Not to stay

I’m afraid of a million things: of bumpy plane journeys, doctor’s diagnoses, riding rollercoasters, and loud noises in the street. But my greatest fear was perhaps the prospect of living a lukewarm life, one of routine and repeats of experiences that grow increasingly mundane until the emotion becomes numbed. I’m addicted to the new, even if it’s only to cure my own anxieties. Every time that I know something well enough to take it for granted, an urge moves within me to seek another frontier. It could be the road signs becoming familiar, the weather predictable, or the once exotic expressions losing their mysterious touch. I become bored, agitated, compelled not to stay.

I am very aware that this restlessness is probably a fault in my nature, and that’s when a feeling of guilt creeps in. I tell myself that I should be happy to live life in my small hometown; I should be content to have a stable job there and a patch of land or real estate to call my own. I imagine the world prescribing me some cruel irony for wanting to go against the grain, for me going out and trying to live life differently from my first world comfort. But since I was a child, I knew that I never wanted to stay in my hometown. When people told me that I was brave back then and when people tell me I am brave now, I think to myself, “the bravest thing, the most difficult thing, would be to stay”.

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