It's overwhelming that I'm still alive right now to say these things. It's unexpected, and more than pleasantly surprising.
Relatively recently, I very legitimately thought that I was going to die. Like, cease to exist. Quit breathing. Dissolve.
But I didn't die, and today my bank called me not once, but twice because some lunatic was up late last night, pacing back and forth and cradling her laptop like a baby, using my credit cards to book a flight from London to Reykjavík to Toronto, hire a car in Keflavík, and schedule an ice caving adventure in Jökulsárlón for this November.
It's almost as if my bank has never met me. Obviously, that lunatic was absolutely me. In fairness, though, the majority of my wandering shenanigans have been either crowdfunded or attached to grants from the National Science Foundation or the National Parks Service. I think that this is the first time in my life during which I've worked my hours and paid all of my dues. And goodness gracious, this lunatic has some plans.
My November is, more or less, booked. And I'm using Iceland as a halfway house to my lovely friends in the Eurozone (and the U.K., hello Hannah!) as well as a halfway house to my own survival. Funny, because I'm doing Iceland solo, and doing lots of things that could probably kill me. The sun doesn't really rise in Iceland during November, and the weather can be unpredictable and temperamental; however, I was raised in Michigan snow and I've driven through insane blizzards in Colorado and I've survived fish-tailing in Detroit...so we'll just do our best to not get the rental car lodged into a snow bank, shall we? I fully intend to drive a car I've never heard of before now, walk on a glacier and under ice caves, search for an American plane crash, dance with the Northern lights, flirt with several volcanoes, and drive the entirety of the Icelandic Route 1. All because I can, and I will.
I am jumping out of my skin, excited. But still, it's a lot to think about and a lot to do, and kind of a lot of money. Not in the grand scheme of things, but considering the fact that I was flat broke just six short months ago, it is. It's worth it, though. So much. My heart, it wants this. And I have to follow it if I want a glacier's chance in hell of staying healthy.
This period of growth is sporadic. It's combustible and spontaneous. It's random and so much like a sparkler or a spreading disease or a swarm of bees. And although I have November at my fingertips, I've recently acquired a three month hole in my end-of-summer plans. Possibly. Probably. Most likely. And the uncertainty is both a thrill and a terror. I could literally go anywhere and do anything with that time. I can keep wandering, if I can sustain myself for that long. I. Could. Go. Anywhere.
And it's interesting to see my friends and family during this time, taking root instead. In comparison, I appear to have lost my mind. I'm out here living day to day, week to week, making loose plans and tentative promises, just assuming that I'll find something in the middle of the nothing because I always do. But then there's everyone else, making solid plans and standing on foundations that are firm enough, allowing their roots to sink in and spread and weave and strengthen, making commitments and certain promises, growing up while I'm growing out.
There are certain commitments that I haven't allowed myself to make just yet. There are certain parts of me that I can't give away. There are still dark corners in my heart and some real fears, and I'd be lying to you if I claimed that my skin no longer felt like a prison for my spirit. It still does. I haven't had massive anxiety attacks over it since I've started to feel better, no clawing at my exoskeleton or searching desperately for the magic button that would open my ribcage; however, I still wish I could transcend this body. So I'll do it metaphorically, by taking my body where my spirit wishes to go.
I am, after all, prone to wander.