A year ago today, I was in Bratislava. I’d like to say I stayed up partying until dawn and watching the fireworks over the Danube, kissing some sexy Slovakian at midnight, but uh, I actually passed the fuck out in my hostel bed at like 10pm. In fairness to myself, the previous week had consisted of flying from Prague to New Orleans, drinking copiously over Christmas, flying back to Prague three days later, and taking a bus to Bratislava, so the exhaustion was justified.
And now I am in my least favorite place in the world, again.
It’s been a weird year, to say the least. It’s hard not to feel like a complete useless failure when I’m here, unable to effect any positive change in my own life or in anyone else’s. On good days, I try to remember that my dreams have never been those of Normal Life™, with a lovely husband (or wife) and a dog and a nice house in the suburbs or apartment in the city, and that’s okay. Okay, well, the dog, yeah, but the rest can fuck off.
My dreams have always been entangled in wanderlust. Most of my adult life has been spent packing up my life and moving a thousand miles in a different direction for a new school, new job, new life, until tearing it all down again. And the farther I get from that normal life, the more myself I feel.
On good days. On good days I think maybe I’m doing all right by my own self, and fuck everyone else, and that all the trajectories I’m missing out on are maybe worth it to explore the world. I spent the last year and change in forty countries and four continents, mostly (though not entirely) on my own dime and entirely of my own volition.
Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to make this life truly sustainable, but for now, I’m trying to accept the fact that sometimes I’ll probably keep ending up back here, hanging on by the skin of my teeth and saving money until I can get back out. At least now I have a fairly reliable freelance job, so once I manage to get my finances even a little into the black, and the major initial airfare expenses paid for, I should be able to support myself fairly indefinitely, if frighteningly.
I’m still thinking about heading to South America, because flights to Colombia are cheap, but I’m kind of leaning towards the Caucasus countries. I’ve heard so many amazing things about Georgia, and trains between Tbilisi and Azerbaijan and Armenia are like $20 USD, and flights to Kazakhstan $100-150… . . .
2017 has been a pretty shit year for writing, though, like majorly. Aside from this blog, I wrote under 5,000 words of fiction. For comparison, in 2016 I wrote over 100,000 words, in 2015 almost 130,000 words, and even in 2014 — the first year I actually tried writing fiction ever, despite my creative writing minor in college — I still managed 100,000 and change. So, that sucks. I feel like being in a different country every few days left me kind of inundated with ideas that I never had the stability to process into words. Here’s hoping 2018 is better.
Here’s hoping 2018 is better in like… six hundred thousand different ways. Peace out, shit year, and to blatantly steal something off of Tumblr, I hope the best of 2017 is the worst of 2018 for everyone.