Cabin Fever, Strep Throat, and Gypsies

The last time I left the house was last Thursday for a doctor’s appointment. I wasn’t feeling well, and was feeling steadily worse over the course of a week. It was time to visit the doctor.

The doctor told me I had strep throat. I’ve been in the house ever since.

One such feverish night, after having sweated out my night clothes for the first time that night, I started wishing that I was a gypsy. I blame the cabin fever for this. It could’ve also been my actual fever, and the fact that my throat is so swollen, that getting oxygen to my brain has been difficult.

For a girl like me, it takes nothing for me to get cabin fever. I love to be out and about, even if it’s just to go to work. I take public transportation to work, and that’s always an adventure.

As I was lying in the dark soaked in sweat, all I could think is that I wished I was a gypsy nomad. My only true desire in that moment was to loose myself of the bonds of sickness, suburbia and convention, and travel the world with no set itinerary in mind.

I’ve often dreamed of leaving job and all just to travel: no set time to stay or go to or from a place, and no set date to ever return.

What is it that keeps us in a place? Is it because of what our ancestors always did? Is it because we feel obligated to different responsibilities–children, spouses, jobs? Why do we feel an obligation to convention (the set way of doing things)?

I have a theory on why the idea of commitment often makes me itch (yes, sometimes literally):

When you have a “real” job, get married or get into some type of long term relationship or have children, you’re bound to that. It’s not to say that these things are bad or boring, but something about the idea of staying in one place doing the same thing day in and day out makes me cringe inwardly. Whenever the idea of being forced into some societal norm comes to mind, I freak out internally. All I want to do is run. Like an animal that is freed from a trap, I just want to run straight into the wild.

Sometimes I picture myself like a wild horse with the mane and tail flying in the wind. If I ever decided to get a tattoo (it’s not likely that I will, but maybe when I’m 80 if I’m still around), that’s probably what I’d get. It would definitely be a wild horse with the mane flailing about in the wind. To me, that is the symbol of freedom.

All I want to do is run wild, unfettered and free. There are times where I’ve come close to giving away all the things that I’ve amassed (since they don’t fit in my little room anyway), and just buying a one-way ticket to Lord knows where.

I crave adventure like some people crave cake. I need it like oxygen. Without that feeling of an adventure flowing through my veins, I feel like I’m dying inside.

I think I just need a good chunk of time in my life where every day is an adventure, and that said adventure could lead me anywhere in the world.

Which leads me back to why the idea of being a gypsy nomad tugs at my heart strings. One day I need to do this, and I hope I won’t delay. Sometimes you get caught up in the “routine” of convention that you lose the fight to buck it. I knew a long time ago that being unconventional was more my speed. It’s about time that I embraced that and really ran after what it is that I want right now.

It’s a brave thing to do, and sometimes I lack the “courage of conviction”, as Julia Child called it. I hope to summon up just enough of this courage and bravery to run with the wind through my mane, and not look back.

For a little while, anyway.

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