It hasn’t hit me in a long time, but today the urge to “Go” is sitting sqarely on my chest. During idle hours I take a mental inventory of my apartment, selling each item and hoarding the cash to be spent on a ticket, on gas, on a pair of shoes.
A very strong or irresistible impulse to travel.
I can’t go. I don’t have the money, or a passport or the banked vacation time. And this is what I have to repeat in my head when I pass the airport, with my hand far enough away from the turning signal at the exit that I don’t tempt my self-control.
I went out to the woods last night, though dragged would be a better verb. There’s this deep, dark lake the colour of cola a short walk off the main road and apparently it’s a great place to cool off in the summer. But this being a cool night already, I wasn’t feeling it.
We wore life jackets and Heidi chose the broken boogie board. I’m not a strong swimmer (I never made it passed Otter) and the lake is deep so making it to the other side and back requires some artificial floating.
I almost couldn’t do it. I’m not an aquatically adventerous person – I have no problem getting my hair cut in a foreign country by some hairdresser who doesn’t speak English and who only offers soviet fashion magazines as aides. But throw in a water trap and I freeze up.
Even on the ferry ride to PEI I get squeamish looking over the edge, fearful that I’ll lose control and suddenly leap over the railing into the frothy waves. It don’t make no sense.
So I stood by the side of this lake while BJ and Heidi were trying to convince me that it wasn’t so bad. I just stood there staring down at where my feet would be if the lake had been clear.
“Don’t worry! It’s really deep!” wasn’t what I wanted to hear. In my head I could picture myself just jumping in but everytime I thought I could do it, I would recoil with giddy reluctance. I was annoyed with the other two because they put me in this position and a little annoyed at myself for being such a chicken.
Finally, I managed to ignore what was happening in my head and dove in. Not so much dove, as moved forward wetly but I was in and that’s what counts. I made it across and back, continually smothering the irrational hesitation that had almost cemented my feet to the shore. I was done in record time.
The relief of completing the task quickly turned into frustration. I always tell myself that I’m going to do these great adventerous things – travel solo to off beat places, meet crazy people, do crazy things… but I can’t even jump in a lake without flipping my wig (as the cool kids say).
Fear, hesitation and excuses – they’ll gum things up every time. I’m not unhappy but I’m definitely not satisfied with how things are right now. I think this current bout of wanderlust is more than just the drive to travel somewhere, but it’s a deep need to change my status quo and shake the cobwebs out of my foggy head.
There’s a line of song you probably don’t know, “there must be more than this”, that keeps playing in my head over and over. Whatever it is, I really hope it’s not on the other side of some creepy lake. But even if it is, I hope I can still get there.