I am a dirtbag.
No, not a teenage dirtbag (but do you now have the song stuck in your head?). And no, I do not mean dirtbag in a derogatory way. In fact, I am proud to be a dirtbag. Well, not quite proud, but I'm getting there.
How do I define dirtbag? That's asking how I define myself and IF YOU ARE AT ALL FAMILIAR WITH THIS BLOG, you will know I have a difficult time defining myself. In short, it's someone with a college degree who would rather wander around outside than maintain a steady 9-5. It's someone who wears unattractive and clunky sandals because they are comfortable and perfect for hiking while allowing the toes to breathe. Stilettos that make my legs look longer? (Is that what stilettos are supposed to do? Are they supposed to lead to, well, intimate relations with another person? Because other than those two things, what's the point of such shoes?) I haven't worn any form of high heel in, honestly, over a decade. A dirtbag forgets to shave. A dirtbag doesn't exactly "forget" to shave, they just don't care. A dirtbag fantasizes about that VW van her family had growing up, the one with curtains and Grateful Dead stickers. They unfortunately had to sell it at some point and not a day goes by when she doesn't mourn for the loss of such a dirtbag approved vehicle.
LOOK. Look. I don't look down upon those who are the opposite of a dirtbag. I really don't. In fact, there have been times in my life when I have fantasized about what it would be like to be posh. To be pampered and professional and put-together. I like trying on different hats, if only in my head. (Trying on hats inside of your head? Trippy, dude.) It's just time and time again I return to my dirtbag ways and it feels, finally, like home. It is where I rest my hat-trying head and recharge my batteries. (Yes, they are rechargeable batteries! No way am I going to throw those suckers into a landfill.) Dirtbag Badge of Honor. I need to start wearing it with pride.
I think the reason why I don't fully embrace and accept my dirty, wandering ways is that I far too often buy into the belief that I must be settled down and suited up at this point in my life. I should have satisfied my nomadic hungers by now and I should have 2.5 kids and a fence and a retirement plan by now. Shoulds. "By now."
Buy now. Am I buying into what society tries to sell me any chance it gets? Yes. Yes, I am. That has to stop now. It has to stop now simply because I want it to stop now. My whole life I've quietly said what I've wanted to myself, alone, while publicly going along with whatever is accepted by the majority. Okay, not my whole life, but I have definitely kept quiet when I have wanted to scream/sing on definitely more than a dozen occasions. So much so that I don't even realize it anymore. I do not realize it when I give up my voice and my desires in order to pacify and please someone else, whether it is society at large or a casual acquaintance. Why do I give away my power so freely? How can I gain it back?
It starts with embracing the dirtbag lifestyle I know fits me like an old Chaco sandal. Embracing it and not viewing it as some sort of handicap. It's not. It's a path, that's all. And lucky for me, I am wearing the right shoes now in order to traverse this blessed road. May you find and wander through yours as well.