To The Things We Want But Can’t Have
One year ago I wrote a farewell letter to the city that felt like my home the second I arrived in it.
That place was San Francisco.
It made me realize that I’ve become a master of wanting things I can’t have.
I think that’s a large part of what being young means.
It’s heartbreaking to stand in front of something you want so badly. Something or someone you know can live without you being around at all.
Perhaps that’s too much for me to project onto a city, but I can’t help but feel melancholy when staring at this beautiful place.
The act of traveling doesn’t take place in a vacuum.
You don’t just go and have a bunch of experiences only to return home later and never think of it again.
Traveling affects us on a deep, deep level when done right.
Pretty soon our emotions can get lost in the insanity that is to jump outside of comfort zones and walk where we’ve never walked and see who we’ve never seen.
I told my best friend that if you travel right, you should want to live in all the places you visit.
Every place has something to offer. Some beauty. People don’t just build a bunch of skyscrapers and houses out in the middle of nowhere for nothing. There’s reasons. It’s our job as travelers to find those reasons.
If we find them, we’ll want to live in those places ourselves.
That’s the tragedy of it all, though.
This is a post, surprisingly enough, that’s about heartbreak.
Before you X out of this, take a second to realize you’ve felt this way before, too. We all have. Whether it’s wanting to be with a crush, wanting that car, or wanting to be Captain of our high school team.
I just want to live in a certain city, that’s all.
So what do I have to say these things that I want?
It’s not over yet.
Even though the city could do without me for now I still have many years in front of me.
The people who live here now earned their spot in San Francisco. I will earn mine.
There’s something in the air here, I swear. When you look at the fading skyline against the purples and oranges of a setting sun it very well might change your life.
In a matter of seconds your life’s trajectory can alter.
“I’m coming here,” you’ll tell yourself.
That’s why emotions are so important.
You need to be excited about your life. If you aren’t excited, you’ll end up making boring decisions and living in boring places.
Yes, it’s scary to face failure.
But every time I’ve risked failure it’s turned out just fine for me.
You need to fall in love a little more often. Fall in love with a place, fall in love with your life, fall in love with a person.
Allow yourself to do so.
When it doesn’t work out you’ll face heartbreak like I am now, but here I am in the middle of it all saying that it’s worth it.
I’ll never forget how I felt when I came back here. I didn’t have the city this time either, but it felt nice just to be around it again.
When I thought about it I realized I did have it for a week, though.
When you go out on a date with a pretty girl you do have her attention for a couple hours. If you’re interesting (and a bit lucky) she might want to go out with you again.
Why do us young people believe when it’s foolish to believe?
Because almost having something is better than not having it at all. It’s sad — I know — but it’s true for me at least.
Some of us want to be melancholy.
Some of us want to feel nostalgiac because it reminds us of a time that was better than where we are now.
Reminiscing is painful and amazing at the same time.
Whenever I get around my best friends all we seem to talk about is when we met three years ago. Those are my favorite topics of discussion.
I’ve realized it’s better to almost have what I want for now, even though it hurts.
The way I feel right now is real. The words I’m speaking are true.
That’s how I know it’s something worth pursuing.
I am a full-time Digital Nomad and travel quite a bit. If you want to work wherever you want, download my ebook called “You Work Where?” for some of the secrets I’ve learned over the last two years doing this every day.