So my subconscious/superego/something I”m not fully aware of has been fighting my heart tooth and nail for the last three years or so. Once I consciously chose a life of adventure, every control freak cell of my body, every guilty good Catholic girl tendency, every scared shitless self-loathing part of me has fought against me, tooth and nail.
The chronic stress has come not from doing hard things, but from working against myself every step of the way. Just getting myself ready for work on time, getting myself out of bed to do something I really want to do, and most of all, not folowing every semi destructive impulse has been difficult. So yes, I have bought one too many massages and I have eaten more than one madeleine in search of lost time and roads not taken and guilt over what I’ve become, but I am still here, and that means I’ve won.
I love Paris, forever, forever, forever. I want to plant myself here. I’m not sure if I want to stay forever, but sometimes I do, but really I just want to know I can always come back. The truth is I want to stay until I become French, Parisienne, I think. I want a claim, sometimes I want to own a piece of Paris, I want roots that go way down deep in the earth and branches reaching up to the stars, to heaven. I want to comingle with the glamour and detritus of the past and stack my brick on the edifice of civilisation francaise. The mission civilisatrice, however cruel and grand and hypocritical, can begin with me…
But really, I want to wander the earth, not knowing exactly what I’m looking for, just finding.
I want to collect experiences instead of thing, but for the fact that collecting smacks of posession.
I want to let life happen to me and avoid spiritual and traveller materialism; I want to be so free my very existence is an act of rebellion a la Camus; but I want to find a rose, be a rose, and tend my little life too– I don’t think these desires are in such opposition but for logistic constraints. I don’t want to be a lonely hobo who is just letting the road go buy and not digging into juicy, messy, crowded reality in order to build something, be someone, and love people, and yet I don’t want to fall into a box, I don’t want to be defined, I want to remain the essence of wildness- a tiger who is not afraid even of a cage because he knows he can get out when he wants to.
I feel like all the little dangerous liaisons were boring and not so dangerous after all; only love is really worth the chase, and moreover, I hope it is an adventure too, and not just a box that’s been ticked off .Yes, I have a tendency to want to control it, to tell it to show up on my doorstep when and how I please, to not tie me down too much, to take me in exactly the direction I planned, to not be constrained at all by it.and yet, maybe the whole point of love (and life) is that loss is possible, that every moment is possible only due to the grace of serendipity, of a million tiny variables all coming into sync for a big bang of sorts, of a supernova that has enough fire to keep burning, perhaps long enough to keep us warm until the final night falls. Maybe the point is that loving someone could change your life; maybe the point is to be fragile.
And children- o children- is their any bigger risk or heart throbbing adventure one can take? Is there any wonder more ephemeral or stupendous as a baby’s first steps? Babies don’t fit that nicely in backpacks and would require more than a carry on bag since they come with so many liquids, but after a while, is leaving home an adventure, or is building home the bigger play, the one that your heart could actually break upon?
I am not free because I travel; I travel because I am free. And I don’t want to be owned by someone, much as I want to be cherished and protected, and yes, kept and held. But maybe the reason I couldn’t let a certain someone go for so long was because he set me free. He saw the fire in my eyes and knew I had to go illuminate the world in flames. And maybe someday I’ll meet someone who can handle the fire, the jungle cat, and the mewling kitten that I am, the tree that is borrowing its roots so avidly into Paris’ soil, that is such a long way from home but yet has no plans of leaving…
I know the real answer to this quandary, which is to throw it all the wind and be so free and unapolegetically be and not to resist whatever comes, or doesn’t, to let my destiny take its shape and not insist too much on where the wind blows me, as long as its in the same direction as my heart. To believe, to the tips of my toes, that a single life is worth just as much as a coupled life, that life is full with children or without, that my life is already blessed and happy and God is guiding me wherever I go, that I have fucked up a lot but no more than I needed to in order to realize perfection is not in my hands, it’s already written into the plan. Yes, I’ve made a few real mistakes, could be worse, but the point is not to compare with where I could have been had I not made them. The point is not to say I’d be so much further along had I not fallen into the black hole. The point is to look around and see where that period brought me, to know that I struggled so, so hard against an undercurrent, I faced all my monsters and demons and fears, I lost some youthful fantasies and gained a few pounds but I’m still here, still claiming my adventure and my life for myself and not giving into fear.
Because yes, I do look at perpetually coupled off people who cycle through relationships and make unthinkable sacrifices as weak, yes, I think people who give up their dreams for their significantly other are cowardly fools, and for sure I want to strangle the words you can’t have it all- of course you can’t- but who are you to say everyone has to settle for a life without enthusiasm, passion, heart? Constraints can be liberating, if we take them on for the right reasons, but shackling yourself just to avoid seeing where the wind could take you is to be afraid of your own greatness, to spit in the face of Life, and to act craven and deny Jesus when called for a test of faith.
I know it’s not always easy to recognize the path, not when there can be so much self doubt and so many sabotaging, lulling voice that will lead you away from inner knowing.
But really, when you know you know.
And to know thyself, to recognize the still small voice within, and heed it, that is the freest one can ever be.