I have been feeling overwhelmed lately.
I put the blame entirely on having been stuck in one place for over 2 years.
I keep going back to thoughts of the beauty of living an untethered life. Not fully – I think a fully untethered life is impossible – as there would always be people and feelings that pull you back in.
But the wonder of it, I enjoy thinking about. No responsibilities. No plans. No overthinking. Just endless possibilities.
Leave when you want to. Stay if you’re compelled to. Reinvent yourself just because you feel like it.
Then I bought a house last year and one day I was sitting down with my spreadsheets and, while excited, my vivid imagination made me hear a sound that suspiciously sounded like a metal chain lock snapping shut.
I’ve just tethered myself to a huge responsibility.
I sat there, reluctantly thinking about the fact that over the past couple of years I have been chaining myself to more and more of these, when I have for the longest time done my best – sometimes intentionally, sometimes not – to avoid that.
It was a revelation, actually. Something that I bothered two of my friends about, which showed me exactly how lucky I am that I have these two men in my life who would take time out of their marriages, daily routine, and work to help me process my tangled thoughts and figure out where the strings go.
I did not like where the strings went. Initially.
But in a move that would make my therapist proud, I explored how I really felt about becoming a home owner and the responsibilities that come along with it, stamping down on my knee-jerk reaction of just fleeing.
(My flight instinct is legendary, the classic example being ending a two-year relationship because the guy started talking about marriage. In my defence, I was just 24.)
So, I thought about it. The need for stability in terms of resources for the next two decades. Not being able to leave and say “let others deal with it” when things go awry. Probably eating ramen a couple of nights here and there when I’ve spent over my budget. Maintenance work. Just really committing myself to all the responsibilities that come along with it.
Fucking big word.
But for the first time, I didn’t hate it. And I’m slowly starting to get excited about it again to the point that I’ve been doing some planning on my next steps.
(To be clear, we’re still just talking about home ownership. I’ve not yet thought how this applies to other aspects of my life.)
Do I still think about living an untethered life? Yes, of course. It’s fun.
Do I still want to live it? Yes, but maybe another version. One that makes room for connections that are important and enriching. Be that people, places, feelings, or responsibilities.
Finally becoming an adult at 35. That’s something to try, I guess.