I will never be as young or naive or stupid as I am today.
Nor will anyone else in this world.
I let this knowledge set me free.
I am ever expanding, ever learning and ever young.
Maybe this outlook is wise, or maybe it isn’t. But as I settle in tonight I am reminded how precious these fleeting moments of simple joy are. The tiny fractions of a second where eyes meet in mutual understanding or because they are lost in the other’s. Where I can look around and be surrounded by people I love or be completely alone and still feel the same sense of belonging.
I’ve been trying this thing where I don’t leave.
Where I choose to stay in one place that I call home and try to make a life out of it. I have a steady job. I’ve made routines and met incredible people and put myself into situations where I have to ask myself how the hell did I get here—both with positive and negative connotations attached.
I’ve been strict with myself and how I live my everyday life. I force myself to go out when all I want to do is stay where comfort remains. I’ve been thinking deeply about what I want to make of myself, of who I want to be.
Of course, the answer is simple: I want to be myself and do whatever makes me so happy I can’t keep my feet on the ground.
Even with these guidelines and rules and daily routines, I keep the understanding that I am free to do whatever I please at any given moment. This is the most freeing realization in the world. Freeing, because I realize I have chosen this life. This person I am. To be whole and complete and grounded in who I am and constantly looking forward to opportunities that will consistently change who I am again and again—until one day there will be no more time for change.
We all think we are the exception. That we are meant for something more than nine-to-five day jobs and going out on the weekend and meal prepping and cleaning house.
And you know what? We are.
We are all exceptional and we can all be the exception to these rules. But for the most part, living these lifestyles that make weeks feel like days and years feel like they disappeared in a blink are what we have chosen. Because these busy lifestyles can and do bring us the greatest joys from time to time.
Like Sunday bus rides to the library with the elderly woman who loves coffee, or getting home late from work and still making time to learn something new, whether it’s cooking or the piano or how to knit.
None of us truly fit in one place. In one box. I don’t have to be on a grand adventure to explore my life as the biggest journey there is.
I’ve had too many unexplained coincidences to believe in anything other than our lives amounting to serendipity—to being completely honest with yourself and your words and your actions and your life and to see where it takes you.
I always end up in the right place—even if it feels wrong at the time.
We are all capable of following that which calls our hearts away from the rational and toward the place where dreams and serendipity and amazing coincidence reside.
So as part of this exploration I remember to be patient and gentle with my journey, wherever it may bring me.
I allow my heart to be vulnerable. I follow its call to explore—my city, unknown streets, into books and even more into people. I allow myself to explore all avenues and all which call my soul.
I allow myself to make mistakes, to stray away from common sense. To leap into unknown waters and out of uncomfortable situations.
I allow my soul to have patience with my heart. Because it has a tendency to change what it wants every day, but never what it really needs.
I allow myself to take time. Whether that be much or little, in school in love or in life. I allow myself to choose and to choose differently again and again.
I allow myself patience. I allow myself to be open.
I allow myself to live honestly—to be as young and naive and stupid as I’ll ever be.
Author: Carlene Kurdziel
Editor: Toby Israel
Photo: Author’s Own