Standing at the bus stop this morning listening to music again, it felt as though I had spent half the week waiting already – if it wasn’t the bus, it was at the ATM machine and if it wasn’t waiting in line at Tim Hortons for another coffee, it was waiting for someone to call or text in the evening.
Nobody called….and nobody texted.
I spent several years travelling around the world from South America to South East Asia, Australia, Europe and then a lot of travel to Africa. Honestly, when I left home I really thought that travelling around the world would allow me to “find myself” or to find answers to all the confusion that seemed to hover over my then current situation. It wasn’t just the job, it was everything – my lacklustre social life left me confused as to whether anything was getting better, my lack of ambition was obvious and my constant yearn to know what the purpose of life was all about was unrelenting.
I left home for the reasons above but while there were many answers on the travels, the experience of doing so seemed to bring forward even more questions than ever before.
However I know now that it was in this period that my life was most fulfilling, meeting new and exciting characters from different countries, waking up in a new destination each morning – eating pot noodles and feeling excited for what lay ahead that day or week. The new experiences changed me and everything I had come to know but it was the experience of being on the move that was most important – it made me feel like I was progressing in life, going somewhere and it made it feel as though I were closer to finding meaning even if that wasn’t true at all.
So now I’m at the bus stop again, with the same music and the same people standing alongside as the day before and the day before that. Nobody is calling and nobody is texting so I leave the bus stop and begin walking as a symbol for everything I wanted to change.
It was only in this moment I remembered what even I so easily forget from time to time – one of the most important lessons I learnt while travelling the world: The only way forward is to keep going and it is only with new experiences that we find the change we yearn for so much. It is not the fact that I am now in the big city that makes me feel like I am waiting, it is the fact that I have stopped moving forward, I have stopped looking for new experiences in my life, new people, a partner.
I walk not because of the bus, I walk because I want to move forward, to stop waiting for the ideal life to present itself and look for it instead.