I’m not the kind of person who has an addictive personality. Actually, let me rephrase that: I don’t get addicted to substances. I began smoking cigarettes at the ripe age of 19 (yes, I had a sheltered childhood). From the day I first took that puff, I was pretty indifferent. I bought a pack every couple of weeks or so, smoked socially every once in a while, and ended up bumming out the rest to my friends. This non-habit continued for a few years, from Marlboros to American Spirits, until I finally gave up the financial burden when I took off to travel. The same has held true for the few other substances I’ve put into my body, with the exception of caffeine. That one just follows me everywhere, whether I’m trying to “stay off it” or not.
I also don’t really get obsessed with anything socially promoted. Fashion, food trends, a new book series….for years I avoided all things Harry Potter just because it’s been so popular, and my boyfriend just recently was able to get the movie series on our list of things to watch. I’m not impervious to the attraction of all trends, I just generally try to avoid getting caught up in the craze.
What do capture my attention, however, are puzzles of the mind and spirit. Present to me a spiritual perspective, and I’ll spend hours thinking it through. Start a discussion about humanity’s ability to create our reality, and I’ll be up all night trying to answer my own questions. Several times I’ve wrestled with what some of my friends call “the existential crisis phase”, during which I’d often run away from a social setting (beer in hand, of course) to sit on a train car and ponder the reality of my own existence in relation to others’. I love getting lost in my head sometimes. It’s almost as if my spirit, soul, and mind detach from my body and become an entirely different organism. My spirit and soul turn into observers who watch and criticize the frantic mechanical workings of my mind as it tries to solve a tiny blip of the unknown. Sometimes my thoughts stray from words, morphing into symbols and pictures for those deep ideas and realizations my brain cannot yet form into grammatical sentences. Finally, either I exhaust myself into a sense of quasi-realization or some innocent person claims my disgruntled attention, and my self reclaims its physical form.
These times inside my head are precious to me, more than even I realize. I think my soul has an unquenchable yearning to know what, and why. Since there’s no way I can figure it all out myself, I rely on the universe to help me unfold that eternal story in whatever puzzle pieces I discover. Truth be told, the Bible was right when it urges people to “seek, and you shall find”. The more I adventure, the more I learn. And the more I learn, the more I need to know. During the seven months I have traveled so far, I’ve learned more about humanity, Western society, the government, different social classes, different religions, sustainability, and organic gardening than during all of my years of “schooling”. Most of all, I’ve been able to piece this knowledge into a greater understanding of our universe that is morbidly minute yet (hopefully) ever-expanding.
I don’t know if it’s typical to want to share one’s obsession, but I do. I want everyone in this world to see how exciting this world is, to believe in the magic of the universe, to crave a discussion revolving around philosophical questions and spiritual brain toys. People are weird, what people think is weird, and I love weird. I guess you could say I even need weird. Lucky for me, weird is easy to come by on the road. Whatever crazy path I’m on, it’s been both satisfying and fueling my obsession…which is both weird and awesome. I can’t think of a better way to live.