The Vacation Paradox

August 8th, 2019

I’ve been busting my ass around the greater Chicagoland area for the last 7 months. It’s really been non-stop since foot hit continent. I was in school and working (or looking for work) and even with taking the summer off work the days were pretty packed. Moving, unpacking, taking three intensive courses over the summer. It’s very time consuming doing 15 weeks of course work in 4-5 weeks. Major projects are weekly, rather than monthly affairs. But I got it all done and I’m one week into having a full month of having absolutely nothing I need to do. It’s pretty nice. I just spent the last week driving around the south, visiting parents in Tennessee and a friend in Kentucky. I’ve got a couple days at home before heading off to a beach house, then back here for a day or two, then off to South Korea for a couple weeks before starting back up with work and school.

The odd bit is that sitting around my apartment today I felt mildly anxious. I’m so used to having things to do I can’t help feel a little off when shit’s not getting done. I’ve earned a couple days of marathon gaming sessions and binge watching shows I need to catch up on. I’ve EARNED this, dammit! So why the hell can’t I convince my oddly wired brain of this? Apparently trains of thought behave similarly to their non-metaphorical counterparts when it comes to the process of stopping. It doesn’t work on a dime. It’s a slow, screeching and clunky process. And, as I seem to find myself stalled on the tracks, the best approach is to abandon the vehicle and run towards the train and out from the tracks to avoid the debris from the crash.

Since that metaphor is as screeching and clunky as,well, a stopping train…what I mean is that it’s crucial to stay busy. Hence the blog entry and the near 20 hour road trip. Which is a long drive for someone with nothing to think about.

I then spent a few short days at home, and turned around and left again for the weekend to visit the beach house my grandparents rent every year. I was pretty shocked by the sheer number of wives and children I hadn’t meet. When you’re gone for 4.5 years you don’t fully comprehend how long that actually is. A lot of people meet, fall in love, get married and have kids in that time. More than a few of my friends and family did just that.

The next step for my vacation is two weeks back in South Korea. Which feels like leaving home to go home, but only for a visit. Which is how it felt coming back to Chicago when I was living over there.

Shit’s weird.