(From July 2011)
*As promised, here is the written tangent I found that made me decide to keep my promises to myself.
There are times when we question and search for inspiration. For what, though, do we need to be inspired? That isn’t usually known till inspiration comes. But it’s the feeling, the passion, that so many easily mock or dismiss that drives many of us and the lack of it is what sends us searching for inspiration.
A while ago, perhaps a year or more, the movie, Eat, Pray, Love came out. I can’t tell you exactly which year because its release was really of little consequence to me. I remember the to-do made about it and the increase of sales for the author of the book, but like so many against cliché stories, I dismissed the movie and hoped for better for Julia’s future career. Tonight, however, I found my still disinterested self sitting in front of the TV with my aunt watching said film, and I hypocritically, but not so guiltily, admit that I like it. Yes, I had a moment of cliché. It’s funny how things tend to rise around you that are so suited to your life problems. The main character, Liz, finds herself at a crossroads in life. She decides to take a journey to, as some skeptics and pessimists might say, “find herself.” An hour and a half later, she does just that.
So here I am, the study of my aunt’s house in Colorado Springs, at a crossroads. I have spent the last 18 years of my 24 in school. Most of my life up and through college was transient—my only consistency being family and words on pages. Even when I was steadily in one place for four years of college, I spent every summer somewhere different, and mostly for reasons beyond my control. I guess you could say that I thought I’d found myself, what I wanted, what I craved, what I needed, when I was in college, but when I got into only one graduate school (the one where I attended undergrad), I found that I was horribly mistaken.
In graduate school, I discovered so much more of myself. I discovered that I had so much more passion, knowledge, drive, strengths, weaknesses, softness, and courage than I’d ever known before. I grew immensely, mostly because of the people I encountered and the experiences I endured. I grew so comfortable with myself and my surroundings, that I ironically forgot that I don’t know how to be comfortable. I forgot that my fear of getting stuck, of running out of time, of wanting to learn and experience, are both my downfalls and greatest drives.
So now I am leaving again. I have no job and little money. I have no plan, really. I am at a crossroads. I am living with my aunt, for hopefully no more than a year, thousands of miles from my comfort zone, and I am looking for inspiration. I want to travel, to live abroad, my fears. I want to learn. I want to know and be known. I want to share, to teach, to allow myself to be vulnerable. I want to make a difference, to help. I want to find what I’m always looking for—my Sehnsucht if you will. I want to live and I want to live continuously, without regrets. I want to try and to know that I could always do better.
Instead of finishing my already late assignment for a class to help me on this mission, I am writing; I am typing; I am avoiding and confronting all at the same time. Within the past two years, I’ve realized that family is important, so very important, and that I have to see every second as something I might not get back. I’ve realized family isn’t always blood. I’ve learned that the students can be teachers. I’ve grown confident in my opinions, confident in my ideas, confident in my skin, and confident in my mistakes. I’ve realized that growing up will always be much faster than I’m prepared for, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that I have to prepare. I’ve learned that it’s ok not to have plans, but it doesn’t make me less spontaneous to look ahead a little. I’ve realized that what I do might never be enough, so I have to decide what I want enough to be. I’ve realized that even though I’ve grown, I’ll always be a little bit that awkward shy kid. I’ve learned that it’s okay to break down, to ask for help. I realize more and more that people are too quick to judge and that I’m guilty. I want to be everywhere, but realize I can only be one place at a time (theoretically). I’ve learned to be proud of myself. I’ve learned that while I like to be an example for my siblings, I don’t always have to be. And most of all, I’ve realized that sometimes it’s okay to put myself first.
Inspiration. Mine usually comes in words, in thoughts. Tonight, I’ve obviously been inspired by something. Was it the movie? Perhaps. Was it the thought of moving in three weeks and leaving something so familiar? Maybe. Was it the guilt and pain of leaving my family, when I hardly get to spend enough time with them as it is? Probably. But most likely, it’s a combination of all these reasons and others.
Perhaps. So perhaps I’ll start doing more things on my lists so that I can stop making them. Perhaps I will take this inspiration and run with it. Perhaps I’ll use this adventure as a stepping stone to my next. Perhaps I’ll start with not editing this entry. Perhaps not.
*This entry has been lightly edited for mostly mechanical errors. I wanted to keep the overall feel of it the same as when I wrote it in its original, frenzied state.