One eye on the horizon

Over the past few weeks I have come to recognise a flaw in my thinking, and I have been attempting to rationalise this so I can tackle and resolve it (yes this what a Psychology degree does to you!).

My current travel plan is based on me leaving the country in 16 months time, potentially forever.  So with regards to relationships, my thinking for quite a while has been along the lines of "Oh I cant do that right now because Im leaving soon".  

Partly because I didnt want to be tempted to stay, partly because I didnt want to get hurt or hurt anyone by leaving, partly because it seemed the right choice to make.

And yet...and yet...the life I am choosing is a life of constant change, a life of perpetual motion.  I will always be "leaving soon".  And while I am genuinely happy to be on my own right now, I definitely would one day like to find a man who I want to spend the rest of my life with.  Someone who shares my desire for travel, not someone who tags along because it is what I want.  Someone who sees every horizon as a challenge.

I know the chances of me finding this man right here in Cumbria are very low.  I know that I am far more likely to find him when I am moving in circles of people who travel, wanderers, nomads, adventurers.  This certainty that my man is not right where I am now is another reason why I havent really considered relationships as an option currently.

But realistically, staying single for however many years it takes to meet Mr Nomad because I will be "leaving soon" is not the clever option.

  1. It means I will miss out on so many amazing, intense (and yes heartbreaking) experiences.  I am choosing to travel because I want to experience more, not less.
  2. It means I will miss out on so much love and friendship.  I love to love people.  I believe that loving for love's sake is one of the best things about being human.  Love is never wrong. 
  3.  If I always have the "I cant" frame of mind, there is every chance that I will walk right on by Mr Nomad without even noticing he is there.
  4. If I spend years and years alone, the chances are that even if I do have the good sense to notice Mr Nomad, I wont be able to make the relationship work.  Like everything else in life, we learn from experience.  And as we get older, the things we arent involved in get more challenging to us.
This whole issue applies to family and friendship too, and the same answers apply.  Just because a relationship can only be transient, doesnt mean it has to be meaningless.  In fact, to survive the loneliness of long-term travel, it is all the more important that the temporary connections we make with family, friends and lovers are filled to overflowing with meaning.

I am only too aware of how challenging I will find it to build relationships in a way which is completely meaningful at the time, but also retain the ability to let go of them without losing myself.  I fall in love hard, fast and totally.  I am the faithful puppy-dog and I find it oh so incredibly difficult to let anything or anyone I love go.  

But now I have identified this shift in how I need to think about things, I can work on it.  If Im honest, it terrifies me.  But I will work on it, I will practice.  I will practice loving my friends, my family and others with so much passion and depth, not holding back because "Im leaving soon".  Not loving in spite of the imminent departure, but because of it.  This life is a series of moments that fly past us, nothing is permanent.  To live in the present means to love in the present.  I hope that this attitude is the best way to frame how I relate to others to maximise my ability to one day form a relationship that will span many many moments.

Yes it will be heartbreaking, yes it will leave me feeling numb over and over and over again, but this is the life I choose.


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