And because of her, I have done more self-inspection than I have in a long long time.
What Tara writes, her experience of freedom, of following the soul... it speaks to me so loudly. The concept of ditching the 40-hour work week and living in the universe, truly free. It is an intoxicating thought.
I suppose in some ways, my psyche has revered this concept. Many laugh about my love for the eponymous trucker movie, Convoy, but there is a tie. I loved truckers as a kid because I saw in them rebellion. Today I realize they are the modern cowboy. They were to me a symbol of freedom in the United States. Living on the road, unshackled by the offices and cubicles that imprison so many of us. Of course, this is a romanticized image - the truth is never as glorious as the dream.
Or is it?
I remember a long time ago, I spoke of moving to Seattle. Of picking up and just living elsewhere for a change. I've lived in NYC for my entire life. I've only known city living - buildings, traffic, people, the hustle-bustle of daily metropolitan life. When driving through the country, or the occasional visit to friends in remote places, I've enjoyed the slow pace and peacefulness while always feeling a sense that something was missing. I talk about how I was bred a city-boy, and only the city life can truly nurture my soul.
Living in an apartment in Manhattan was the goal. I have that now.
But what I learned tonight... what I admitted to myself tonight... is that I do sometimes long to be that wandering spirit. The motorcyclist riding the highways on a personal journey. The spontaneous drive cross-country just because. The modern Pied Piper, traveling the world, stopping in a place just earn his keep for a bit, then moving on again.
Sometimes, I do want that. But I can't. Because I'm too fucking scared.
I'm scared of the uncertainty. I'm scared that I might not be able to pull it off. I'm scared of the lack of my own abilities for survival. I'm scared of not having the routine, something to expect.
Burning Man scares me. Moving scares me. Change... change terrifies me.
It is times like these that I feel weak. That somehow I am destined to just be a cog in the universe... and then I become terrified over the fact that I will lose out on so much LIFE. Experience. Living.
My bravery took another route. My family needed me so I walked up to the plate - I shouldered them. I discovered kink at 13, I grew depressed and self-hating because of it, got sick, and then shook off my shame and blazed my trail into the SM universe.
I'm materialistic. Very much so. The possessions I have surrounded myself with were bought because they were my symbols of success and independence. I look at my book collection, at my furniture, at my stuff, and I feel like I have succeeded. They bring me happiness. And then I read about Tara, and how her life is entirely contained in her van, and I look around my apartment, and I compare and contrast... and I feel something akin to panic.
I suppose I have traveled freely in my own little way. But then I read about Tara, and I suddenly feel so small again.
Is it folly to compare myself to her? Am I simply just a being who operates under a different checklist of life parameters? Is the grass on the other side playing me with its illusions? Is my longing to taste freedom real?
I wonder if I could do it. Just for a while. I think I want to. I want to press pause on my life, walk out of my apartment with car keys, and not come back for a year. But I also want my security blanket - I want everything I put down to still be waiting for me to pick back up.
I haven't yet because I am scared. I wonder if I can find the ability to be brave.