Remembering the Old, Adapting to the New

I found this in my draft files. It was written in December 2013. It reminds me of that time, and how much different things are now. The chapters of my life seem to be getting shorter and growing in number. One of my favorite things about writing all of the time is then being able to go back into your history and read it and experience the details from a new time and place.


Dec 16 2013

Winter seems to have pulled me from my regular walks in the outdoors. I find it more difficult to lift my head from the pillow each morning, and with the sun rising only a couple of minutes before the work day begins, I no longer have a morning routine that includes walking. It used to be the very thing that lured me from bed; what brought me my daily dose of perspective and sanity, and now it is completely absent. My work days are padded with hours of darkness on each side, with no margin. The world is cold. The nights are long.

I do not have much of a routine these days, or at least it has just completely changed. It has been about two and a half months since I moved out of my apartment, and that is difficult for me to really believe. It feels I have only been living this “new life” for a very short time, and to think I’ve been sleeping on couches for almost a quarter of a year fascinates me. Since moving out and working on this motorhome I will soon live in, life has surely changed. I suppose it’s only inevitable that my routine changes, too. Now I have a commute to my office. Now there is a television that is always on in the homes where I stay. I don’t read anymore. I don’t even take my computer out to write.

Normal life for now no longer means waking up so close to the water and being able to shoot off down on a morning walk with coffee in hand, or walk to my office down the road. It no longer is going home to the quiet of my own apartment, where I can read or write or watch a movie or cook or do whatever I want. No more city life just outside my door, or regular grocery shopping trips to stock the shelves of my cupboard or fridge.

No. Right now I don’t even have my own fridge. For now it is waking up on a couch and folding the cheetah-print snuggie my sister lends me, throwing on the clothes I pulled from the rubbermaid bins in my car the night before and heading out into the frigid cold to warmup the Sub before making the commute to my office, which is really the only place I am ever alone these days.

While my routine changes, I am forced to adapt. I often think my thirst for adventure is sourced from a desire to know if I actually can adapt. I want to test myself, I suppose. If I can do this thing, and be able to survive it, then I can do other things and be able to survive those.

With all of the luxuries available, especially where I come from, it is easy to convince ourselves that there are some things we would not be able to handle or not be able to live without. We “necessitize” objects or ways of living and tell ourselves we could not live without whatever it is. But we can. We do what we must to survive, like all animals. When we have no choice, we make it work. Every so often it’s fun to remove that choice to remind myself that I can make it work.

I think that once we know we can live without something, we can better choose those things with which we want to live. This idea frays the ropes of dependency, allowing us to thrive by choice of what we want, rather than being told what we need.

The onset of winter seems to have come at the same time as the onset of this new life, blurring the line around what causes which change. But maybe winter is the best time for this transition in my life, for I know it is only a transition anyway. Though I am often anxious with the urge to go outside before darkness each afternoon, I remind myself of the importance of patience. While I miss my walks before and after work, I know the darkness of winter will slowly fade into the light of spring, and before long I will spend more time outside. Those nights spent reading or writing in the old life have been replaced with dinners and movies and television shows with family, and I am lucky to have a choice between two great places to regularly rest my head amongst loved ones. Once the RV is ready to go, there will be plenty of time alone and afoot. I’ll be off exploring other neighborhoods or cities or regions, and again I will be forced to adapt to another style of life.


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