It’s always something subtle that hits me. Like passing Baltimore on I-95 South. Or calling it “my parents’ house.” Or stopping for donuts on the way out of New Orleans. Because who knows if I’m ever going back, right?
Today, it was my keychain. When I took off the apartment key and college key, and put them in an envelope for my porter. Now my keychain, a beautiful gift from a teammates mother on graduation day, proudly proclaiming ’07 grad, has two simple keys in it. The first is the key to my traveling guitar case. The second the key to my bike lock.
And so starts the 20s ritual. There’s no apartment in the world that I’m supposed to be in. For the next 6-8 weeks, I drift. From England to New Orleans. To Atlanta. The beach. New York City. DC burbs. Philly. Enjoy the hospitality. Scrape together food. Do a lot of thinking.
The difference this year is those two keys. Because even if there isn’t a room in the world I can call my own; my bike and my guitar are staying in England. And that means something. It means I have a home base, or something like it.
In stark contrast to last year, when everything went with me in the trunk. It was Philly, DC, Baltimore, New Orleans, Atlanta, North Carolina, DC, Philly, NYC, London, Oxford. When it was months between having my own castle. Because a room really is a castle.
But this is the advantage of being young. I get to see things. Try things. But most of all, do things. Over the next six months, if something comes up, anything, I have the freedom to do it. That’s the tradeoff. I could do anything.
Last year, this ritual laid the groundwork for my Master’s Thesis. This year, I’m staying with a family I met at City Hall last summer. Right now, I’m making sure I have everything.
Keys? Well, you know…