I don’t really like to go in order. If I told you what the #1 perk of being a gypsy was, why would you read the rest?
Here is a fun fact about me….I cannot sit still to save my life. When I was a kid, my report cards always looked something like this:
“Jessica is doing very well in school, she does her homework, gets along great with her peers and does well on her tests, but she needs to learn how to stay in her seat and not talk during class.“
Mrs Ciapetta in third grade wrote in the special comments section:
“A busy bee is a happy bee- as long as Jessica’s mind is occupied- she is the perfect student.”
See, here is the thing, my mother knew from a young age that I had a lot of energy, but she refused to have me tested for ADD by a professional. She knew that once I was labeled I would be treated differently by teachers and peers, and she also didn’t want me on medicine. Can you imagine that?? A child NOT on medication. Gosh, the parents of today must be gasping in horror.
“But what did they do with you?”
“How did they get you to be quiet, and sit still?”
“How did they take you to a restaurant without an iPad?!”
Now my parents were a little unconventional, but here’s what they did….
I was kept active. I PLAYED OUTSIDE … I wasn’t allowed to spend hours upon hours in the house watching TV or playing video games. I was on numerous sports teams. Had actual chores.
Oh and get this.. I was actually punished when I did something wrong….
I was encouraged to use my imagination, I was given endless “projects.” Things like cooking dinner, building blocks, arts and crafts, helping Dad in the garden.
What was my point? Oh yeah…my ADD.
You know what’s amazing about this gypsy life that I have adopted? I never have the same day…ever.My constant problems of getting bored easily and hating routines- instantly fixed when I put on the long skirt and the big hoops. (Okay, I’ll be honest, I always wore long skirts and big hoops—but now, they have more meaning.) In the beginning of my gypsy adventure, packing bags for what could be anywhere from 2 days to 7 days at a time was hard. I would have barely enough room in my car for myself, not to mention having to carry all those bags from parking spots that were usually several blocks away (depending on who I was staying with). And then going up in elevators (which I usually couldn’t fit in with anyone else but a small child).Or walking up stairs.Or down long icy driveways.
It was comical to say the least. But, by now I have learned that two pairs of leggings, some basic tanks, two or three solid-colored sweaters, and two pairs of shoes can last me a whole week if I plan right. Oddly enough, my gym clothes bag is usually bigger than my normal clothes bag.
(Can you say gym rat?)
I stay with a different family member or friend every week, eat different food, do whatever their normal routines are (trivia Tuesday at the local bar, watching their weekly shows, or even grocery shopping), and then the next week—I’m off! To a whole different life, a whole different routine, a new exciting adventure.
Sure, I haven’t slept in the same bed for longer than three consecutive nights in a row for more than eight months. And yea, maybe my car serves as a type of “choose your own adventure closet.” Sometimes, I have no plans at all for the night that follows, and I kind of land wherever I can- or make the trek back home.
But, you know what makes that all okay?
I have gotten closer to some members in my family that I never would have if I lived on my own in the same place. Cousins, aunts, and uncles that I would see maybe once a month for family occasions (okay, maybe twice a month—we’re a close family) I am now seeing twice a week instead. Learning more about who they all are on a personal daily level, making memories—stories to tell when we grow older. Sharing the kind of deep-in-your-soul laughter that can only be shared with people who love you unconditionally, no matter what you do, what you look like at the moment, and no matter how many times you have fallen. The kind of laughter you can only have when you are not worried about what they think of you, or how loud you snort, or if they are going to judge you because your hair is a mess. The kind of laughter that makes anything and everything just a little bit better. Laughter that sticks to the heart, that pops in your head at the most random moments and makes you smile.
Taking this Gypsy Soul of mine just a little bit higher into the clouds.