A former partner used to comment on my wanderlust rather frequently. I’d go for long walks. I was constantly dreaming of a place anywhere but where I was. I wanted nothing more than to walk into the woods and sometimes, just sometimes, never have to leave the tangled mess of Grendel’s forest. All of these are very atypical for the average Cancerian.
We had a shared passion for astrology when it was convenient to us and both of us being Cancers, it was a common topic of discussion that I had such a desire to “get lost”.
Cancers are supposed to be homebodies; my partner certainly was. I absolutely have it in my character to be a homebody and my friends can attest to the fact that sometimes I am often heard and seldom seen. But upon further research, an interesting concept did appear.
A Cancer, like a real Crab, often picks up its home wherever it goes and if it feels it has no home to return to; a crab will wander until it finds a suitable home.
Now for some context, this was during a time of my life shortly after the passing of my mother and during one of the most tumultuous phases of my home life. My aunts were at times unsympathetic, the economy was bad and my grandmother was sick. And even though I was physically at home in North Texas I felt very far from being anywhere that felt like home. I had returned from San Antonio after graduating from college and hoped to find myself in North Texas. That didn’t work out for me and I returned to San Antonio to start my life.
I left behind plenty of people in that move but I did what felt right.
I wanted to find my home. I wanted to build a home because I embraced that the nostalgic view of home I had no longer existed. My nuclear family had died, my aunts struggled to deal with a melancholy college grad. We were no longer in the home I was raised in: we were far from it. All of the things were of value to me were either movable or didn’t exist anymore. Friendships don’t usually just vanish over miles and I’ve managed to keep many of my North Texas friends since I moved: sure, things have been difficult but not impossible.
I built a happy home in San Antonio and even though lovers, partners and friends have come and gone I did find home. I found routine. I found security. I found stability.
But every once in awhile a pang of anxiety will coax me from my bed. Every once in awhile a twinge of fear will stop me from my sewing. And before I got my handsome car, usually in those moments I’d either hop on the next bus to anywhere but home or I’d sit and distract myself until the negative thoughts went away.
Now that I have a car, I find that I go on drives. Amber and I are known for our weekend trips. I for a while drove back and forth to Austin daily. The drives to North Texas have gotten easier and easier. I am a bit of a road warrior. Give me a good playlist and most road trips are pretty easy to manage, even alone. They get better with company. I’ve even considered a few trips on my own to find myself.
So now if those same invasive negative thoughts creep in, despite the time of day or night, I can hop in the car and go for a drive. I can go to the park and go for a walk. Go to the mall and just people watch. I can go to the museum and embrace a culture that isn’t mine. I can go to the library and get books I no longer have self space for but will never turn down.
Despite my pugnacious personality, I rather dislike conflict. And when things are less than kind, I much rather walk away. I much rather distance myself from a bad situation than stay in a non-productive argument. Like a hermit crab, I will pick up my shell and walk until I find more hospitable waters.
Sometimes it’s okay to walk away from a conversation that isn’t going anywhere. Sometimes it’s okay to avoid pain. If a crab has a home, even one it likes a lot, it will leave it behind if it is repeatedly shocked or subjected to torments or acidic waters.
Home is where you set up camp and home is almost always inside of you and those you care for most.