It’s a little before 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday in January, 2022. I can hear the sound of the fog horn, the waves of the nearby Pacific Ocean, and the ticking of my kitchen clock.
My baby is sleeping; the dogs are, too. My house is small, and so I move carefully, trying to remain quiet. In this state, something like time feels suspended. Soon enough, it will race forward, again.
I started this blog almost eight years ago, with the simple intention to write more often; I had no plans for fame or grand readership. I realize that the blog is an outdated form of communication, yet Wandering Introvert persists. It’s become a record for me and though someday I’m sure I will take it down, I still enjoy it. That’s enough.
When I started this site, I imagined that I would primarily be documenting travel. I was headed into a time of change – job, relationship, home – and I knew that exploring the world would be one way that I kept moving. I was right; I unearthed my home – in myself – as I discovered new places.
I also stumbled into a sense of permanency that had proven elusive to that point. I have lived in this small house for 7 ½ years, longer than I’ve ever lived anywhere, save my childhood home. For that entire time, I’ve worked in the same place; it’s the longest I’ve ever worked, anywhere.
That has been sustainable, in part, because up until two years ago, I was able to travel largely as I wished. I went to Paris annually, to the east coast to visit family often, and to new places as much as I could. I knew how lucky I was.
And then the pandemic hit. I took three trips in 2020 – flying twice to Texas in January, and then to New York in February – before canceling those scheduled for the rest of the year. The time since, though, has been anything but boring: my marriage ended before I learned that I was pregnant, and while I was expecting, I started dating someone new.
For the first time in my life, I understood – viscerally – how letting go, giving in, trusting myself, and embracing joy could help me find my way. These years have not only been a time of home, of tucking-in, but also of learning, of growth.
At this point, I am both the same, and different. As I have always been, I am a writer, a dreamer, a listener. I’m passionate, awkward, and gentle. I worry about how I come across. I love my dogs; I struggle to be as confident as I want; I am full of wanderlust; nature brings me peace; my house is never as clean as I’d like. But also, now: I am in my mid-40s. I am discovering motherhood. I am the strongest I’ve ever been. I have different questions, new worries, bigger wishes. I think of all the places I hope to go, even as I celebrate standing still.
It’s just past 6:00 a.m. on a Saturday in January, 2022. I can hear the sound of the fog horn, the waves of the nearby Pacific Ocean, the ticking of the kitchen clock, and my baby beginning to wake. Life is so full.
Thank you for being here.
(the original post, from March 4, 2014, is below)
Right now, I’m staring out the window of an apartment in Paris that I have rented for the month (April 2014). It’s cloudy, but bright, and there is some form of a willow tree whose branches are floating and pulling upon the breeze. Lest I forget where I am, the tall vertical windows of other apartments remind me, with their scrolling black ironwork coyly holding potted plants high off the ground. Sirens wail and whine in the distance, but it is quiet other than that, and I am reminded of the poem “Strawberries” by Edwin Morgan, though it is not about this city.
A few months ago, I was offered the chance to write a blog for someone else, a travel company that focused on adventures for women. In the end, for various reasons, I decided not to take that opportunity. I made a promise to myself, though, that I would instead start a blog of my own. I’m not sure that I have a ton to add to the many words that are thrown into the wilds of the Internet each day, but a promise is a promise, and so here I am.
Connected to that idea of traveling is the recent realization that I’ve moved at least 18 times in the last 15 years. Some years were more transient than others, some more steady. I have an idea that I am headed towards increased permanence fairly soon, though I’m not sure where that instinct is coming from. Wherever I land, though, I hope to always make travel an important part of my life. Whether it takes me to new cultures or simply across my hometown, I believe that travel anywhere offers the chance to discover tiny bits of truth, scattered about like golden remnants of the world’s largest Easter egg hunt, hidden just well enough. I wander in part because of this.
Coupled with that, I am unshakably an introvert, someone who is refreshed by time alone or with the people I love most in the world. I am in no way a hermit; I love people, and believe that my life is made so much richer by listening to, learning from, and sharing with others. In fact, you’ll often find me eavesdropping on conversations between strangers (just kidding; I am very sly and never get caught!).
I’ve been told that I’m too serious, but I don’t think of myself that way at all. I love this life, and I delight in it; I’m amazed by people, places, weather, adventures, dreams, food, my bright purple running shoes, the fact that the washer in this apartment is also a dryer, the places that I have yet to discover and those that I visit all the time. I’m insatiably curious about people, and try to listen closely to the stories that each one of us can tell.
I feel lucky to be alive every single day, even though I am often confused and saddened by the world. The older I get, the more I understand that I truly know very few things, and that there is freedom in that knowledge. I intend for this blog to be a place where I share some ideas on what it means, for me, to be who I am. Within that, please know I aim to create a spirit of (and for) authenticity, never authority.
Thank you for reading.