Everyone always tries to romanticize it.
How wonderful it must be to be a wanderer,
Where everything is beautiful
and none of it lasts.
Bridges and waterfalls and skyscrapers
and street lights and taxi cabs and rickshaws
and marble and glass and pebbles and straw
and you never know when you’ll come back.
You never have to solve your problems
you just have to wait them out
because you’ll be leaving soon
and none of it will matter
when you’re in a place where no one knows you.
It must be thrilling to feel the South African sun,
the Australian sand
the Brazilian rain
and to belong to none of it and all of it
all at the same time
You must laugh as the clouds sink beneath you
and you soar on to the next adventure
because it’s all an adventure
and you’re all so
But they don’t understand how
the summertime brings suitcases
and friendships fade by fall
even though you swore not to let it happen
it always happens.
People move on and people forget and
they can’t help it.
It’s just the way it is.
Days and months and years go by
and there are people you still think about every day
and you wonder how they are and what they’re doing but
you don’t have any real way of knowing.
You still remember how to greet in Arabic
and how to say goodbye in Spanish and
how to tell someone you love them in Bahasa.
If you went to Japan, you could tell someone your name
and how old you are and ask them the same because of
the friend you met in Gambia who taught you.
You catch yourself thinking in French and sometimes you can’t
think of the right words in English.
Early mornings and headaches at the airport
watching your bags on the moving belt
then you roll them outside and it’s so cold.
You crawl into a new bed that night and you cry
after you smiled for the strangers who were so happy to see you.
It’s exhausting and you long to belong.
Sometimes you wish you could trade your experiences
For their sense of home and family
Because you have so many homes and families your head spins
and you wonder if you really have any at all.
The sky doesn’t look the same here
The water doesn’t taste the same here
People aren’t the same here and yet people are always the same
wherever you go.
And we write and write and write and can’t explain it
although we try.
We can only capture pieces
Some of it is good, some of it is bad.
All of it is ours.
And they listen and listen and listen and can’t understand
no matter how hard they try.
So they say it must be wonderful to be us.
And it is.
And it isn’t.
It really isn’t.
But it is.
Some days I want to give it all up but if I did
that would just be another change and I’ve already gone through
Some days I swear I’ll buy a house and live there until I die
and I romanticize staying in one place forever
It must be so easy to be happy
without homes and memories and friends
so far away.
Everything you are is right there
And none of you is missing.
I wonder if I’ll ever be a whole person again.
But for now I’m a wanderer and all I am is plane tickets
and passports and pictures in my wallet.
And I learn and I love and I lose.
Hello and goodbye over and over and over and over.
And it’s hard.
And it hurts.
And I’m not sure how much longer I can do this.
So I try to romanticize it.
And I tell myself it’s worth it
to know beautiful things even if they don’t last
because nothing lasts at all.