A Gyspy's Present
By: Kiana Moridi
Gypsy: A nomadic or free-spirited person. Bouncing from one location to the next, constantly roaming the globe while experiencing a lifestyle many can’t say they have. What a life, right? To march to the beat of your own drum and experience the world-isn’t this what we all subconsciously crave while we hover over our work in our 9 to 5 cubicles? But, what about the side to traveling that nobody ever speaks of?
As a first generation Persian American, a significant amount of my summers were spent on the treacherous seventeen-hour journey to my family’s motherland-Iran. While all of my friends were taking family road trips in the states, I was busy learning to weave through the wild, jam-packed streets of Tehran. Months of my summers were spent eating kabobs, drinking Persian tea, and hailing suspect Persian cab drivers who made you thank any and every God above for surviving the ride without getting a scratch, bruise or PTSD.
After seven to eight different journeys to Iran, these childhood adventures later translated into my young adult life. Traveling to Italy for the first time at the age of nineteen immediately sparked a flame within me- a perpetual spark that would cease to fizzle. After moving to Brooklyn for a summer for an internship in Manhattan, and moving to Dallas more than once, I graduated college and decided (or impulsively followed a calling/intuition) to pack all of my belongings into one hopeful suitcase and move to Milan, Italy to teach English in order to solo explore the magical land of Europe. Rather than going the more conventional route and seeking a big girl job, I departed for the unknown. This was the path paved for me and it was my duty to follow.
To an outsider looking in, this all sounds like a fascinating, movie-like dream come true. I would be ungrateful, and quite frankly foolish, to say that I’m not fortunate to have seen, felt and experienced the amount of things I have at the young age of 23. However, throughout this transition phase of semi-adulthood, I find myself feeling rather conflicted about this gypsy lifestyle I have unintentionally become a part of-a battle I never knew I was fighting until it was far too late.
This realization smacked me like an alarming ton of bricks as I was moving to Dallas (for the second time in a year) a few weeks ago. There it was, the epitome of my angst, beaming at me in the rearview mirror. The feeling of being so far away yet so connected at the same time slowly began to creep in. The well traveled pillows, my ride or die stuffed animal who has truly stuck through it all with me (poor guy), picture frames that have seen the walls of my first college dorm in Shawnee, Oklahoma to my charmingly microscopic flat in Milan, Italy.
“Why do I keep doing this?” I asked myself as I drove down the mundanely flat stretch of I-35. Here I was again, bags packed, car full of gas, leaving a group of friends, a fresh relationship, and most importantly, any sense of comfort I seemed to have left.
Sure, at a bit of a younger age, this very fact was the sole thing enticing me to pack my bags and go again. But, lately, I can’t help but to ponder on the road I’ve been on. Is it okay to be constantly moving, knowing that the fascinating, well-traveled people I meet along the way may very well not be a part of my journey in a few months? My adventure list has been checked off quite frequently, yet my relationships and friendships have been unintentionally neglected due to my constant movement and inability to remain in one place for longer than six months at a time.
So, where’s the in between? Where’s the middle ground where an adventure-filled life and stability meet? Here’s the trick I’m (slowly) coming to grips with: a life full of movement and consistent change enables us (or forces us, rather) to live in the present rather than worrying about the future or the adventures of the past. You are here right now in this very moment doing exactly what you are meant to be doing. Sure, it’s cliché. It’s only cliché because it’s real. Whether it’s beginning a new journey with the love of your life or solo backpacking throughout Europe, embarking on adventure and self-reliance, your timing is your truth. Once we begin to embrace our present moment, we understand that the people that are around us right now are enough. Tomorrow or a week from now may be different but that’s okay. That’s the beauty of evolution.
Be here. Be still. Be present.