Settling down

Finally! I’m back in Reykjavik, I’ve started my woodworking course, my health is better than ever, and we just finished unpacking in our new (temporary) apartment.

It’s weird, I used to think I was such a free spirit, that I couldn’t handle staying in the same place for longer than a few months, that I was a citizen of the world. I’m starting to accept that I’m not. Not as much as I thought, at least.

I’ve traveled quite a lot, having moved a lot as a child and into adolescence, and then after high school I’ve taken long backpacking trips, short courses, volunteering posts and a cross-country hike, all around the world, for years. And it’s been cool, but man am I tired of being on the move all the time.

The sentiment of wanting to slow down, to stay in one place for once, is one that I’ve only now started to accept, even though it’s been brewing for quite some time. It didn’t fit my ideal persona of happy-go-lucky world traveler, I guess.

Settling has some pretty negative connotations in our culture, if you think about it. “Settling for” something or someone, for example, implies not fulfilling your true potential. “Settling down” implies that youth is gone, and with it any lingering sense of adventure, or even chance for adventure.

Bilbo Baggins was pretty settled when Gandalf came knocking on his door. He would have missed the greatest adventure of his life if it hadn’t been for the wizard’s refusal to do so.

I’ve started to think of settling down as more of a digging down, a developing of roots. And I think having no roots is just as bad as having roots so strong that you can’t even imagine moving out of your bubble.

I’m not quite ready to decide on buying a house or start a family, but I’m inching towards it. I’ve started thinking about ways I can improve my own future, and the futures of everyone I love and ever will love along with it.

Actually, part of the reason I started to study carpentry at 26 years old, is because I have a vision of building my own house, or renovating an old one, somewhere out in the country. I don’t know exactly where or exactly when, but that’s the direction I’ve taken.

I can build endlessly upon that dream. I want to become more self sufficient in life. I want to grow my own food, to repair my own stuff, to raise my own children. To manifest my own dream instead of somebody else’s.

Because that’s what we’re really doing, when we refuse to take responsibility for our own health, wealth, and happiness. We’re lining someone else’s pockets, building someone else’s house/castle/palace.

In order for the tree of your ambitions to grow, it needs strong roots. And that’s what I’m working on now.

Much love.

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