Call it wonderful or horrible. Either way, being of two minds necessitates a lot of back and forth. As the consumate all-or-nothing girl, I should know.
My gene pool may be partially to blame for this opposite disorder. But I’m pretty sure the bulk of the responsibility belongs to swimming pools.
Between the ages of 4 and 20, I devoted almost every day to going from one end of a pool to the other. At first, it was just a few lengths. Then it was dozens. And then hundreds. While in college on a scholarship, I swam 20 hours a week. Back and forth. To and fro. Always in horizontal motion headed toward a flipturn.
Perhaps my life ever since would be better characterized as a series of laps, too, instead of years. I never linger long in any destination because I’m programmed to promptly head back in the opposite direction. My existence is based on moving toward opposite ends of far reaches. Despite the fact that I’ve lived on both sides of the Atlantic and Pacific, my one true residence is neither here nor there.
Mine is not a condition to be cured or lamented, as one might think or even wish. I consider myself to occupy both sides of a spectrum. Treatment of my perceived restlessness would require the simultaneous administration of uppers and downers. But I don’t have ADHD and OCD in random tandem. I am, quite simply, a mermaid turned nomad. The logical result of swimming laps for 16 years.
Before landing on this realization, I tried to medicate myself — with liquids — over the course of two dozen years and destinations. Drinking heavily from Mombasa to Kathmandu and back again. Trying to take the edge off the world as I made the rounds. Wondering, at every turn, why I couldn’t stop.
Seems I drank as I had once swum. Bottoms up. Guzzle down. When presented with a bottle of anything, the ebb and flow didn’t cease until I was filled with emptiness.
Going dry in the Arabian Desert a year ago helped me finally arrive at some foregone conclusions. I thrive on moving between Point A and Point B. I don’t need liquid fuel or a chlorine pool to take me places. I am meant to come and go. Fluid.