I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately.

Every time I say that to myself, I can’t help but think of “Kingdom Hearts.” Like a lot of people my age, video games have played a large role in my early life (when there was actually time to play them). I obsessively played Kingdom Hearts. The whole quote from the very beginning of the game is; “I’ve been having these weird thoughts lately. Like, is any of those for real, or not?” The whole premise of the game revolves around three young kids who dream of getting away and exploring lands unknown. Very befitting my situation if I really think about it.

I’ve been harboring ideas of wanderlust. Those unfamiliar with the term, it represents a strong desire or impulse to wander or travel and explore the world. To leave the familiar world behind and venture into the unknown. Those who “suffer” from it do so for various reasons: Boredom, tired of the sameness of the day to day, unhappiness, nothing left for them where they are, etc. I guess for me, I feel so overwhelmed with the our modern conveniences. I’m so tired of hearing people complain that mail is running late. So tired of the advertisements that constantly surround us, trying to shove down our throats the products or services that we for the most part don’t need or consciously want. The thousand choices of food that are all equally unhealthy that line grocery shelves. We’ve made things so complicated. I want something simpler than all this.

This festering idea of a simpler life can’t help but bolster the want of seeing more than what’s in my own backyard (which right now is nothing more than a brick wall, with another apartment building beyond that). More so, I want to know more. I want to know just how the rest of the world looks and feels. For me, traveling and living out of a van seems like a perfect option. There’s a romantic idea behind taking only what you need in your backpack, maybe a few choice books, a CD full of your favorite songs, a compact computer or an old typewriter for writing, and hitting the open road for new experiences.

I brought the idea up to my mom, feeling I wanted to share with her what’s been on my mind lately. I figured she wouldn’t be totally on board with it, but her full reaction surprised me. After I told her as we both sat on her living room couch, she looked at me for a few seconds in silence, the television playing in the background. She began to cry. “You want to be homeless?” she said in full earnest. I never really looked at it that way. I just saw the imaginary van in my head, as a home that I could take anywhere. This idea of an alternative lifestyle, living on wheels, greatly upset her. Frightened her even. It filled her with concern for my wellbeing. “So you’re telling me then that you don’t want the house when I die?”

I knew my thoughts were outside of the normal, but I never really dwelled just on how out of the ordinary it really was. Are we as a collective just in such a mindset that if we don’t submit to living in a house or apartment, that we don’t settle down in one location, are we really seen by others as strange and unusual? From my mom’s reaction, I guessed so. It wasn’t just her when I looked back. The few other people I had confided to, a couple friends, a coworker, they all gave me the same wide-eyed silent look. Like I was an alien that had dropped his human mask. Is it really so wrong to want to disconnect? To realize the things that much of our society holds as important is meaningless to you? To want “more than this provincial life?” I guess that’s why all the towns folk thought Bell to be strange in Beauty and the Beast.

Though I’m almost into my thirties, I still harbor just enough self-consciousness to care about what other people say. Maybe someday, when matters in my family life settle, and I’m old enough to not give a damn what others think about me, I’ll have the courage to sell all but a select number of items, and set out to places that reach far away from where I currently am. I guess until then, my weird thoughts will have to suffice, biding their time until they either decide to fully ripen, or die prematurely on the vine.

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