I’m lost. I have slowly lost myself over the last few months, and… I don’t know. It feels all sorts of fucked up.
This is why I’ve barely posted anything. I’ve been feeling incredibly cynical and depressed. Stagnant and lonely. Unbearably lonely at times. Sometimes negative. Just mostly… sad.
When I decided to stop traveling full-time, I had developed an intense case of cabin fever. Living in a 21-foot travel trailer with Lola was a blast in the warmer months out west. That tiny space afforded me 18 months worth of adventure and life well lived.
But last year, as the temperatures began to drop in northern Arizona during the first week of October, I realized I didn’t want to do winter in that tiny living space. Not in the cold. I also didn’t want to return to Florida. I didn’t really want to be in a “warm” state for the winter. I kind of wanted to experience winter… just not in an RV.
So I made a game-day decision the morning I woke up to 6 inches of snow in Flagstaff. I packed up and headed east. At some point over the next couple of days, I decided to check out NC. Maybe I’d decide to stay in the trailer, maybe I’d rent a house. I figure I’d go with my gut. And I did.
I ended up in a small town south of Asheville that struck me as quaint. I found an adorable house a week later, and in less than two weeks, I’d moved into a house, furnished it, and put the trailer in storage. This would be a break, I told myself. Some time to work on my business and figure out what’s next.
At first it seemed great. It was wonderful to take long baths, to never have to worry about how much power I had, whether my cell signal was strong enough to work from, when it was time to dump my compost toilet, where I was going to go next. In a lot of ways, stopping full time travel freed me up.
The problem is that the only thing I did with that freedom was… work.
There has been no real adventure. I’ve only been into Asheville a couple of times. I’ve been on one baby hike. I’ve not taken my road bike out once. Not once. I put it on the trainer over the winter and was riding it regularly in the mornings. You want to know what’s mind-numbingly boring? Riding your bike on a trainer set up in the living room of the house you never fucking leave.
Really, the only time I got out was to go to the gym in the morning.
I was lonely on the road, but it seemed that the moments of loneliness were always quickly drowned out by the splendor of whatever incredible place I was in. Here, I’ve not done anything to drown the loneliness.
I had these great intentions of creating a community for myself here. To finally have a place that I wanted to put down roots in, like a normal human being. To have something to ground my gypsy tendencies a bit. The wanderer in me, for as exciting and wonderful as it is… can also be maddening.
For about 3 months, I tried to make friends. I don’t even know how single adult people make friends anymore. Here, it seems like everyone socializes at church, which isn’t my thing. So I had get-togethers at my house. I invited people out with me…I wanted so badly to find people I could connect with.
Thankfully, I found one. A friend I’ll keep for life. The others… the people I’d met who I wanted to call my friends… drained me. I found myself feeling depleted and craving solitude (of a deep, reclusive nature). Somewhere in the midst of this, I met someone and fell in love (he was in Charlotte, a couple hours away). I found respite in him… we connected on a deep level…I wanted to believe that he was the reason I’d been pulled back east … away from the wild west where my soul always seems most at home.
And then we broke up. I wrote a couple of seething posts detailing the whole incident… I took them down a couple days after posting. They were ugly, and for as mad and hurt as I was… I felt bad for publicly posting them. We last saw each other on Easter. And it was after then that the silence became deafening. My walls began to really close in.
I’ve lost my joy. I don’t know where it went. Maybe I accidentally left it in Colorado somewhere.
Maybe the problem is this area. I keep telling myself it’s this town. It probably is to some degree, but I’m also to blame. I’ve found myself in a conservative Christian town that is 85% White, with a median age of 49. You can fact check that. I looked up the area stats… after I decided to stay a while. I don’t fit in here… but also, I kind of don’t fit in anywhere.
I don’t know what the solution is. I don’t want to go back to the road full time. I also don’t want to stay in this town. But nowhere is calling to me. Nothing feels like home.
I think the only thing that could make any place feel like home to me would be love… and, well….
My head just feels so clogged up. Henry David Thoreau cautioned against this when he wrote, “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” My life feels like one of quiet desperation right now. It’s like groundhog day.
I want to have a meaningful life. I want to leave a mark… and I just feel like I’m not doing that right now.
So, I’m going to Colorado in the RV. I don’t know how long I’ll be gone and there’s a strong possibility I will lose my mind (even more) in that tiny space with two dogs… but the goal is to not be in that space. The goal is to be out, climbing mountains with my four-legged friends… to breathe in that crisp, 10,000+ foot mountain air in search of clarity. To get out, and away… to commune… to find myself.