I’ve been wondering what drives people to change or at least the want to change?
For the last 12 years I have lived in this city of more than a couple of million people and yet I feel like I’m trapped in a cage. I’m immeasurably bored with my life and feel aimless and without any direction. A couple days ago, rather than do any work or take steps towards change, I slept late, showered, and headed to the dentist for a cleaning.
If I move overseas or travel around this country, what will I do about regular visits to doctors and dentists? Do I come back to this place once a year with everything scheduled around the same time? Or do I just see whoever is local? What do other people who don’t have a permanent place to call home do?
With my teeth nice and clean, I headed to another appointment, only to discover upon my arrival that the person I was meeting with thought they had told me they wouldn’t be able to make it. My reaction was, as it always is…. I was understanding and accommodating.
So I got in my car and drove. No destination in mind, I drove. Empty; no thoughts. I just drove and drove. My body’s muscle memory just took control, moving the car forward and around turns. Pushing forward on green, pausing on red. I found myself at a place I often eat, without the memory of having driven myself there. The engine was off. I had no appetite.
So I started the car back up and drove. I found myself in another part of town – again the result of driving without a destination in mind – near the best of the mediocre bookstores that still remain. I had been spending a lot of time looking at books of far off lands – places which have seemed more like dreams than possibilities. Travel books can give interesting overviews of a place, but there usefulness is limited to those places and topics of interest to temporary visitors, not the issues or concerns of someone considering a more permanent visit. Having already looked through every book in the store on places that generate even a small spark of interest, I had no desire to go in. The place feels like a hospital. The employees like patients who are stuck in the kind of limbo that life support provides. Not dead yet, but not able to recover to a healthy state. All the bookstores in this town are depressing. I went past and continued to drive.
That’s pretty much how the rest of my day went; shifting from place to place without thought. At some point I put on a favorite album from a year ago. I started to reconnect with the world as I drove and listened to the music. The lack of awareness I had while driving was replaced with a general numbness. I listened and drove. I didn’t think all that much. I felt catatonic and a sense of blankness on my face, a blandness about my being.
After hours of driving, I was back at that place I sometimes eat, ordering the same food I always order. Sitting there, I spent some time reflecting on where the day had gone, and wondered if the day was some sort of preview of what life would be like if I chose the option of traveling around my home country. Would I find myself traveling from place to place with numbness as a companion?
I desperately need to change my life.