Don’t Work, See the World

31 Oct

I have seen a lot of people die.  It’s partially why I have an insatiable, Ovidian curse that prompts me to give up my job every so often for a life of leisure; if by leisure we mean  contracting ringworm in an Eastern European hostel or accidentally becoming involved in a post soccer riot in the streets of Madrid with hooligans armed with jamón legs.  But, these things illuminate my mind, and so by taking the old Mexican adage extremely seriously, “Work to live, not live to work,” I feel like I am doing those who have gone before me, before their time, some sort of service.  I am using my life like it’s a dirty whore, but I have no choice.  I. Can’t. Stop.

At least I couldn’t.  I was one month from moving back to Tennessee from NYC sitting in Ted Danson’s New York apartment staring intently above his mantle at a small photo that said, “Don’t work, see the world” with an anarchy sign below it.

I sat wondering why he had anarchist graffiti as the most prominent piece of art in his living room, but also pondered how much my life was about to change.

At the time I had been living in New York for some years and every intention of moving back to Tennessee temporarily but moving overseas as soon as feasibly possible but I got lost somewhere. I got comfortable, and I stopped living for a year.

I got a serious(ly selfish) boyfriend, thought about buying a home, kept a job I hated even though I was constantly creeped out by my boss, and other things that are completely unlike me.

It was summer, my 30th birthday, when I knew it all had to stop.  I was reading a travel magazine and it showed the current ceiling progress for the Sagrada Familia in Barcelona.  I found the photo when I was last there and felt a growing rage at myself for how long I’ve been sitting around Nashville; stagnant, not watching anything but the grass grow.

Image

The journey can finally resume now.

Where does your wanderlust take you?

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Rachel Louise Martin, Ph.D.

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