That is what you are bred to be in the plains of small town Kansas, where I have lived my entire life. Life here is slow, steady, and continuous; its heartbeat always at rest.
The formula for Midwestern success is simple. You are born. You grow up, your family by your side. You finish school, start your career, marry, settle down, buy a house, and have children who will continue this cycle – usually all before you ever reach your thirtieth birthday. It is akin to planting a garden. You start your life as a seedling, planted loosely, but purposefully in the ground. As you grow, you begin to develop roots that hold you firmly in your place. Fully rooted, you produce seedlings of your own, with the hope that they will plant themselves by your side and the cycle will continue for as long as the Earth still spins, never dreaming of leaving the safety and comfort of your garden.
I guess I’m just one of those seedlings that never took root. Rather than reveling in the comfort of my home, I looked to the wind, hoping with all my heart that it would carry me away. Don’t get me wrong – the simple life is a beautiful life for those whose hearts it fills with happiness – but it can make you feel a bit crazy when you see everyone around you following the formula, perfectly content, and you look onward, feeling empty and unsatisfied. In those times I felt that my roots were not roots at all, but chains.
There were times when I wanted to want these things that everyone else seemed to want, but never could. Maybe my heartbeat is just a little too fast, a little too out of sync for this place. Whatever the reason, I learned to accept the fact that I just don’t belong here; that some of us grow in the wrong garden, or perhaps aren’t meant for a garden at all. With this epiphany came a thirst for change, for something more. I quickly set my sights on letting go of my roots to see the world and pursue a life of adventure and unpredictability.
After many difficult years of waiting, planning, and dreaming, the time has finally come for me to uproot myself; to let the wind carry me where it will, my feet no longer planted in the ground, but groundless.