Well, well, well. I am back in Brooklyn after a whirlwind few weeks. I returned from Wales, got the flu, speed recovered by consuming copious amounts of Wellness Formula and Emergen-C and flew to Miami for a girls weekend. I got home yesterday. My suitcase is unpacked and is laying neatly next to all of the clothes from my trip to Wales.
I’m a little relieved to be back to some normalcy, though it does feel odd to not have something planned for the months ahead of me. A Miami guide is in the making but for now, it is just about being back in my world. I always imagine traveling to be this very relaxing and grounding time where I’ll have hours to sift through myself and feel peacefully bored. However, traveling is actually totally different. It’s wonderful and exciting, but I am rarely bored. Endless hours of introspection and peace always seem to be replaced by days of adventuring and activity seeking. I want to find the best beach and the greatest meal and the burgeoning art scene and the local hang out. I want to immerse myself in the location and feel like I soaked up as much as I could before the plane door closes. I have the freedom and control to do whatever I want on my vacation and usually, I want to do it all.
I’ve realized that when I imagine vacation what I actually imagine is being 14 years old; laying on beaches on the Greek Islands all day with nothing to do and only my mom and my brother to hang out with. The days were endless and if I finished my book to soon I was stuck with nothing to read, feeling too old for sand castles and too young for cocktails. I spent my time idling away hours at the pool, dangling my feet in the water, only breaking my teenage brooding to ask my mom for an ice cream or a bottle of Fanta. These infinite hours of self absorption and boredom do not really have space in my world as they once did. When I think about being a teenager it is the amaranthine boredom and self consciousness that I recall. The ability to think about nothing for hours without stress or anxiety. No responsibilities or To -Do Lists to sneak into my mind. I hated it and yearned for it to pass but now I am a little jealous of it. Don’t get me wrong, I love how I vacation. I love that I research before I leave and that I feel like I’m getting an authentic experience of a city. But a small part of me misses that melancholic teenager . Perhaps I am realizing that the girl who could spend a day staring at chipped toe nails under water whilst drinking a can of coca-cola through a straw, is getting further and further away. Perhaps I am homesick for family vacations vacant of responsibility and autonomy.
I know I could never go back to that now. That listlessness and wistfulness is long gone. It’s just so strange. The way things change. The way you get everything you want and you still sometimes look back longingly for the insecure girl day dreaming about adventure and freedom. When I was a teenager, I don’t recall longing to be little (though I suppose I did). But in my twenties that longing for my younger years is much more tangible. More than the longing though, it is what the people tell me about how I will grasp for each decade as I outgrow it. I can so easily imagine being thirty and yearning for the freelance, sleeping in, personal -growth-focused girl I am today. So I guess the message is, revel in it. What I didn’t know as I sat under the sun, in my purple bikini, drawing circles in the sand was what I do know now. This moment is fleeting. Permanence is the myth we are told. This wandering twenty-year-old Brooklyn girl will be looked on with so much affection by my older self. So why not love her now?