Restarting the 9-to-5

March 22, 2015

Time has been moving at a very unusual rate since my return. Like all travelers and runners, I’m sure I have ways of measuring time that would seem weird to most, e.g. a four-hour shinkansen ride may be enough time to get from Hiroshima to Tokyo, but I also could have taken a Southwest flight from San Francisco and reach Dallas. In this case, having been back ten days, I’m thinking I spent more time just lounging on the beach in Boracay… picking up a fruit shake from Jonah’s, running on the sand, grabbing a calamansi muffin and doing some writing as the sun sets…

It’s not that San Francisco doesn’t hold much appeal to me anymore. It does. But I’m different this time around. In a good way. My trips don’t feel so disjointed, lacking purpose, even when I’m unable to get any writing accomplished. Maybe I am just convinced everything would fall into place when I finally met a special someone and I’m living out my expectations, but as far as I can see, having someone wanting you around, even when she is on the other side of the Earth, changes everything.

I no longer see staying in one place as much of a burden. It’s not that I was particularly tied down here last year, but I had told myself there was little point in taking weekend trips or going on adventures alone. I still had to satisfy my travel urges and hope for the best, so meeting new friends in Napa and catching up with others in Canada was checked off the list. I’ll be doing the same this year, I’m sure; I already have a flight scheduled to Toronto in a few days, and work will have me all over LA and Seattle. Again, I’m surprisingly calm, happy, and not at all frustrated about the microaggressions travelers face at home. All because she’s there, even when she’s not here.

In terms of work, I don’t feel particularly satisfied, but that’s ok; I have the time to explore other interests and use my employment for steady income, not a creative outlet. Doing so will make me more effective at my job and allow me to be comfortable on the road.

Don’t get me wrong: it’s only been a week, but I did feel a little regret I wasn’t hopping on another jet to lands unknown. That first Monday sitting at a desk for about seven hours made me think I was crossing the Atlantic. Listening to mundane things discussed like sales reports and payroll made me realize I was back in the working world. At the same time, it made me feel useful and appreciated. I’m not always one to work out of an office – most of this job will be on the move – but being a part of a team, being productive in some way other than sitting in front of my own Macbook and cranking out articles when I’m not distracted by YouTube or Facebook, makes me feel vindicated from my experiences: I had time off, and now I’m back.

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