The Nomad in You


“Real living is worth waking up for.”

These were my words in a recent conversation. It began with a book, To Shake the Sleeping Self by Jedidiah Jenkins. They arose as a friend and I commented on a shared belief that there is a contrast between living and survival, between “surviving and thriving” to borrow her words.

She responded, “That’s the nomad in you.”

The word struck me viscerally, and I grabbed hold of it. “Nomad.” I said it aloud and began turning it slowly around in my mind as I sought to ferret out its significance. It’s first promise bore into me with a single word – adventure. And considering the conversation, adventure and nomad seemed fitting companions.

As is usual for me, the counterargument followed on its heels. Courtesy of my growing understanding of Enneagram sevens, a picture of a nomad caught up in the journey but unengaged. Someone who roams about, but is always looking for the next thing without being present in the moment. A fulfillment of the gluttony of sevens. I’ve lived this life before, and it is purely survival.

A nomad’s life does not necessarily mean adventure, despite the romantic draw of wanderlust and the road. It’s a tension I acknowledge and accept.  Just as I accept that there is indeed a nomad in me. There is a part of me that longs for the road, for new experiences and for adventure. But I want to be awake for it. I want to be present. I want to thrive.

So, to borrow Jedidiah’s title, I am seeking “to shake the sleeping self”. To awaken to who I am, to grow in unity with my God and to learn to be present. Part of that is accepting the nomad in me. The one who, not too many years ago, nearly spent every penny in his bank account to buy a one way ticket to somewhere new. For no more reason than the feel of the wind on my face and the call of the road.

I’m not sure where I am headed, but I’m getting more and more excited to see where the path takes me. Filled with a bit of wanderlust, hope and born on the wind, today is a grand day for an adventure.


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