we will leave.
Beyond that, I don’t know. And that is wonderfully terrifying too.