As of the date this was published, I have been on the road for 846 days. The longest stretch of alone time for the first 817 days on the road was 15 days last year. 15 days total in 3 different locations. I was in tourist mode with not much actual downtime between playing tourist and working.
When one is constantly changing locations, constantly in tourist mode, with only short periods of time between seeing friends or family (who says life on the road means no social life?), one cannot take time for themselves.
Considering the name of this blog is “Finding Marshall” it has taken being on the road for over two years for this to actually happen. For me to take time to myself. To make a concerted effort to “find” Marshall.
Side note: WTH does “finding” one’s self really mean? I think it is a Hallmark term that is supposed to make us all warm and fuzzy, when in reality, we are always searching. Always figuring shit out. In some ways, always looking for ourselves.
2016 is the year for me to slow down and I have done just that. Though it has taken the first six months of the year to pass for me to start taking the Marshall time that I said I was going to take in that post from January.
For one reason or another (all good!), it wasn’t until the end of June that I finally have taken some time to myself. Uninterrupted time. For the most part, doing very little touristy things and spending a great deal of time staying put.
For the past month I’ve spent a lot of time by myself. Hell, other than going to the grocery store or waving at the occasional neighbor, I’ve had very little human face-to-face interaction. Let me tell you, when this happens you spend a lot of time thinking. You spend a lot of time inside your own head. And that can be a scary place.
For the foreseeable future I’m going to be traveling alone and not seeing any friends or family, with one exception coming up in a couple of weeks. Other than that, I really don’t know when I’ll snap my current streak of Marshall time. And I’m OK with that. That’s a lie. I’m not really OK with that. Well, I am and I’m not.
My mind becomes an interesting place when I have time to think. The time that I’ve yearned for in order to sort some things out. You know the old saying, “be careful of what you wish for.” Um, yeah, there is A LOT of truth to that.
It’s easier to keep yourself busy so you don’t have to face those thoughts that pop up when you have alone time. When you are in the middle of nowhere Colorado and you have no idea where the nearest human is, you have a lot of time to think about things. Things that you know you need to address, yet haven’t. Things that have been nibbling at the back of your mind for some time. Yeah, it’s easier to not deal with these things, but here I am. Dealing. Or attempting to.
One of the bigger issues I’ve been pondering is that of relationships. Of not being alone the rest of my life. Of dating.
Yes, I’ve dated since I’ve become nomadic. That experience not only left me with a great friendship but also reminded me of something. Dating is hard. It’s hard when you live in the same town. It’s extremely hard when one person is a nomad and the other person isn’t.
But I think about it. A lot. I don’t want to spend the rest of my life being single. I know first hand how short life can be. How precious time is.
I also have very different thoughts on the subject of dating now than I did 30 days ago. Before my alone time. Which has allowed me to give clear thought to the matter.
I don’t have an answer to this problem, no matter how much I ponder. And maybe that’s what I need to do. Stop thinking about this particular issue. If it were only that easy.
I have the single nomad’s dilemma. I suppose it’s not a dilemma for every single nomad. I do suppose that there are those, for whatever reason, that want to be alone. To not have someone to share their adventures with. To not share life with. That’s just not me.
How do you find that right someone when you are leading a nomadic lifestyle? When you are only in one place, at most, for 2 weeks at a time.
I’m 44. Wow, writing that is weird. Really weird. I certainly don’t feel 44, whatever that feels like. But I am and there is no hiding the fact. My age factors into dating, in oh so many ways.
I understand how short life is. I also understand that life is too short to spend it with the wrong person. So dating someone just for the sake of being with someone is something I’m not interested in.
Not that dating opportunities pop up around every corner for me. No, remember, I’m a nomad. It’s
hard next to impossible to date because I have an unconventional lifestyle. And I’m not going to apologize for that. I’m also willing to accept what that means when it comes to dating. I think I’m willing. No, not really. See what goes on inside my head?
So, yeah. Dating. One of the things that I’ve thought a lot about during the past month. And I’ll continue to ponder it during this current spell of Marshall time.
Or maybe I’ll put the relationship pondering on hold so that I can move on to my next subject. Whatever that might be. Wherever that might take me.