I’ll warn you before you start reading. This kind of gets personal and I’m not expecting everyone to openly spill their life stories as a reply. Just try to see it as something to think about. There’s no need to reply if you’d rather keep it to yourselves. But if the following is something that you think fits your life, I’d be happy to hear about you privately or in an open reply. And another warning: I’m not trying to tell that you’re all probably somehow phobic and weirdos. I’m just curious to hear if I’m the only one thinking like this.
I introduced myself last week and since then I’ve started thinking a bit more critically about my life. I’m kind of generally allergic to words like “for life”, “permanent job”, “forever” and so on. (I’m not going to tell you about my relationships with women, don’t worry. ).
During the last ten years I haven’t done the same thing (job, studying traveling) for two consecutive years. There’s always been a change. I always saw that as something that just happened and as something that has made me the restless vagrant I am. Right now I’m starting to think it might be something that I’ve had all along. I’m calling it commitmentphobia.
I’m a teacher and my position is turning permanent in August. It’s actually something that traditionally is seen as a good thing, but I have a feeling of getting a big heavy lump of lead chained on my ankle. Which is actually complete bullshit. When I’m permanent, I can actually take up to six years of unpaid leave, which is a privilege that not many have. Since I’m rationally aware that the feeling is completely groundless, but I still can’t stop feeling that way, I’m thinking it has to be something more unconscious.
I’m reading a book right now that has started to clarify the ants in my pants a bit (the German translation of “He’s Scared, She’s Scared” by Carter and Sokol). It’s more about commitment in a relationship, but there are so many stories about people who can’t do the same job for long or can’t settle down in one place that it immediately reminded me of you guys, modern nomads. It could be kind of like an occupational disease for nomads. Or maybe it’s more like a requirement for the lifestyle and then it wouldn’t be a disease, but something helpful. All a matter of perspective, I guess…
As I said, I’m just kind of starting to think about this and I’m absolutely not ready to call myself a commitmentphobic yet, but I can’t escape the feeling that it just fits a bit too nicely. Are there any others here who think this might be a quality or a personality trait you possess? (Or that possesses you?)