Walking down Main Street getting to know the concrete
Looking for a purpose from a neon sign
I would meet you anywhere, western sun meets the air
We’ll hit the road, never looking behind — Son Volt, Tear Stained Eyes
I was doing an early morning walk in Durham, NC, a few days back. A place I knew well and was formative for me. I was in town some 25 years after leaving for the Army to work on a project. First time back in over 20. No firm bonds, a few good friends, though. An inviting feeling.
In those early morning hours out walking, I had some thoughts as I often do.
When I arrived in Durham at 17, I was legitimately a budding wanderer. I am now 30 years into that.
As an adult, I have bounced — North Carolina to Kentucky, El Paso, TX, and the Middle East in the Army; Missoula, MT, and Las Cruces, NM to finish college; Denver for grad school and the start of my career; a decade in California moving between Sacramento, Fresno, the East Bay, and the Peninsula; a detour in Myrtle Beach, SC.
I have a family of my own in Arizona, including a nearly 10-year old son. I have been here almost 8-years. In that time, I have traveled extensively in the states for business.
Then and now, I have been capable. And actively so. But not always comfortable with being a bit nomadic. Even with membership to a pack. I tend to wander.
Lots happen with me, included. But lots not. Many with me are so used to seeing me moving alone and solo that I just get left alone often. Free to my own devices to some degree. Even my family sometimes is just moving about without me as they expect me not to be there. They expect me to be out there pursuing something.
But never so far afield that I am inaccessible. I return when I know I am needed or when called.
I am at the edges often versus the middle.
I have run companies within others. When I worked for others, I was mostly untethered from a mothership.
Yet. I frequently feel some longing to connect and run with a pack. But. I value the time out on the edges in the nomad chapter. I value the chance to be a solo artist as much as one of the band. I have enjoyed being an entity as much as part of a company.
Rover, wanderer, nomad, vagabond
Call me what you will, yeah — Metallica, Whereever I May Roam
That is an appropriate walk-up song. I believe my spirit is not satisfied unless it can be nomadic. Tamed is not something I seek. It does not suit me. But I do value the opportunity to return to the pack.