Community and Home

I tell people in Bulgaria that I want to live in a village, and for the most part they turn up their noses at me and, almost suspiciously, ask why I would want to do that. Of course, these are the young ones. But they see the villages as dying venues. In a way, they are right. The population of Bulgarian villages continues to shrink while their urban areas swell.

Their words inspire me to dig deeper into my dream. To cling. I want out of the city. A little house, heated by wood, built with my own hands, designed from the lines that grow in my brain. A garden. The sound of kids exploring louder than the sound of cars revving their engines and honking their horns.

I wonder what everyone finds so intoxicating about cities. The promise of a better life. A high paying job in a capitalistic society. The potential to meet anyone. Likeminded. To surround yourself with a clique of your choosing. Over 100 different cafes. Restaurants. Nightclubs. Bars. Places to get drunk and pretend that you might meet someone, except that everyone is too wrapped up in their own lives, and trying to remove the pressure of being stacked 10 stories deep, that they never actually make an effort to say hello.

Life would be difficult in a village. Cooking every meal, or at least 95%. No place to go to just stare at people and imagine who and what they are. No creative outlets. Friends would actually have to travel to us. A lack of schools. A lack of stores to get my mind off of my social frustration.

People say we should only move where we know we will have work, and a village is not a place offering jobs. But Nikola and I work in a virtual world not constrained by location. Unless he starts a business. For now, we could isolate ourselves in the woods and, so long as we can run high speed internet there, have enough money for food, heating, and to pack away for family trips and the University education I no longer believe in.

In other words: work is a very small limitation.

Then what is stopping us?

I have no idea where in Bulgaria I would want to live. When we were in Istanbul, daydreaming about being back in a land where we trusted people and could communicate without issues, we said Hissar. Now, it seems so far away. Strange. No further away than Tucson from Prescott and yet it seems like a completely impossible distance.

Maybe it is because, honestly, I don’t have a desire to live there. Here’s the thing: I want a house, and a home, my version of the “white picket fence” but I don’t know where I want that. I don’t even have a clue. It feels like yet another attack of paralysis due to too much choice.

I used to choose where I went next based on the amenities. A fire spinning culture. Writers and artists. Cafes and pool halls where these people gathered. Organic food stores. Awesome nature. Japanese food. Mexican food. Killer sunsets. An airport.

Now, none of that seems to matter. It would all be nice to have, but I have learned to live without it. By the time I applied to join the Peace Corps, I was really done with a desire to live in certain places. That is why it was so easy for me to say, “Georgia? Sweet! Bulgaria? Okay!” I no longer cared about place. I was seeking something else.

Then, I went to Istanbul and I thought that I found another place that would invigorate and inspire me. Force me to grow. And I was sorely disillusioned by my experience there. We came back to Bulgaria and I just fizzled out with my need for place.

I found something more important. I need community. I need to live around likeminded individuals. Where is the Dunbar springs of Bulgaria? The Haight? Heck, I would take Tucson in general. Where are there hippie parents raising hippie, barefoot kids? Who hang out on the beach, watching the sunset and discussing philosophy and poetry and art? Where are the people who make art? I am sure there are some in Varna. There are a few sprinkled everywhere, of course. I am just so out of touch with the culture I love that I have no idea how to find or build community.

Remember those days when we used to dream of a little haven. A commune, if you will. With burners. With geeks. With D/s, sex positive advocates. With… someone who reflects who I want to be. People who drive me to better myself.

I guess it was all just dreams.

At least now I know. The reality of my situation. I need to stop looking for land and houses and potential roots. Instead I need to find people who settle my heart and set my soul on fire. 

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