The Psychology of Wanderlust

“If I don’t end up where I was going, I’ll just end up somewhere Else.” (Me)

Sept 16, 2008:

That phrase came into play yesterday (Saturday). I was headed south out of town toward Goliad, TX. Somewhere along my sunny day drive, I lost the road I was supposed to be on, realized I was on some other highway instead. Headed to who-knows-where. Well, it was a nice road, though. So I just kept going. I was having a good time. I have no map in the car, which is a bit funny really. Back in my Grinnell days, no matter how poor I was (and oh I was) I somehow always managed to have a nice big Rand McNally. Nowadays, I cannot actually afford to buy a Rand McNally – hell that’d use the little bit of gas money I’m driving on! So I’m flying down some unknown road going wherever and having a great time of it. Singing old Indigo Girls toons at the top of my lungs (windows are down – everything is loud!). Eventually I have to stop for gas and managed to pick up a fold-up map. Which, inside of 10 minutes, had flown out the open window and down into a creek I was passing over. I totally laughed and decided at that point that clearly God had a better plan
in mind for me today and I was just going to have to go with it. LOL. Somewhere after 6pm I realized I was quite starving and stopped in some unnamed town (literally, the place had NO name announcement sign when I rode in)  – just a few shacks and a Dairy Queen (thus reminding me that Dairy Queen OWNS all small towns). Some guy there asked me where I was going and I actually replied a casual, chipper “I’m waiting to find out. But the speed is good and the sun is shining.” and smiled and walked away. Later I realized wow, he must have been really confused LOL. Answer made perfect sense to *me*.

Eventually I turned off onto some other highway-looking road. I don’t know why. Just seemed like the thing to do at the time. Wouldn’t ya know it? That road actually led to the original road I was
supposed to be on, but had lost. So I arrived in Goliad, TX. I got where I was going, but by a different route. Which, to me, is like having my cake and getting to eat it, too. I got to see stuff I didn’t know I was going to get to see. Very cool little towns, amazingly beautiful, serene Texas countryside, cool ranches (one with Safari-type trees, instead of native ones – yet it seemed to
fit in perfectly beautifully). I always have the best trips when I don’t care where I’m going, or really how I get there. The park I was headed to was closed by the time I got there, but I didn’t care at all. I was peacefully happy to simply arrive and turn back toward the road. It seems I am not a woman of Destinations. I’m a woman of Motion. My destination is my own – in my own mind’s

Out there on a road somewhere is who I am. I’ve spent the past dozen years, literally, trying to be what my fan club wants of me. I realized out there that I gained their admiration so many years
ago for just this trait: Motion and unchained Freedom. But at the same time, somehow, they also disrespect me – the same traits that they admire, they disrespect, because it means I will never calm down, settle, be “stable” (by society’s definition). I will always be poor. On the edge of death, with a crappy half-broken car and no food. But a little bit of gas and a beautiful day. I have been told, and somehow believed it for so many years, that there’s something *wrong* with me. That I’m unhealthy, somehow, because I can’t STAY. “Sit! Stay!”. Out there yesterday I realized that I am not. It isn’t unhealthy – it’s who I AM. There are a myriad of traits within the human race and it’s so wrong to insist that everyone settle within the same lines and values. What’s unhealthy is to try to restrain my traveling blood and build up a portfolio of Cubicle and Promotion and Suit and House, Kids, Pension. These things that society wants are too costly for me. They don’t *fit*. And so I have spent 12 years trying to adjust myself to my life’s circumstances. I was not born stunningly beautiful, the voice of someone like Alison Krause, wealthy or highly educated. My life circumstances are mediocrity at best – average attraction (everyone seems to know someone who looks like me, so I must be fair common LOL), no outstanding entertainment talents, very poor. So these circumstances say you enter Society and build your way up, build a future. But I am larger than life. I myself, the traits that make me whole and happy, do not fit within that mold set for me. I am Gypsy. And to try to be anyone else, follow anyone else’s road, is Unhealthy. Maybe this means I will always be poor. Maybe this means I will always be alone. But maybe…just maybe… there is another spirit out there somewhere traveling, always on the road, inspired and  understanding that it’s not unhealthy to avoid the white-picket-fence 2.4-children. That it’s ok to Wander. Maybe, just maybe, one day we’ll meet on the same road. Someone who thinks that yes, it’s nice to have a home “base” – someplace to come back to, but they don’t necessarily always have to *be* there.

So every day I exist among the masses, work along side them in average jobs where their minds are full of thoughts of children, husbands, wives, boyfriends, kids, house, rent, bills, whatever television program is popular at the time. My mind is full of 1,000 adventures in any given moment. I think in terms of prose, philosophy, music, spirituality, Dreamer. And yes, romance. I do not really meet with them at any place in the day, no *connection*. I listen, I am interested in their lives and their worlds, but they are totally foreign to me. They discuss their pregnancies and look upon me with pity and sternness for my lack of babies at my age. As though it just didn’t work out for me. My replies of “I don’t want to have babies” is met with blank uncomprehending expressions. And then I get the lecture about how wonderful children are, how giving, how fulfilling, as though my lack of wanting that Procreate value is somehow offensive to them. Insulting to them. Sometimes they’ll even try the tactic of informing me that they’ve heard “menopause is much, much worse for women who haven’t had children” LOL! Oh well then hey – that’s a reason to populate the world, eh? I’d better run right out and make some babies! LOL. It doesn’t mean I wouldn’t raise children with someone else, if I had a wife that wanted to bear them. They’d just be raised with frequent road trips. *grin*

And here, hardcore, is the difference the open road makes to my restless mind: yesterday before I left I had the song “Hole” (Kelly Clarkson – My December) stuck in my head. Couldn’t get it out. Had to play it several times over. I was just *there*. “There’s a hole, inside of me, it’s so damned cold – slowly killing me”.

On my way back last night, I played the song “Be Still” (KC – My December) like 8 times or more, in a row. Basically from like Luling, to the edge of Austin. This is a song that had never previously *connected* anywhere inside me. I thought it was nice, appreciated the sentiment, but fast forwarded through it. Last night I hit “forward” on “Hole” and instead was completely *there* in
“Be Still”. It finally landed home. On the open road, with that content peace and serenity in my mind. “Be still. Let it go.”. That is the mark of a truly good musician: to *connect* with an audience at various different points in their days, in their lives, instead of just that “one mood” mode which is so popular and encouraged by label execs. Kelly refuses to sit still on the scale. Just as I now refuse to sit still.


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