Stay Awhile.

Stay Awhile

“I want to go home, but I’m starting to forget what home feels like…”

With puffy tear-stained eyes I sat in front of my boyfriend and frantically mumbled my way through a series of feelings about my latest quarter-life crisis. Given the extremity of my lower lip pout and the look of fear on my face, you would’ve guessed I was recruited to go to war.

But no. The truth is I’m moving into a house, one with walls and a roof, and going back to school – that’s it. And I’m so damn scared.

For the last 2 years I’ve known exactly where my home was. It was on the sandy banks of emerald rivers; on the tops of mountains I couldn’t pronounce; on the wooden back porch of the guide house. It was in my dirty blue sleeping bag, on the dirt, under the stars. I rose and fell with the sun.

Now, I can’t sleep at all. When I lay in bed the silence keeps me up. My eyelashes don’t flutter in the wind anymore. My cheeks are losing their rosy tint. The calluses on my hands are practically gone.

I miss my wild home.

The thought of giving up my boundless freedom, to say yes to any and every adventure, is heartbreaking. I feel like I’m caging up the part of me that I worked so hard to release. That’s who I’ve been for the past 2 years; that’s all I’ve known. And that’s the problem.

As someone who constantly writes and talks about adventure, I’ve put an insurmountable amount of pressure on myself to live up to the image that I’ve created. It often feels like if I don’t watch every sunrise or climb every mountain, I’m not being true to myself. I’ve become so single-minded in my quest for new and exciting, that I’ve forgotten the other bits of myself. The not so loud parts.

Like the part of me that wants a white picket fence and a house number. Or the part that wants a group of friends to eat tacos with on Tuesdays. I want to be a nurse. I want to be around when my friends start having babies. I want to absorb every last life lesson from my Grandpa before he dies.

That doesn’t mean that I have to forget about mountains and rivers and canyons, it just means that I have to make some space for the other important things in my life to flourish. I have to find balance.

I’m not giving up a part of myself, I’m gaining more.

I already know how to leave. It’s time I learn to stay awhile.


  1. Good luck Carly! I have been exactly where you are now and I did the “normal” life for a long time. Now I am having my mid-life crisis! I want to check out and become a hermit on my TN farm. Life is a balancing act that is hard. I have no doubt you will succeed in life. Keep writing. I enjoy reading your work!

  2. Seems like life might just be a series of momentary crises haha keeps us on our toes I guess! I hope you are still finding time to take your raft out in the midst of your mid-life crisis – that might just be the cure!

    Thanks for the kind words, Jeff. Hope all is well with you and your family!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.