I stood outside the airport, on the first morning of 2015.
Hungover from champagne.
Ready to go.
But I wasn't the one going. I was saying goodbye again, goodbye to someone I love dearly, someone who loves me, loves my wife, loves my daughter, in the consistent and unconditional way that people should love others, and don't. I'd stood in line at the ticket counter for my sister as she got sick in the airport bathroom (what were we thinking...so what if it was New Years Eve...we had to leave for the airport first thing in the morning), and after she checked her bag, I still pulled her carry on as we walked toward the spot where we'd part ways, not really ready to part ways again. We've lived apart for over two years now, and we are separated by over two-thousand miles. I felt the tears welling in my eyes as we walked, the warm sting of early morning tears in sleepy eyes, and that familiar tightening in my throat and pushed it away, when I spoke, my voice broke. We walked side by side, and the hangover was forgotten in that moment. I turned to her and let the tears flow, unhindered and even as I write this the tears come. I hugged her, wrapping my arms tight around her in that bright red jacket, and we both looked at one another, sad and with wet, salty vision and said sentiments we don't always say, and held one another before finally we let go and she walked away. She looked back and I missed her already.
I managed to walk back out of the airport into the cold winter air, crying, crying still, with the realization that I had to return home and not go, not live, not find myself in places that made me feel something, without any way of being close to my sister, to return to a life that isn't the right one, the one that I want, that my wife wants, that we want for our daughter. To return to the gray and dark, the power lines and buildings interrupting the sunsets and sunrises, to sealed windows and furnaces smearing the lines between the seasons, a life weighted by things and obligation and normalcy. Where I cannot hold my wife's hand unless confined to our house, let alone kiss her. Where my heart and voice feels stifled and ruined. I am bursting, bursting to go, to experience everything I can in this life. In my bones, I need more. More more more. It's beyond a romantic vision of life on the road, beyond daydreaming, beyond a promise of sweetness. As I type this, I am saying these words out loud with fervor. In my bones, I need more. My fingers are propelled by the burn, I am straight backed in my chair, shoulders taut and leaning into the light of that which is going.
I stood outside the airport.
I waited for my wife to bring the car around and watched other holiday gatherings coming to a close amidst the baggage. With tears freezing on my cheeks as quickly as they came, two women, a couple, walked past and smiled at me in that sympathetic and knowing way. As my wife drove up, I caught her eyes and I think she knew my heart, she always does.
Halfway home and I spoke. It's time to go. I'm ready.
In some way or another, this is a resolve and our resolution. One year ago, we decided to travel. One year ago, we began selling everything we owned. Eight months ago, we sold our cars and bought a vehicle for travel. Seven and a half months ago, we bought our Airstream and began renovating. Seven months ago, we listed our house for sale. There have been times where I've been terrified of letting it all go. The beautiful house on the quiet street, the comfort of hot water and a furnace switched on with a flick of a finger, the way the plaster walls and hardwood floors angle to meet one another in clean and clear cut lines to form rooms that offer quiet and solace when needed. Believing the naysayers, that perhaps it is all crazy to give up what we have.
Yet all we have is a house, on a street, in a town.
We are going to go this year, in twenty-fifteen.
I can only hope that this time has been not in vain, but necessary to prepare us. We can say now that we have not entered into this way of life lightly. It's been a year, and will be more time yet, before we go. But we're working hard, working toward this still, finishing the Airstream and hoping for the right person to come along and buy our house. We've run the gamut of emotions, from excitement to nervousness to paralyzing fear...to the primal ache that occupies our hearts now. I can only think now...that it's going to happen soon. That the readiness is a signal, a push. That only then, the money came when we needed it most (to outfit the Airstream).
When I finish my runs, I sprint toward the end, legs extending and heart pounding, focused and determined to reach the end goal. Open road, due west.