You don’t know me and you don’t wear my chains
From the song “Boston” by Augustana. Give it a listen here because it’s awesome.
When I was out last night, and travelling home on the tube, I was looking around at everyone and was struck by the weirdest feeling.
What was everyone doing? What has everyone been doing? Why are they doing it? What’s the end game here?
Now that I’ve been back a couple of weeks, I’m starting to realise what I’ve been through over those four months in South America. And that while I’ve been living in a different world, everything back in the UK has been continuing.
Things don’t just stop because you aren’t there to witness them happening any more. Now that I’m not in Colombia any more, it’s weird to think everything I saw there is still going on now. I don’t know why I find that weird. I shouldn’t, but I do.
It’s not like a TV show that got switched off when I left.
Life goes on and life in London continued while I was away.
Now, it’s true to say that by the end of my four months, I was knackered. Mentally exhausted. But I still loved that trip for the most part and the bad times, well, you have to expect them. There were far more good than bad, unquestionably.
So if I ever do something like this again, I wouldn’t go for more than about two months maximum, I think. I’ve changed for whatever reason, and that’s okay.
I think what I really like is change. More song lyrics for you to sum up this feeling perfectly. This is from “Overrated” by Less Than Jake
Can’t stand the normal
Can’t stand the ordinary
Find me anything that’s extraordinary
Show me something
Show me anything
Am I the only one?
Am I the only one?
Do you know what I mean? I need change to stimulate me. As the song says, show me something, show me anything. I want to be amazed, I want to be in awe. I want to discover and explore and be left speechless.
My job is terrible for me from that point of view because it’s highly repetitive and doesn’t even require me to leave the house. Thus reducing opportunities for exposure to something, anything, different.
I’ve covered in previous posts about friends who are now, understandably, too busy with children, spouses, partners and pregnant wives to meet up with me.
So if I’m not going out with friends and I’m not going out for work then when am I going to go out?
To come back round to the title of this post and detachment. I don’t feel like I’ve got anything in common with anyone any more. With friends, with strangers on the tube, with anyone.
Sorry, I’ve got to post more lyrics to demonstrate. I know this is getting a bit lyric heavy, but fuck it, it’s my blog.
Same band (Less Than Jake) and the song is called “The Science of Selling Yourself Short“:
So I sit and wait and wonder
Does anyone else feel like me?
Someone so tired of their routines
And disappearing self-esteems
At least when I was travelling, I was meeting people who were like me – backpacking, nomadic types. But even that got boring and tedious for me after a while.
So, what the fuck do I want? Is it a question of not being able to be happy? Not knowing how to be happy?
How fucked up is this:
I do want to be with people because I’m alone… then I don’t want to be with people because I find meeting people tiring. I want to see and do amazing things… then I decide actually too much of this is exhausting.
I am impossible to please and that’s a problem.
I need to find a middle ground maybe. Decide where is the next amazing place I want to see in the world and go there for a short period of time then come back to the UK. Maybe take my laptop with me and work so that I’ll have a combination of routine and being somewhere that will amaze me. Crucially, I should leave before I get bored or tired.
This is the elephant in the room. I always knew deep down that I wouldn’t be able to rest travel-wise until I’d seen South America. Well now that I have… what now?
What does one do when they achieve a long-standing ambition? Find another one?
It’s the elephant in the room because it’s like, well, there’s this thing you could do. It’s kind of crazy but everything is seemingly set up to try it. You might hate it. It might not work in practice. It might blow up in your face.
Can this work? Can I bounce around like this doing a week or two away, then a few weeks at home, then another week or few days away? It just sounds too unrealistic, doesn’t it?
But in the same way that I couldn’t rest until I’d been to South America, I don’t know if I’ll be able to rest until I’ve tried this. Even if it’s just once. One time. I don’t know if I’d be able to live with myself if I didn’t try it.
Combining work and travel. I’ve just got to know what that’s like. There’s some infamous quote along the lines of:
It’s not the failures you regret… it’s the times you never even tried.
People say they regret the things they didn’t do, rather than the things they did, don’t they? Come to think of it, I can think of more of the former than the latter.
I think I’m obsessed with this idea of travelling to see amazing places because it’s something I actually have control over. I don’t have control over my love life or getting a career. They’re only down to me to an extent but they’re mainly in the hands of others.
But travel? That’s always been something I’ve been able to do and able to achieve. Escapism is my forte.
I guess it comes down to trying to find your place in the world. I think everyone wants and needs to feel like they belong to something or somewhere. Whether it’s a place of work, a sports team, a partner, a group of friends or even a country.
I’m losing that. I feel like I have no identity sometimes. So, looking around that tube carriage last night, I was thinking I am nothing like any of you. I just felt so out of place. And with every new engagement and pregnancy from people I know, the feeling gets stronger.
I’m not needed or wanted any more by the people who for most of the last decade I had the best times with. I just don’t fit in with their lives like I used to. I don’t match the criteria. It’s sad but it’s the truth.
By sticking around, that point is being constantly rammed home. I’m constantly being reminded of it.
I don’t belong here and I don’t belong anywhere.
Have a great Sunday.