I turn 25 today, which feels like a milestone. In the last quarter century, I’ve raised goats, read through a library and a half, graduated college (and gone back for round two), solo traveled on three continents, dirtbagged, lived with a family that’s not my own, volunteered full-time, learned a second language, and threw in my lot working for a Fortune 500 company.
I have to trek all the way around the building to check my mail, but I live at the place I put down as my permanent address.
Facebook has reminded me that two years ago, I stayed up until 3am at a riad hostel in Morocco, and then woke up the next afternoon to surf with strangers from Europe and Australia. Today, I woke up in the bed I own at 6am because I'm working on building a habit of discipline, and am currently staving off laziness by working my way through a to-do list.
I like being around you because I admire who you are and what you have built. You help keep me anchored and help me question and reevaluate what I think I believe so I do not become a sheep; even a sheep with the best intentions can be led down a dark or, perhaps worse, meaningless path.
I don’t know if I consciously expected to find pilgrims with backpacks on trains or in late-night discussions in the hostels, but whatever I expected, I was disappointed. I’ve written about my loneliness while traveling, and it took regaining some spiritual community to realize that the loneliness was in some ways spiritual isolation.
It's not the most exciting period in my life, and I think people are a bit disappointed when they ask what adventures I have going on, but if they want adventures, they can go have their own. I'm starting to visualize a future with routine and roots, and I'm visualizing it without a trace of dread. I think this is growing up, and I think I like it.
Even though I don't yet have a cabinet to put them in, I've already started my collection. I have a beautiful clay-colored mug with blue and green swirly paint flowers that my mom bought at an art fair. I have a huge deep blue mug that says "Catholic Charities" from my internship last summer. I have one with a German Christmas market painted on it from a glühwein stand that I picked up when I was traveling through Europe.