Antevasin - My Way
If you’re familiar with the book written by Elizabeth Gilbert, Eat Pray Love, or the movie that stars Julia Roberts, you’ve heard this word. Felipe shares his word to be “Antevasin” which is Sanskirt for “One who lives at the border” or an in between. I realize that when people talk about this word, they are taking about living a life that is unsettled, a life that has no room for structure or consistency. I loved the word, but didn’t feel it in my soul. After watching the movie and reading the book, I decided to go on a search for my own word. Both Felipe and Liz had beautiful words, and I wanted to find one that was suitable for me! I played around with several words, wondering which would be a good fit for me. However, each word seemed too simple, almost 2D, not something that was all encompassing of who I was. One of the biggest challenges was that I wasn’t just one way. I am a bundle of conflicting thoughts, feelings, and emotions. I am, as expected, a complex being. That’s what it means to be human I suppose, but that made it difficult when searching for a word; it seemed so easy for Liz and Felipe, why was it so hard for me? There was so much I loved and enjoyed, so much I searched for and longed to be a part of, I was a dreamer, and I could see myself fit in to whatever box I wanted to be in. I was more than just one box though, I was a lot of boxes, maybe even a honeycomb, or I was something else entirely: gumbo, all mixed together as a jumbled yet delicious mess. Simply put, I was complicated. Who am I kidding, I still am.
Since it felt like a battle I couldn’t win, because of my ‘complicated personality’ (I’m really not that complicated, but it feels that way when I try to get myself to fit into a box), I decided to then find a word for the year, allowing myself the ability to change up the word as I saw fit. After a few years of this though, I landed on the word Quaintrelle, which means “A woman who emphasizes a life of passion expressed through personal style, leisurely pastimes, charm, and cultivation of life’s pleasures.” It was fitting for me and my goals. It was a word that would grow with me while also expressing what I was experiencing in the moment. I was living a life of passion. I was spending time cultivating the life I wanted through each aspect of my personality. It was beautiful! It was fulfilling to have a word that I could go to, one that defined me and my purpose. It was almost like having my own personal mission statement. I stopped thinking about “my word” in that sense and was able to get on with my life. I suppose I felt like I couldn’t be authentic until I had a word, but now that I had it, I was able to just live my life as I wished. After being blessed and able to take a few trips, I had learned that there was even more contradictions to my personality and my soul. The new contradiction was the fact that I was a homebody with wanderlust! Who knew?
“What does that even mean?” you ask, well, let me tell you. When I went to Paris and London with Becky, I was able to be present with everything we were doing, however the moment we had free time, I was on my phone, calling my husband, texting family pictures of what I had seen, and generally wishing I was back home…in my bed. I was surrounded by so much beauty, and I loved it so much, but I couldn’t be completely immersed because I wished my family was with me, or that I was with them. The time difference was very difficult, since it was 6-7 hours difference. It was hard to coordinate communication, and I would stay up really late just so I could have a few minutes on the phone with my husband. I had thought that maybe if he’d been on the trip with me, I would’ve been a lot more present.
But then we went to Hawaii. It was me and James, the two of us, on our Babymoon. It was a trip of a lifetime and again, I found myself so excited about what we were seeing and where we were, but the feeling of wanting to be close to my family still stung. I didn’t understand why, but there I was, again calling my mom or texting her during our down time, finding ways to connect with those left in the mainland. Again, the time difference was 6-7 hours. Again, when we got home and had a few nights back in our bed, I felt rejuvenated and ready to go on yet another adventure. However, pregnancy really kicked in and the idea of traveling or walking a lot wasn’t too appealing. Adventure will have to come at a later time.
It’s a little crazy to me that I have these two equally intense desires. One to be on the road, travel, and see the sites; and the other to be at home, and staying in the familiar routine I’ve crafted for myself. When I think of the word “Antevasin” this is what comes to mind, being in an in between, in a place where I want to travel, but just as equally and passionately want to stay home. The in between of adventure and routine. I thought I was crazy because of these conflicting views, wondering why on earth I would be content to just stay put, but here’s the truth. I love my life. I have worked so hard to get the life I have. I put the effort into this life, and I am not ashamed of it. I have no reason to try to run away from it. Yes, I want to explore parts of the world, yes, I want to experience culture, food, scenery, etc. Yes, I want to go hiking, camping, exploring, sightseeing…yes, yes, yes. Yes, I want to do it all, but I also want to be home. I want to cook dinner, use my own dishes, do my laundry in my own washer and dryer, sit on the back deck and watch the hummingbirds, go to the grocery store and know what aisle each item I need is on. I cherish both aspects equally and without guilt. I wouldn’t have known this had I not traveled. I wouldn’t have realized that I am both a homebody and a traveler. I would not have known this had I not gone and experienced it. I still would not have embraced it, had I not spent time to reflect on it. Part of the wanderlust came from reading travel memoirs. I felt such a pull to travel and felt that I was missing out on life because I wasn’t going on these grand adventures, but after making this realization of being a homebody with wanderlust, I’ve been more able to enjoy the books for what they are. I can enjoy these people’s stories, and enjoy the comforts of my home. I can go online and create plans for trips I would love to take some day, but have no deadline of when they must happen. I can sit back, enjoy my life as it is, and wait, patiently for my next opportunity. I’m thankful for travel and the insights it’s given me. I’m thankful for my ability to stay at home and really reflect on the life I have. I am grateful that I have a life I don’t want to or need to run away from. My home life is the cake, the travel is the icing. I can enjoy the cake with or without the icing!