They catch up with me on the ferry.
Having been sat waiting in the back seat of the car for a few weeks, their patience is running short.
And now, here they are. Wanting answers.
I try my best to blend into the crowd. Make myself invinsible as I keep moving around the boat, careful our paths do not cross. At this stage, I know the moves of this dance by heart.
But there it is.
A hand on my shoulder.
No escaping this.
"Excuse me madam”. It is Anxiety. Ever so formal, despite the fact that we have been acquainted for years now. “We have reason to believe you have not reported to any signs of catastrophy lately. May we have a look at your papers please?"
"Oh… right", I mumble as I rumble through my belongings. "Let's see... I am sure I have them somewhere around here." I attempt a light hearted chuckle before I find a piece of scrap paper at the bottom of my rucksack; my future dreams jotted down in byro barely readable. He flicks through it. Lets out a "oh dear” in perfect syncronisation with a slight sideways head shake.
"It is worse than expected."
Reality Check, that has been quiet up until this point, lets out a sigh. We all know what is coming. The next couple of hours we spend on that rocking boat as we go through the same old "what will become of you?", "how are you gonna pay the bills?", “is it not about time you settle down?“ "what do you mean no retirement fund?", "you really gonna be a waitress all your life?"
Perhaps it is growing up in generation Y, presented with so many possibilities it seems impossible to know in which direction to go?
Or maybe it is being born on the cusp of Gemini-Cancer, cursed to crave comfort and stability as much as adventure?
Quite frankly, I have not a clue what “will become of me” but it is a question that troubles me from time to time. I look to my friends and I see university diplomas, engagements, persuading passions, buying real estate and general act-togetherness. My own comfort zone when it comes to commitment is currently somewhere around the four month-mark. As long as I have the next four months planned ahead, I feel quite alright. It is a very fine line to balance on the tightrope between freedom and comfort.
There is ever that conflict. The clouds and their silver linings. I mean, as much as I too would love to get rooted, build a nest for myself, grow mint on the window sill and enjoy a sit-com like friendship with the peeps of my building… yet it seems the more places I go, my list of places to go never seems to decrease. My pulse raises just the same by flipping through a world atlas now as it did some ten years ago. It is my high school crush still growing strong.
It is not that life is coloured in pastels and rainbows wherever I go. Travelling can be lonesome and gruesome and stressful and at times you might find yourself crying at 7-eleven with umpteen onlooking faces wondering why you are hugging a bag of rice, or figuring out the best way to get out of a taxi still moving, or having the car breakdown in the middle of a steep city hill.
But there are these moments. Like when you are the filling in the sandwhich that consists of you and your two backpacks, carrying all your possessions onto your next destination. It is sitting on a rocking bus in a country where you do not speak the language and every bump of the road seems to shake the life back into your soul. It is meeting and connecting with strangers you would never ever have gotten the pleasure to meet in your tiny village.
So yes, dear world, I would love to keep dating for yet another few years.
We can deal with that other stuff later.