Running to a Stand Still: A Ballad of Moving and Not Moving Enough

Photo Credit: Elizabeth Hudson

Could you recommend a cure?

Back in September, I moved. Cardboard boxes piled high, five family members carrying awkward furniture down three flights of stairs, down the long sidewalk, and into the moving truck.

I was furious, inwardly [and a bit outwardly] swearing like the roughest sailor to ever sail the high seas, frustrated at myself for not being more minimalistic with possessions. Why couldn’t I get rid of more books? Why had I furnished the entire apartment instead of pushing my roommate to supply a little more?

Albeit angry and red-faced, my heart thumped with excitement. I could feel the change just around the bend. And it felt magnetic, charged with the promise of everything new.

Out of the apartment and possessions moved a few states away, I drove back up to spend two weeks living with my parents until I finished with work. Then off to Ireland.

Ireland felt [and still does feel] like a dream, a trip too fleeting, the days abroad sliding through my grasp like water. I couldn’t slow them down, so I enjoyed them, finding myself on a windowsill in Dublin, watching the pink sky reflect on the Liffey and wondering whether I could bring myself to board a flight back to the States later that day.

And now I’m home.

For a week now, I’ve avoided the photos, the talk of green pastures and rocky coastlines and Irish friendliness. Because to linger over vacation shots means that it is over. And to exchange stories and answer questions means that I’m no longer on foreign soil.

It means that it will be a bit before I manage to scrape together the money for the next trip.

And until then, I’m left standing still in one place while my legs are still tingling with the memory of running.

Could you recommend a cure?

I’ve dotted my upcoming months with small trips: Charleston, SC, San Antonio, TX, a couple months in Annapolis, MD, a few weekend trips up to NYC.

But I still have so much to see. I want to see all fifty states in one giant road trip, watch the sun rise in the desert. I want to try my feet on African soil, jungle undergrowth, Australian outback, South American mountains. I want to explore small towns in Europe, attempt to put into words the shades of blue reflected in arctic ice.

With a head of landscapes, I’m struggling to be satisfied in one place. A place where the days are normal but not always the same. A place where everything is familiar, where faces aren’t always new.

Could you recommend a cure?