A Life in Grey


One of the photo albums on my Facebook page is entitled “Larkie Chases the World,”  and my brother-in-law asked me if I’d ever catch it. My knee-jerk reaction was to answer him I sure hope not, because what else would there be for me to do?  But the more I think about this, the more I wonder what really fuels my drive to travel. Because it’s definitely not the packing and unpacking or the uneasy hours of waiting at airports and sitting on planes. Once you yourself can perform the cross-check routine in five different languages it means you’ve been on more planes than humanly necessary, unless you are part of an international flight crew.  


Is it some great desire to see the world at large just to see for myself what I’d be missing out on had I stayed home? Translation: nosy curiosity.  Or is it something more primal, like a need to keep moving so the roots can’t get thicker and deeper in any one place? Translation: commitment phobia.  So this begs the question, am I wandering to run toward or away from something?


Historically, nomadic cultures roam to follow plants, game, and/or trade, and seasons generally dictate their mobility. Along their paths of roaming (usually not so aimlessly), some inevitably stray from the nomadic life and become absorbed back into a more industrialized society where maturity and responsible behavior are defined by the number of roots that laid beneath one’s feet. Mortgages, tenure, lifetime club memberships and a zillion other social inventions serve to bind you to your community and keep you, for lack of a better word, committed.  The great American dream of a white picket fence existence comes to mind when I think about the total opposite of a nomadic lifestyle.  For me, a mostly responsible adult who thrives in a high-pressured big city environment, full of land mines that require nothing but commitment (to the job, the networks, the community, the family and friends, the standards, etc.) to disarm, it is all I can do to suppress the call of my nomadic urges to just be somewhere else.  I certainly can’t say a nomadic life is irresponsible though, when in fact these cultures must roam in order to survive. If anything it is a huge responsibility to exist as a tribe when the tribe is always a moving target.  If that’s not commitment, I don’t know what is. 


OK, you are asking yourself has she gone nuts?  Or perhaps you are saying why am I still reading this dribble…how is she going to tie this story up within the context of fashion or travel? Well, I think my conclusion is that I am living a life in grey, and that’s why I roam. Before I explain this statement, I have to tell you that a friend of mine recently chastised me for always thinking in greys, typical of a lawyer he said, always muddying up issues that could be distilled to simple black and white. I bristled at the half-joke then but as the thoughts flow now from my head to my keyboard in this one morning of self-observation, I do see shades of grey in many areas of my life.  I function in the traditional confines of your typical modern society, but I also give myself a long leash from this daily life so that I can hit the road when the call is too great to ignore.  Grey is my favorite color in every sense of the word; it is neither a yes or a no, a strict black or a stark white.  Something in between and neither outside nor inside the lines. It is a comfort zone for someone who reserves the right to change her mind because everything in life is mercurial.  If things were always black and white, life might be easier but perhaps a little less interesting.


Hey, I’m just another voice in the Blogosphere. Not always the voice that makes a lot of sense but I know there are you other grey soldiers out there, marching to a beat not quite the same as most people’s. If you meet up with me along some dirt road in Calcutta or even some swanky alley in Dubai, tap me on the shoulder and I’ll buy you a drink. Or take you shoe shopping.

1 Comment

  1. April

    Pretty cool post. I just found your blog and wanted to say
    that I’ve really enjoyed reading your posts. Anyway
    I’ll be subscribing to your blog and I hope you post again soon!

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