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Roadside Confessions: Adaptation

The newness of living on the road has finally worn off. That little inkling of a former time with plush beds and toasters and air conditioning has been pushed from even the deepest corners of my memory.

This is my life now.

My home has a different address every week. My office, a different desk. I often get bug bites while making breakfast, sunburn while preparing lunch. “Getting ready for bed,” has a different meaning now, one that involves a level and an upper body workout. But it’s becoming less foreign to me, less of a pain-in-the-ass. It’s just life now. It is what it is. Sometimes I find myself at a hole-in-the-wall restaurant in a town I don’t know, eating a meal by myself for the upteenth time. Other times I’m back in the “real world,” whatever that is, catching up with old friends and making pasta e fagioli in a real kitchen (thank you Rachel!). Wherever I am, whatever it is I’m doing, no matter how crazy or hectic or unnerving, I’m starting to feel the comfort in it all, in knowing that each and every minute of every day is different, unpredictable, and completely up to me. So what if it takes me three times as long to brush my teeth and cook my meals? Slowly, surely, I’m learning the art of adaptation.

I finally took a day to “chill,” as it were, earlier this week. My idea of chilling was, in effect, just another day of getting dialed in. I emptied the Jeep and Go entirely. Everything I owned was spread out in my friend’s front yard, down to the contents of every last pocket on my Deuter packs. I never found that headlamp I misplaced the night I moved out of my apartment, but I did find a number of other items that made me realize something: it’s time for another confessional.

1. I can’t ever stay dry. Ever.

Whether it’s rain, condensation in the Go, humidity in the air, sweat on my pits, everything is damp. Always. Welcome to the Southeast.

2. I feel old in the morning.

I’m not kidding. It takes me a couple hours just to feel like I wasn’t hit by a train the night before. If I’m out of coffee or fuel to make coffee, back off.

3. Strangers see my bedroom everyday.

That’ll never stop being weird.

4. I miss blenders.

And raw vegetables. I spent $11 the other day on a gigantic salad that had just about every vegetable in the book. And it was totally worth it.

5. Showers do nothing for me.

I never fail to miss a mud splatter on my ankle, behind the knee, across my forehead, or any of those other, you know, “hard to reach” places…

6. Cotton shirts are under-appreciated.

Spend the next three weeks in damp synthetic, head-to-toe. You’ll know what I mean.

7. I only did laundry twice in the month of May.

And yes, I’m sorta bragging.

8. My definition of “clean” changes on the hour.

Every hour.

9. Cleaning the Jeep is like finding a pot of gold.

In this week’s winnings, a month-old banana, moldy avocado skins, and a petrified pile of stink bugs. Wealth is in the eye of the beholder.

10. Sometimes my desk isn’t so much a desk as it is a trunk.

Or the floor. The top of my backpack. Maybe a washing machine at the laundromat. I’m flexible.

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