Halfexistent

You don’t exist in the way you want to.

As a traveler, you don’t understand what it’s like to be stable. And when, after nearly a decade, you return to what you always considered home, but only part-time, it’s not exactly going to be what you expected.

You conjure a naive fantasy of what coming back home would be, one involving personal space and parties, and freedom and friends. Coming home is probably the biggest culture shock I’ve had to date. Connections are hard to make and there is no one to blame but yourself. Everyone who is willing to have a conversation with you knows that you are not going to be a good friend to make. You are going to flake on them within weeks or often days only to return months later and you still expect them to have an interest in being your friend. You see new buildings and developments, and people and things have moved on from this place. And you begin to realise that family is all that you can be assured will be there; when you return home again. You both appreciate and resent this notion. And when, as you do in solidarity and peace whilst traveling, you want to escape into your mind and appreciate non-human aspects of life, you sometimes can’t. You have obligations. You are only here as a halfexistent. Because of this, the family who love you all want you in the timespan that you are there. When you leave once more for a distant land, you are left more tired than when you arrived back home. Relaxing becomes a non-negotiable in all aspects of your life abroad and home, and so you feel guilty and perturbed if you try.

You want the best of both a stable home and a nomadic lifestyle and it is a juggling act that no street performer should have the misfortune of trying. You say misfortune, and you mean it, but do you really? If you were actually presented with the opportunity of a stable life, would you take it?

You would never not come home though, you need it. Even if it’s not quite what you thought it was. You begin to think ‘home’ isn’t really definable, and all you can say is that there is a place that you know, that you are familiar with, where a handful of people really care about you.

That’s all you can ask for.