Finishing Things

My past two weeks have been riddled with endings.

Jóna and I completed a road trip around the US, managing to set foot in all 48 continental US states in under 60 days, and doing it all in Greyhound buses.

Then, Jóna left the US, heading back to her home in Iceland, which ended our traveling together, and also ended the relationship we’d enjoyed for the past year-ish.

Finally, a few days ago I completed my newest book; a sequel of sorts to ‘My Exile Lifestyle,’ which is called ‘Iceland, India, Interstate,’ and tells the story of my past year, and all the adventures therein, using the relationship with Jóna as kind of a chronological meter.

Of these three completions, the relationship with Jóna brings with it the biggest lifestyle change. I didn’t plan to date her for a whole year when we first met — in fact, we had both only intended to date for the final month I was in Iceland! — but it ended up being an incredibly valuable experience, and the past year has been my best yet as a result.

Finishing up a road trip, especially one that goes on for two months, is a big lifestyle shift, as well. We spent about 60 days running from place to place, spending an inordinate amount of time in Greyhound stations, sitting on buses, staring out windows, interacting with incredibly impoverished and legitimately crazy people, and visiting folks in different parts of the country, all of which had different lifestyles and world views, which we had to adapt to while on their home turf.

When I was young, and a Boy Scout, I went on a few day-long canoe trips, and when they were over it would be tough to sleep, because I would still be able to feel the rocking of the boat any time I lay down. I’m in a similar state now: I find myself mentally preparing to pack my bag, grab my ticket, and head for the station, but then realize I don’t have to; I can hold still for a bit.

But in holding still, I found other things to fill my time. My new book has been knocking around in my head for a very long time, and being able to sit down and write it was therapeutic. After a few weeks of doing little but write, however, I’ve come to another ending. Although there are still edits to make and a launch to prepare, I feel my brain crying out for stimuli. I’ve been taxing it for so long, loading it down with adventures and projects and relationships that now, when I’m sans these things, it feels like I’ve hopped off a trampoline, and my legs are still accustomed to being able to take me higher.

This feeling won’t last, though, it never does. I have a new project that’s already been conceived, and is just waiting to be presented to the world, and two more books that I’d like to write before heading out to Romania in June; moving to Romania, of course, will be a new adventure that my excitement-hungry brain will revel in.

So for now I sit here in Columbia, Missouri, happy to have some time to visit with my family and sit quietly (a rare treat), but ready — always ready — for that next new fix: that new start, which will give me something to finish.