The house I grew up in had a brick ledge that marked the entrance to my parent’s flower garden. I could climb to the top of this ledge, high above the vibrant red roses and black and yellow bumblebees and watch as life unfolded in our quiet, suburban neighborhood outside Chicago. Most afternoons would find me perched on the warm, grey cement of this ledge with a journal in hand, staring up towards the sky as planes flew overhead—imagining the exotic, far flung destinations they would be going. Maybe that plane was en route to London? Perhaps that one had just come back from Asia? At that age the possibilities were endless and the world was wondrous as I imagined all the places yet to explore. Now, at age 26, I am still that little girl perched high above my reality and looking towards my next adventure.
Back then, the dreams of a 10 year old girl in worn overalls and too-big glasses were endearing but now? It seems the world is less tolerant of the ramblings and fantasies of an adult dreaming of traveling the world. I rarely write personal posts here but, in the off chance that a reader with wings has found themselves in love with someone with roots–these words are for you.
The man I love is my best friend, confidante, and touchstone. He is incredibly kind, tender, smart, comfortable and happy with an idyllic vision of his future that includes a loving family, gaggle of children, a large home and gorgeous backdrop that combines nature with the ease of city life. I want desperately to get on board with this lovely vision of what my future could be, to one day grow roots and watch them grow into a beautiful home. Perhaps one day I will. At age 26 though, I seem to still be that little girl looking towards the sky in hopes of spreading my wings and flying.
I will be traveling solo to Buenos Aires, will be in Indonesia this Fall and as my travel writing develops and my travel blog grows, so too does the fire behind my passion to see the world. The vision of my life–or at least the next couple years of it–is a kaleidoscope of volunteering abroad, backpacking the world, submerging myself in various cultures, meeting people from different backgrounds and growing emotionally, physically, spiritually and personally through travel. Having missed out on studying abroad during college, it is my dream to see The Pin the Map Project fulfilled and venture the globe. I dream of backpacking in South America, volunteering with elephants in Thailand, finding spirituality in Nepal and eating my way through Europe.
The more effort and time I pour into my writing, the more palpable my dreams seem–as though they are so close I can hardly fail to grasp them. What I couldn’t account for was love and the conundrum of choosing between chasing my dreams or following my heart. The man I love has roots and I have wings and here we sit at an impasse, unsure of how our story will unfold and how we’ll fit into one another’s futures. While the realization that life may eventually lead us down different paths has cast a bittersweet shadow over our relationship, we both realize that all we can do is keep breathing, knowing that all we have–all any of us truly have–is this given moment and at this moment we love each other.