I never fully understood what people meant when they said — it’s when we’re alone that we discover who we really are.
This always sounded like bull to me.
Sure, I grasped the precious moments of doing something independently. I’ve even travelled, quite often, on my own. Still, the concept of self-discovery then was too forced.
The experience is rewarding, certainly, but most of the time I am looking for ways to escape my thoughts, typically shopping or clubbing or I simply join other people. Which hey, life lesson from Meghan, (some) strangers are just people at the first step toward becoming your friend.
Soul searching is unique to you
Yet, the introspection never reached the level it needed to this way and now I know why: it’s when you’re most expecting something that you won’t get it.
It’s as if thinking too deeply on anything creates this illusion, this haze that would only ever be just that. I think that in listening to friends who advised me to soul search and stop and breathe for a second, in doing that, I was in fact doing the opposite.
We spend so much energy trying to tick boxes, to fit a mold that we weren’t put on this earth to tick. Stay with me because I have something here. I’m not talking superficially about trying to fit in with a certain clique or group; this isn’t high school. We’re beyond that now, unless you’re still in high school then you go glen coco.
In this case I mean we’re always trying to make sense of life, our lives. It’s recently hit me that this is all wrong. While it’s necessary to decide in some instances what exactly we are doing, more often it’s not the way.
In defense of going with the flow
When we live our days with such structured plans, preconceived notions of how the day will go, as if our minds were already made up by our current personalities, insecurities, our environment, we miss out on so much living. Essentially, there is such untapped potential for our best life that we’d gain by going with the flow.
Free spirits are free spirits for a reason. I consider myself one, more so recently than when I was younger. This could be attributed to moving to a new country and feeling an energy in the opportunity around me, but more honestly I think we all have this drive inside us. This capacity to let go and see where we end up.
Speaking like a true 20 something year old with no ties right now–it’s the best kind of feeling to have such freedom to act as we want, move as we want and live our lives as we feel like it. Or maybe this is just an American thing #landofthefreevibes. Just kidding.
Accept not having your sh*t together
Back to my point, some people would call me a Yes Man. I don’t have many reservations to trying new things; I actually thrive on it. I’m not saying this boastingly because this is by no means always wise.
Going with the addage of always wanting what you can’t have, there are times I envy friends who are much more calculated and logical in how they live. With plans to meet friends, with who they date, with how they are in their work, I envy how they just have their sh*t together.
I recently laughed with coworkers as they were casually discussing where they buy potting soil for their plants. I haven’t even bought myself a pillow for the apartment I’ve lived in for the past 6 months let alone potting soil. Also give me a plant and the moment I glance at it, it’ll wither.
Living like a Yes Man
Anyways, the way I see it, living the Yes Man life (to contine the metaphor) allows for breadth and not for depth. Let me explain. Living this way, there is always something to do. There is no shortage. Combine the free spiritedness with a love for being around and meeting people and you have a schedule that is bound to exhaust even the most enthusiastic of souls.
And this, this is where I find myself recently. As I put these thoughts to paper (laptop screen), I find myself looking out over Brussels, teetering on the ledge of free spirit and has her sh*t together, realizing it’s okay to miss some event that you know will be fun, just as it’s okay to stay dancing in the club till 9am sometimes (or often).
Life isn’t about suddenly flipping a switch and saying ‘great I have all my sh*t together now I made it’. Because of course, those who we think have that, they no doubt see it differently and may even want some of the Yes Man free-spiritedness every once in a while.
Find your balance
Something my dad has always reminded me growing up was BALANCE. He literally said this one word to me at multiple points in my life and it’s so me. Or not me as I needed the reminder.
I have such passion when I get into something. I really, really love it. Justin Timberlake I’m looking at you. But that outside perspective from my dad in those moments where I studied too much (lol @highschoolme), partied too much or took too many pictures of food for Yelp, my dad was there to remind me,
It’s a crash and burn in a sense, or bound to be. Yes, yes, yes, yes. You can only take so many Yes’s before your candle burns out, my friends.
And case in point that as I write this, it’s a gorgeously sunny May night, perfect for rooftop drinks and of course the Facebook event calendar is packed with options for just that.
And though for the last three days I’ve only slept 4 hours each night (another story; I’m fine), tiredness isn’t why I’m at home simply sitting looking out my window at the Brussels skyline experimenting with my DSLR settings via selfies, instead of sipping spritzes till midnight.
No, I’m en mi casa at the moment because I needed this time. I needed to sit in complete nothingness (with some Bon Iver on in the back haha) and have a lil contemplation session, which for me always takes place via writing.
Yea thanks anyway yoga, you do make me feel incredible physically, but for a true mental recharge of this sort, that is not the trick. I need this blog space. And as I write this stream of consciousness I wonder if a blog is an appropriate outlet, but for me, if it’s not published and public it never happened. Cough, cough trained journalist speaking.
Blogs exist for various reasons. For me it’s a place to make things real. See as a dreamer, a romantic, a free spirit 😉 it’s easy to confuse reality with an intangible or currently nonexistent one. Maybe this is me, metaphorically on my gradual journey from free spirit to slightly more of a ‘has their sh*t together’. Writing gives me that clarity.
We’re always told to do what makes us happy and I think I’m starting to see that that’s not always the obvious answer of ordering your favorite take-out or watching your guilty pleasure Netflix series. These are instant, in the moment, happiness fixes, which I wholeheartedly support, but the path to reaching a r e a l happy may be studded with some bumbs of ‘meh’.
I can’t tell you what that journey looks like for you, but I know I’m slowing finding mine.