Submitted Date 11/18/2019


I reached a certain point where I thought, if things are this bad, then what is the point of living? I think differently now. I have a better grasp on life and its sufferings, but at the time that is how I felt. The remedy to this was change. I cleaned out my apartment, gave most of my things away or threw them out, quit, my job, packed up my car, and headed, well, somewhere. I had no idea where I was going. But I needed to get out of the city, needed a change of lifestyle, and needed a change of job.

I had the means at the time to do this, but it was still a drastic cut in my pay to leave one of my jobs. Mornings during this time were different. I woke up in a lot of different places all over the United States: Iowa, Oregon, California, Nevada, New Mexico. Then France, and so on. I was living with the excitement of not necessarily knowing where I would be the next day. Imagining where I would be in a year seemed impossible. If I was in a hotel, I would wake up and realize where I was. Sometimes this took a second. Waking up in hotels during that period of time could be depressing. There is a sense of loneliness staying at hotels on the road, by yourself.

The decor and quality of the place had an impact. Sometimes the smell was horrible when I checked into a room and by the morning I'd become accustomed to it. Your senses can adapt to most things. You see people with purpose all around you. Families, retired couples, and mostly construction workers. There weren't many drifters like myself. Almost always, I would turn the television on to cancel out the loneliness. I would still have the same flood of anxiety when I awoke. Yet, this time it wasn't different. I didn't feel like staying in bed.

The boundless freedom I had could be debilitating in ways that I had not anticipated. Choices were all on me. Now people may think they would give anything for that sense of freedom. There is nothing stopping you from doing it, and I suggest you do. Because then you can appreciate the constraints of daily habits and rituals so much more. Freedom is an important lesson in balance. I would check my text messages or lack thereof, then my email.

During this period any sort of communication helped to keep me feeling grounded. Like I wasn't just dust blowing in the wind. Daylight brought a safety insurance that nighttime didn't offer. There was a bonus in that. I would get up, let my dog out (who insisted on sleeping in his own bed most of the time). Then, I would go get breakfast and coffee. The breakfast at hotels was mostly disgusting. The coffee most of the time was not that good. It's almost impossible to find something that isn't drenched in sugar or just low quality. You put your food on the flimsy styrofoam plate, and go sit amongst the people listening to the morning news. Most of the time, no matter where I went ,the channel was on Fox News.

I'd go back to my room, shower, and hit the road with more optimism than I had when I woke up. The road is always a cure for my blues. If I wasn't at hotels during this almost a year and a half period, I was at friend's places. Sometimes waking up was a great feeling. Mostly on the weekends. Because I didn't have to think about how I didn't have a place to go during the day. I had to come up with own rhythm, my own way of life, where most of my friends were on the autopilot I used to exist on.

I would still check my phone for text messages, or lack of, and email. The flood of anxiety would settle over me, but maybe it wasn't as strong, depending on where I was. I'd get up, get dressed, and eat breakfast. I'd try to do some yoga before I got to work. Then at some point I'd shower. While I was in France the anxiety was greater. I was in an unfamiliar place where I didn't speak the language well. I would wake up dreading the interactions I would have that day. Feeling almost as if I was in a prison.

Sometimes I'd look at it different. I try to see most of my life as an experiment, or a learning experience. I'd apply this to the situation. The last of my travelling stint was in France during a particularly stressful time. I knew my stint was about to end, and there was a tremendous amount of anxiety in that. The universe was about to boot me out of where I thought I should be, to where I should be. I had started to drink less during this time, recognizing that hangovers contributed to my anxiety more than anything else.



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  • Jen Parrilli 1 month, 3 weeks ago

    Hi! I hate mornings, so reading your story has been validating. I know it's been a while, but are you going to write part 3?