I’m sorry, but I just need to wander. I had to leave Iowa and the quiet soil. I had to leave the stubble growing thick and scratchy on your chin. I had to leave the shitty beers and humid sunsets, mosquitos nipping at my ankles. There was so much you promised me that I knew you could never fulfill. We were just kids, then, living Iowa dreams. I knew there was more for me. I’m sorry.
I’m sorry, but I just need to wander. Your hands felt like sandpaper on my skin. Each kiss was just a reminder that you and I were never meant to grow old together. I loved you, but that wasn’t enough. You were never going to be the man you were destined to become. And that’s because I was trying to grow you instead of you growing yourself. But we are not flowers. Sometimes we have to become weeds, detangle, and grow different ways. Sometimes the journey takes longer for others. I’m sorry I couldn’t be patient.
I’m sorry, but I just need to wander. I said this to you at twenty-two. I felt big, like I could grab the entire world in the palm of my hand and drink her in like water. There was nothing I couldn’t touch, couldn’t reach. We knew we weren’t meant for one another, but we kept grabbing fragments of cloth between our fingers, hopeful and naive. You didn’t love me, but I kept lying to myself. I’m sorry I didn’t run sooner.
I’m sorry, but I just need to wander. I said these words over and over to men whose impermanence still tastes bitter in my mouth. There was always something else, somewhere else. There was always an unconscious dream pulling me away. I traded cornfields for highways, lakes for oceans. I traded half-pint love for gallons overflowing. And restlessness for peace.
Sometimes we don’t know why we’re pulled, why the earth seems to call to us – keep our feet on the ground.
Maybe it’s trust, or maybe it’s foolishness. But I’ve learned you should wander until you feel still, wander until you’re rooted. Wander until your steadiness is more like a comfort – and less like a curse.
Featured Image Credit: Kinga Cichewicz