Walking Forwards Backwards

Life is a hospital in which every patient is obsessed with changing beds…It always seems to me that I’ll be well where I am not, and this question of moving is one that I’m forever entertaining with my soul.’…’poets’, who could not be satisfied with the horizons of home even as they appreciated the limits of other lands, whose temperaments oscillate between hope and despair, childlike idealism and cynicism. – Alain de Botton, The Art of Travel.

I, for all of my almost-two-decade-long life so far, have been walking forwards facing backwards. Partly because I want to remember what the past was, and to hold on that whatever that is that made me the person I am today. But mostly because I am an adrenaline junkie. Not in the sense that I want to go zip-lining every waking moment, but more like I want to always have exciting things happening in my life.

I love surprises and suspense, I have a need to constantly be moving, doing something, being someone. I detest repetition; I would never fare well as a factory conveyor belt worker. I like to let my imagination go free, free of anticipations and restraints. If nothing is planned, then everything is possible. I fantasize about my future, but I would be unhappy if those fantasies came true, because then what would I have left? The emptiness of a fulfilled expectation has a dull ache that sticks around, and I don’t like it.

At times I can be the dreamer, a true believer of improbable and far-flung ideals. Other instances I can be the cynic, the critic of fruitless endeavors and the killer of wishes made upon a star. That star is probably very far away and probably also dead. This juggling fuels my constant urge to come and go.

If I stay at one place for too long, it will become home, and if I stay home for too long I will get bored. Then it is time to find a new home, so that I could say I miss the last one. Some might say the desire to not settle down is the desire to not be happy. I can understand that. But honestly I’m not seeking happiness. I just want to live for the heck of it.

And so I keep moving. It always seems to me that I have a place I need to be right now that is not right here. I need to pack my bags and hop on the next flight out. Sounds a bit tiresome, but I live for the thrills. And there won’t be any thrill if I can see what’s going to happen. So, I walk towards the future, bum-first.

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