Saturday, April 2, 2011


I grew up in a suburban town. We had hills and trees and the like, and while those always interested me as a child, what truly fascinated me were the mountains. Always looming somewhere off in the distance, rolling behind the skyline in muted blues and grays, and ever beyond my reach were the mountains. 

I wanted to go to them. Every time my mother drove us over the bridge over the highway to get to the supermarket, I wanted us to keep driving and head for the mountains. they called to me for some reason, even as a child. 

Sometimes I'd get closer to them. When we went to visit my aunt, we'd drive out in that direction and reach the foot of some mountains, though usually small ones, and cliffs that fascinated me with their miniature waterfalls. But whenever we reached a break in the hilly terrain, what did I see rolling off in the distance? 

Of course. More mountains. And then I wanted to follow the road until I reached those mountains. I suppose this interests me now simple because the more I think about it, the more I realize that I've been carrying this insatiable wanderlust with me my whole life, even when I was young, before anything had happened to me, and before I was running away from things. There was something pure about it then. I didn't want to go to escape any pain or sadness, or because I was afraid. I wanted to go because, well, there were mountains, and it was beautiful how they seemed to melt into the sky. It was almost as if they weren't real. I wanted to see them up close and climb them, and look down from the top and see what I could see in the distance.

I stood atop mountains a few times in my life. I used to ski a lot, and that brings you to an awful lot of mountains. The trouble with that, of course, is that every peak has its own amazing view - of more mountains in the distance waiting to be climbed and explored. 

Someday, I'll go and chase after my mountains. I can't say when, and I can't explain why, I just know that someday, I'll get in a car and drive towards the blue-gray mountains until they come into focus and I can climb to the top and scout out a new blurry peak to conquer somewhere out in the distance. 


Friday, April 1, 2011

Reconciling My Split Personality

Sometimes I feel like I'm actually two different people trapped in one body. My desires and needs are so often at war with one another, it's as though my metaphorical angel and devil are permanently stationed on each shoulder - and both with a seemingly legitimate point of view.

The problem is that those two points of view are generally mutually exclusive.

Something I've been very proud of recently has been settling down and getting my life in order, and somewhat stabilized. For age 22, I think I'm doing pretty well. I have a 9 to 5 job like I wanted, a fairly stable relationship, and for all intents and purposes, a quiet, normal, and stable life. I still live in New York City, so I only ever get so quiet and normal, but still, great strides have been made. And part of me is so pleased, proud, and content.

Then there's the other part of me, who is stricken with insatiable wanderlust, and is damn near crawling out of her skin. That part of me dreams of just packing the car, driving across the country, settling in a random town and just taking it from there. But that's not stable or responsible. Would it be exciting? Sure. Could I really walk away from my life here? Not so sure.

I've come close a few times. Almost two years ago, I lost the job that I loved and the man I thought I loved all in the same month. I was broken, and for the first time in years, I felt completely free. I ran away to London for a few weeks, which had less than the desired effect. As Sheryl Crow said, "They say you gotta get away to wanna go back home again." With the exception of my time in Oxford, I spent most of my time overseas wanting to leave. Still, to this day, every time I close a show, or get dumped I am hit hard with an urge to run somewhere - anywhere. 

Last week, I was offered a job on Norwegian Cruiselines. I had applied for the job months ago, shortly after being brutally dumped by the douchebag formerly known as Prince Charming, and finding out that yet another show was closing and leaving me jobless. At the time, I wanted to run and where better than a cruiseship? But now? I'm too comfortable in my job and relationship to jeopardize my stability by uprooting my life now. So I won't go. 

And there we see the problem - I get too comfortable, too attached to things. The part of me that loves safety, and stability, and normalcy always wins out in the long term, despite occasional flights of fancy. But I still yearn for excitement, and a certain degree of freedom that stability does not afford me. And so I wall myself in, with jobs and men, and all the messy emotions that accompany those things, and I can;t bring myself to abandon ship until all of that comes tumbling down.

And it will, someday. And when it goes, I'll cry and I'll ache, and I'll shake an angry fist at the sky, begging the stars for answers to the age old "Why me?"

But somewhere beneath all that, there will be a packed suitcase, a tank of gas, and a little voice that says "I've always wanted to see the Grand Canyon."