As a child, I had this strong desire to become a hobo. No joke. I would confidently say to people all the time, especially to my mama that, “one day, I’m gonna be a hobo.” She would never attempt to crush my dreams, either – matter of fact, she would reinforce them with stories of how my great-grandfather frequently “rode the rails.”
I specifically remember, as a teen, having a dream one night that I was doing just that. It was exhilarating – the feeling of the wind in my makeup-less face as the changing terrain sped by in a mesmerizing blur. I awoke feeling high and even more certain that, one day, I would be a hobo. Perhaps these lowly aspirations were fueled by a sense of wanderlust that I’ve never quite been able to rid myself of – not that I want to.
The free-spirited thought of becoming a hobo and also of possessing wanderlust brings another idea to mind, one that I have been toying with regularly these days. What if I am not meant to “settle down,” to live a domestic life, to be married or committed to anyone in this lifetime? The reason I pose this question is not because it frightens me but more because it fascinates me.
I think back to all of my serious relationships and then in contrast to the times that I was single. I examine all of the space, the habits and the time that we both willingly gave up to please another human being and then I contemplate on my present situation as a twenty-nine year old, independent, single female with two cats and a lovely one-bedroom apartment, living in the great city of Los Angeles. I have never felt more free, more of a strong, beautiful and confident woman than I do right now. This has got to say something about the relationships I have been in, right? Or maybe not – maybe it has everything to do with the fact that I am meant to be just as I am right now in order for my soul to be pleased? The forever hopeless romantic might quip, “You just haven’t met the right one” to which I would respond that I’ve met all of the right ones. I believe that the people that come into our lives all come with a purpose whether it be to teach us a lesson and vice versa or make our lives a living hell, which also, unfortunately, comes with its own bitter lesson.
There is only one past relationship that comes to mind as I meditate on a life of hobodom (yes, I made that word up) that doesn’t bring me great anxiety or make me emphatically say, “I could never be with that person again.” I was twenty-one years old, sipping on a boozy cosmopolitan, innocently sitting at the bar of what would become one of my favorite restaurants in the Miracle Mile district of LA. My friend was aggressively flirting with the jerky bartender and I was lost in my own inner, mindful ramblings, enjoying the amount of alcohol I was ingesting from my third cocktail of the evening. That’s when he caught my eye and it was a scene right out of a movie. We just stared and stared for what felt like minutes – it was as if some magical force super glued my eyes to his and I felt my body slowly melting into my bar stool. It was the first time someone’s stare didn’t make me want to punch him in the face or reply with attitude, rhetorically asking, “Can I help you?”
Four years later, that captivating man that I rarely ever speak of, that will always hold a very special place in my heart, sung this song to me during the wee hours of the morning. As he gently kissed my cheek, my neck, my shoulder, he whispered, “And I told you to be patient, and I told you to be fine, and I told you to be balanced and I told you to be kind…”
And the rest is history…