I’ve lived in exactly six places my entire life. It is a relatively short, fixed list of places, but in my imagination I am actually more of a wanderer. I see different versions of myself living all over the world and mentally I plan relocations every few years. I imagine what it would be like to not set down roots other than those belonging to my family, to get a clean slate whenever I felt like moving. In my imagination, this gives me great joy though in reality I’d definitely freak out. I’m pretty terrible at adjusting to change which is probably why I spend my time imagining moves rather than actually making them.
I imagine geeking out in Seattle, Washington. There I attend all the conventions and book festivals I’ve always missed out on by living on the East Coast. But I don’t try the seafood because I’m still pretty sure I’m allergic to it. So eventually I move to Portland, Oregon where I visit dive bars and industrial music spaces. I tour their famous food trucks while I’m there, too, just because I can. And then when I start missing the hustle and bustle of the North East, I hop a plane to New York City where I finally land a job in the publishing industry. I hate wearing heels and business attire every day, but I do it because it’s my dream job and I can secretly go barefoot under my desk.
When I’m feeling really adventurous I even imagine what it would be like to live abroad, to spend a few years in Edinburgh, Scotland admiring the green of the Highlands or passing time at a writer’s retreat somewhere in Italy, stuffing myself full of homemade pasta. But those are my crazy days, really; I’d probably never survive living abroad for too long.
Still, I try out all these new things and new places because I’m young and I can. I wander from place to place, following my whims because why not? The world is bigger than my bubble and I want to know its secrets. Why just visit it when I can live it?
Of course some of the things in my visions always remain the same, no matter where they take place. I’m always on a train or walking around – because apparently even fantasy me can’t drive – and there’s always an apartment with a view, never a whole house. There’s sunshine streaming in from big windows, a fresh breeze coming from outside, and always my library magically manages to travel with me. I’m writing again, too. My adventures and new friends have inspired my characters and words are leaping off the page, happy to finally be free of my brain.
In my imagination I am a wanderer, but in reality I’m happy where I am right now. I’m fantasizing about Technicolor grass when what I already have is a vibrant shade of green. I’m not saying that I don’t dream of still bigger and better things for the future, but I’m truly happy with the life that I have where it is. I might contemplate city-hopping and trading identities for fun, but I’m not ready to hit the road just yet. I think I have at least a few more years here, a little more time before I’m ready for my next adventure. Where that adventure will ultimately take me, I have no idea. Maybe it’ll be Seattle. Maybe Portland or New York City. There’s no telling where my life will lead and right now I’m kind of ok with that.
I’ll leave the wandering to my imagination.