Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Microstory 1808: Only Natural

I thought that I was born a nomad when I was young, but I didn’t know the meaning of the word. We moved all over the country, for various reasons, usually involving one of my parents getting a better job opportunity, but also sometimes because they needed a change of pace. They eventually grew weary of the grind, and decided that we would live simpler lives. There were six of us kids by then, and a seventh would come later. The two eldest got jobs to help support the family, but none of it was what you might call skilled labor. This was done on purpose, so as to untether us from any one place. We continued to move around, but if anyone in the family—including the youngest kids—asked to move somewhere else, we would. Well, you had to perform a presentation, and plead your case, but this was only shot down twice, and once because there were conflicting requests that just so happened to occur at the same time. I was the middle kid, and had plenty of chances to prompt one of our infamous moves, but I never chose to do so. It didn’t matter to me where we lived, as long as everyone else was happy. Being the one to ask for it just didn’t make any sense for someone who didn’t care either way. I fell in love with the life. I liked meeting people all over the continent, trying new things, and learning new languages. We even went to the U.S. once, but I’m sorry to say nobody liked it, so we returned to Europe after a few months. We spent all of our money on those two trips, but we all appreciated gaining the experience. When I came of age, I was expected to get a job of my own, so I could share in the burden. I did, but then I grew tired of it. I loved my family, but I didn’t want to work. I wanted to keep moving.

My parents and siblings could see that I was unhappy. Some people in this world are just not cut out for work. I was certainly not raised to recognize its inherent value. We only did it because we had least that’s what we thought. They released me from my unwritten contract so I could go explore the world on my own. I went farther than we ever did, to parts of Africa and Asia, and back to the Americas once or twice. I was homeless, but I was happy. You would be surprised what you can do without any money whatsoever, as long as you have no qualms about wild berries and dumpster diving. I kept in touch as best I could in those days, and returned home after two years. I regaled my family with stories of my journey, teaching them a few tricks I picked up along the way. They found themselves to be envious of the true nomadic lifestyle, especially my two younger brothers, who both had jobs of their own now. They too hated it. Only the littlest girl was too young to know what it was like yet, but she didn’t seem very interested in trying. So everyone quit their jobs, and followed me. With my guidance, they figured out how to live with no borders, no constraints. It was so freeing, and I thought I was happy before, but now I was really happy. As technology progressed, it became easier to stay in contact with people, and we discovered that we weren’t the only ones living like this. As nomads, we were obviously very separated from each other, but we still considered ourselves to be part of a community. It is through it that I met my future husband. I can’t believe I found someone who saw the world just as I did. We settled down for a little while so our kids could grow up with a little bit more stability, but when they were old enough to start making their own decisions, they decided they wanted to join our old community. So we went back to being nomads. It’s only natural.

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