“Do you think I have commitment issues?” I asked my mom about a week and a half ago.
“Do you think you have commitment issues?” she responded.
“I don’t know. I’m always leaving. I guess I just don’t know what it feels like to want to stay.”
I love all of the places I’ve lived and would have stayed in each of them (except for Germany! Sorry…) but I’ve always wanted to leave more than I wanted to stay. And leaving has meant moving on to the next adventure that beckons me…usually to faraway lands.
My friend Kat and I discussed this topic of restlessness this past Sunday and determined that it probably had a lot to do with being single. When you’re married and you’re thinking about a house and kids you’re less likely to pick up and move across the country or across the world. So the thought of settling in one place as a single person seems foreign, almost wrong in a sense. Isn’t there so much more to see, to experience?
For the past number of years leaving has been the risk, but I have a feeling that a time is coming when staying and making some roots will be risky.
It was this past Saturday night, after I cooked my family some Thai food for a goodbye dinner, that I finally experienced what it was like to want to stay – more than I ever have before. My niece gave me an extra hug and kiss before she left and that’s when I realized I really didn’t want to miss out on watching her grow these next six months. I expressed this to my mom. “You don’t have to go!” she told me.
“No…I’m going.” I said. “I want this. But I’ll be back.”
“You better come back,” she said. “Or dad and I are coming to get you.”
Kat asked me if I thought I would arrive in my apartment in Bangkok after 25 hours of travel and start to cry. I hope not…but it’s happened before. Once the realization sets in that I am not in Kansas anymore I start to wonder what the heck I got myself into. And with the knowledge that home is far, far away and I’m not going back anytime soon, the tears begin to form.
Thankfully I’ve been through these transitions enough to know what to expect. As exciting as this is, it will also be hard, and at times, overwhelming. But as my friend Natalie E reminded me, I am not going alone. The words, the gifts, the prayers, the excitement, the encouragement, the donations (that were not asked for –merely given – totalling over $1000) remind me that I have a huge support network behind and before me. And this partnership means that you are as much a part of this adventure as I am.
I am becoming increasingly aware of – and humbled by – the fact that people aren’t just excited for me – they’re excited about the bigger picture. The Story. And we all have a role in this story.
So I hope you’re ready! Hold on tight and keep your hands and feet inside the vehicle most of the time (you gotta break some rules). And begin to get very excited – because you’re coming with me!