Things About Busting Out

Sometimes I can feel the four walls of the choices I have made closing in around me like the trash compactor in A New Hope (If you don't get that reference, I have nothing but sympathy and suggestions for recovering you childhood for you). I am fantastically busy - so much so that the idea of adding one more activity to the list borders on tear-jerking. The trouble is that I find myself drowning in everybody else's business. This is not the business of me. This is the business of the people that I owe money to, the friends in need, the children I am raising - the choices I have made - closing in, all around me.

I can find The Joy in the things every day that I Must Do, but secretly, in my heart, I long for The Joy to find me. To seek me out. To pursue me relentlessly like a puppy who needs my involvement Right This Second. I can make the best of things, see the cup half full, bloom where I am planted and all of that jazz - I am a pro - really, I am. But I ache to wake up, once again overcome by happiness, and the knowledge that I am known. I am doing my OWN business. It's about me. It hasn't been the season for that lately - there's just been too much outside of me that needed tending, so the weeds have taken over my internal garden in the same fashion that they would a real garden if I ever tried to have one.

But the sun is out, and my dormant soul is pushing back against the walls of obligation and duty. So much so that I just Googled airfare prices for next week to three different continents, then map-quested a semi-reasonable road trip that I could actually manage. I need to fly. I've been feeling it for a couple of weeks. Maybe longer, but it was quiet until recently and I could ignore it. Not any more. I am restless and frustrated, and I need the open road to remember me and all of our good times. I need to remind the springtime that I am more than the sum of my many children and jobs and commitments. More than a teacher, a waitress, a mother, a chauffeur - I am a Wildling trapped in an SUV and a rental agreement. I stare out the window of my classroom some moments and feel my breath come short and shallow, as if the air has been cut off completely by the finger-smudged glass.

Maybe I don't have somebody to ride shotgun for - maybe alone is better anyway. Maybe I am discontent - but if nobody was ever discontent, I feel like we'd still be grunting at each other over our gourdfuls of seeds and berries, and waxing philosophical about how the idea of a wheel isn't very practical really. All that traveling. A little bit of restless is what it takes to get over the mountains, and I am grateful that my restless isn't dead yet.

It's time to break this 100 mile radius that I have circled for months on end. It's time to cross state lines, bend the rules and make up my story as I go, choosing to tell only The Ones I please when I am done. It is time to expand my heart again, to take in more than this tiny little town and all of the hurts and aches and struggles that the winter has fed it. I know that out there The Joy is waiting. It's calling for me to come and play. The air smells different in Montana. In Oregon. In Idaho. Along the highway. Maybe I won't hit Mexico, but I can get started. Wait for me, Someplace, I am coming...

Chief Mountain, Glacier National Park

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