Case in point: I’ve taken a major step and decided that I’d like to end up back in Buffalo after JVC. (This is probably old news for many of the people reading this, but I feel the need to document it anyway.) For a while I was considering going to another random city and getting a job or applying to other programs, but when I went back to New York for Christmas and New Year’s, I came to the conclusion that that’s where I’d really like to be. This is sort of an unprecedented move for me. I have a history of running from the familiar: I chose a middle/high school and a college where I knew absolutely no one and had to make new friends from scratch, and after college I moved out to California to live with a bunch of total strangers. In all the major decisions I’ve made so far in my life, I’ve never chosen to return anywhere.
I think it’s partially this crazy desire for motion. I can’t shake this feeling that I’m searching for something, even though I’m not sure exactly what it is, and I think part of me keeps expecting to find it in every new place I go. But it occurred to me that maybe moving is not the answer—maybe what I’m searching for is something that I could find just by being. What am I seeking? Right now I’d say meaning, purpose, connection, stories, understanding, peace and fulfillment. Not easy things to find by any means. But I finally thought, maybe putting down roots is not such a bad thing after all. Maybe it doesn’t have to mean getting stuck—maybe it could mean being home. Maybe the way to deal with my fear of stagnation is not periodic relocation; maybe what I’m really doing is running from that fear. Maybe the only way to truly face it is to embrace the familiar and find ways to keep life exhilarating within that context.
Completely unrelatedly: we have our third retreat this weekend, and I’m not particularly looking forward to it, mostly because I want to watch more Buffy. (Rather than sitting around complaining about our lack of friends, some of my roommates and I are trying to make our way through the whole series of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. I’m way more into it than I probably should be at the age of 22.) It’ll be nice to get away, I suppose, although I’m not looking forward to the orphanage-style cabins. I was pretty “meh” about last retreat beforehand, too—maybe it’s just a retreat thing.