The Challenges Of Being An Elite Snob Leaving Family And Friends Behind29 Jan 2017
One thing that regularly bothers me in the back of my mind is the grief I get from friends that I don't come back to where I grew up enough and see friends and family. I get it directly, as well as something I hear through the grapevine--talk about me being a snob, and one of those elites that are too good to come back home and hang out with the people I grew up with. Most of the time I can shake this off and continue with my work, but sometimes it leaves me pretty sad, bothered, and even depressed.
The way folks treat you when you leave home and find any amount of success isn't something people talk about when they tell you that you can be anything you want when you grow up, and to follow your dreams. I know that many of these emotions are about them, and doesn't have much to do with me, as I do try to go back home a couple times a year, as I'm rolling through town to see my daughter. It makes it tough that there isn't a major airport nearby, but I make sure and drive at least once a year so I can stop briefly.
I'm sure the Facebook views of my world look glamorous, but it doesn't show all the shitty places I've slept and ate along the way. In the early days when I left town I would hitchhike and sleep in bushes, then as I got older, and pushed my way out of town I would sleep in my car, on couches, in airports, and sketchy hotels. When you travel the globe you post the best pictures--this is how things work. You rarely show the bad situations and the struggles of how you get where you were going and how you got back home.
It may seem like I'm rich as we fly out the world, but most of the time these flights and accommodations are purchased by the events we are speaking at. Yes, we are in Paris, but I didn't post about how we had to borrow 20 Euro from a friend to get metro back to the airport. That time in Dublin where I went to get breakfast for us with 6 Euro, coming back with coffee and two baguettes. Or the number of times I've over drafted my debit card to get a room (I do not have credit cards), or the hotels who have done us favors by letting us stay until we had money. You just don't tell these stories in real-time, as we are just trying to make our mark in the world, and get things done.
I struggle to understand why friends and family get so upset with me and want to talk trash about me not coming around. When I hear this it makes me not want to spend the money, and time to come around as often. Rarely do people ever come see me. I've had the occasional visit from my mother and my sister, but nobody else ever comes to see me. This wasn't any different when I lived in Oregon. In the two years after my divorce I lived by myself, and nobody ever came to see me, except one trip from my mother when my daughter was sick, and one from a sister who I paid to come to a concert with me. This was a really hard time for me, but I got through it, and I don't throw grief at folks because I assume they didn't come see me for the same reasons I don't come around as much--broke, tired, and you just have things going on.
There are many things that limit the reasons for going back home, but mostly I am really busy. I don't feel like people are beneath me, or that I'm better--we just vibrate on different frequencies these days. I've been leaving home since I was 16, and 75% of it has been on my own, with nobody else responsible, other than me. I'm not writing this to guilt trip, my friends and family, as I know they usually don't read any of my work. I am writing to release and vent, my blog is my therapist. It helps me process this and leave it behind, and get back to my work, and making a meaningful impact on the world.