Two years ago today, I left my life in Thailand for a new one in the States. After a whirlwind year and a half, I had reached the limit of chaos I could handle in my life. I was ready for stability, consistency, and a place to call home.
It’s been 20 months now since I settled in San Diego, the longest I’ve stayed anywhere since I was 17. In that time, I have come to know this place well. It doesn’t quite feel like home, but I don’t know that any place ever truly will. In spite of that, I have found a place I’ve been willing to stay in, which is no small feat for my nomadic soul. I still fight the urge to leave, to pick up and start again someplace new, but I am beginning to see the value in staying put. The accumulation of books on my shelves, the art hung on my walls, the collection of pets who now call my home theirs, the 8:1 ratio of blankets to people in this apartment I’ve made my own. These are the tiny comforts my life has been lacking for so many years.
As I near the end of two years here, and inch that much closer to 30, I find myself torn between letting my roots dive deeper into the earth here and snapping them off and running away. The sense of belonging i always wanted and the feeling of home haven’t come as quickly as I hoped. I think about picking a new country, new job, new life yet again, but then I realize how much good this permanence has done for me.
When I left for Thailand, I posted a photo to Instagram of one of my favorite quotes.
It summed up my desire for a different kind of life. One full of contemplation and time for relaxing and creating. A life in which walking and sitting on walls wasn’t frivolous, but a necessary joy of life. What I discovered in Thailand, however, was quite the opposite. My life there was fun, it was passionate, and it was full, but I had no time for such things. I left for work as the sun was rising and got back late. I spent my nights at bars or playing gigs with the band, and I was carried through my weeks by caffeine, drugs, and booze. The longer I was there the more I felt myself unraveling.
In California, I have a life filled with the things I craved for so long. Mornings spent walking or taking the dogs to the beach. Evenings spent woodworking and creating with my hands. I’m busy, but I have time to prioritize the things that make my life good.
And despite all the goodness, it is my depression, too, that remains steady. The battle I face every day, relentless as the sea, making the allure of adventure seem so appealing. It’s a struggle that sometimes feels impossible and unending, one I’m not really sure how to survive. But when I look back, I can see how much better I’ve gotten in those two years. I feel hope for the future. And I am reminded of the permanence of the things I hold dear.
The beauty of nature. The joy of creating. The laughter of friends. The relentless gumption that carries me through my days. And I think, maybe two years in one place is gonna be a very good thing. ❤
Here’s some photos of life lately: