Give me the highs and the lows over dull and mundane any day. I would rather be in the depths of despair than in the confines of comfort. Stability or misery and the opposite of each. The opposite of stability is instability. The opposite of misery is happiness. The opposite of mundane, excitement. The opposite of “okay”? Not okay? Just a little bit less than okay, maybe?

So many of us in our daily lives are searching for a soft place to fall. And sometimes we might actually need to do this. But to live in a constant state of guarding against pain is to cut ourselves off from the flow of life— it is to be empty, bored, and uncertain. Certainty may be fleeting, but it certainly feels better than apathy. Every decision we make is really a leap of faith in the end. We can always trace the possibilities in our minds or draw on past experience, but, really, this experience is unique in itself. What is happening right now is all that there is. This is one of the simplest and most frightening realizations a person can have.

I stopped taking pictures. I don’t need to relate every detail of my experience to others. I need to be here in the moment to fully enjoy the experience. When thoughts of worry about the future come, I have to remind myself that it’s not time for that yet. This is what I am doing now. Nothing else. There is nothing else that needs to be done but to be yourself. To love in absence of assurance and to say it. Not after 3 glasses of wine, not after careful planning, but now when you feel it.

So much of our time is spent keeping up appearances or creating appearances, which is part of the art of being human. We like not knowing everything about each other. A little mystery is nice. But it’s also important to reveal what’s in our hearts while our hearts are still beating. There is no other time but now. We need to ask for what we want. Express what we don’t want and what’s not okay to us. And then, we need to try to listen. Listen knowing the other person or people is/are speaking their truth. Even if that truth is clouded and covered in lies or pretention. Everything that happens in our lives is not up to us, but interpretation is.

These all sounds a little cliché, I admit. But I think it is so important to be alive in all its contradictions and pieces of wisdom that have been repeated so many times that we no longer hear them. We don’t understand them until we’ve been through them. Until some epiphany occurs. Until our bodies and minds self-discern their own truth. I am blissful even though I am scraped and bruised because I am learning that I am enough. That I can survive in this world even if everything goes wrong. Even if I don’t accomplish every goal I set out to do. Even if I become penniless and have to live on the street.

These eyes can see. This skin can feel. These ears can be tickled and they can hear. My lips can tingle. My tongue can taste. My voice can reveal my thoughts. My nose can transform an outside thing into an inside thing. I have memory. I have hope. I have a home in me. No matter where I go, I always have a place to fall. The earth isn’t going anywhere for now. The pavement and grass and cement will always hold me. People may not always protect me. Sometimes they will attack, but I will survive, and if I die, I will die knowing that I have lived.

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