If someone were to ask me, ‘What is the thing you fear the most?’, I would say without hesitation, ‘To die with regret’. Not a regret of things I have not done, but a regret of not attempting to do the things I could so easily have done. You see, in the moment, things seem difficult, you give that difficulty more credit than it deserves. You think the pain of leaving your family will be too hard to bear, you think the guilt of disappointing them will sour everything you achieve by taking that first step, you think fear is crippling, you think loneliness is undesirable. And collectively all of these things add up to say, ‘My dream is not worth fighting for. I am not worthy of happiness.’ And soon time takes over, it pushes you on in your life and each day you spend making excuses is another day not lived. I am already 21 and each day that I am not out there seeing all the things I want to see, doing all the things I want to do, is a source of constant regret. At the side of my bed I have a notebook, and at the end of every day, if I do not feel satisfied, if I do not go to bed happy and grateful to be alive, if I can not say, ‘Today was a good day’, I draw one empty circle. I began this when I was eleven. So far I have completed three full notebooks, cover to cover, each page filled with tens of circles. Ten years, three notebooks. That’s a lot of empty days. I knew at the age of eleven that those empty circles would characterise the majority of my days and so I decided that it would be the empty days that I would document. But it was a choice made with the knowledge that in the future a day would come when I would carry with me notebooks packed to the brim with circles filled with every colour of the rainbow.
When I tell people about my very present and constant fear that I am wasting my life, they tell me ‘you’re 21, no one has their life sorted by then, no one has done any of the things they want to do by then, you’re still studying, sort your life out first and then go out and do all the things you want to do.’ But you see, that doesn’t sit well with me. Not at all. We have one life. One life. That’s it. And this world; this world is a treasure trove, it is filled with so much beauty, hidden and obvious, it is filled with people with extraordinary lives, hidden secrets, unique experiences, it is filled with places that will take your breath away, places that you could spend a lifetime in and never truly be able to get used to. I want to travel as far as this world will take me, without a plan, without a direction. I want a compass that doesn’t point north but instead takes me to the exact place that I need to go, at that moment, at that point in my life. I want simplicity, I want to reconnect to this earth, to the people that carry with them an immeasurable amount of goodness if only given a chance, I want to rediscover the beauty of silence. It’s a longing that I can’t seem to control; it creeps into my life more and more frequently as each day goes by, I think of these urges and my heart swells so much it hurts. Wanderlust is the only word that comes close to how I feel.
This very simple truth, that we have one chance, is why I fight so strongly for the freedom of others, why I feel so much pain every time I hear of a life taken before its time, why I am constantly brought to tears when I see this earth, these animals, being destroyed as if there is somewhere else to run to. It is why religion is something I can not come to terms with. It goes against everything that I am. When someone tells me that if I suffer in this world, I will be rewarded in the next, for me it is an unforgivable method of rationalising the situation. That is not to say that I think religion is bad or wrong, I do not. I just know with an unbelievably strong certainty that it is something that does not, and will not, work for me. It goes against the very essence of my identity. I am so grateful for the things that I already have in my life and I appreciate them that much more because I have worked hard for them, I have fought for them, even when the odds were against me. Those odds came in all shapes and sizes and many a time its form took, and still takes, that of religion. I have achieved things that I never thought I would ever be able to attain, there are people in my life for whom I have a love I can not even begin to describe, a love I never even thought I was capable of experiencing. These people have made me realise that I do not need to change who I am, I do not need to be somebody that I am not, that all I have to do is be myself and try to do that perfectly. And that my life is in my own hands, it is my chance to experience things and make a decision that feels right for me. ‘You are enough’.
I know that when the time comes when I have to make that decision, to pursue my own dreams and to remove the things that seem to contradict my identity, it will be a hard choice. It will bring pain and disappointment to the people that I love. But it is a choice that I have to make. I do not blame anyone for the circumstances in which I am in. All I can say is this; if you have the chance to make your dreams come true and it doesn’t involve the pain and misery that mine does, be grateful to the universe because it has blessed you. And take that chance, grasp it and don’t let it go. Don’t waste it. And if you, like me, are faced with decisions that do involve such pain, if you feel that you are sacrificing your own happiness for others, if you feel that the guilt will be too strong to bear; we humans are remarkable creatures, we have the ability to deal with the most painful of moments and the heaviest of burdens. Never doubt yourself because you are capable of anything when the time comes. ‘You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have’. And remember; you have one chance in this life, regardless of what comes after. One shot. There are enough opportunities in this life to make it a great one, all it takes is for you to take the first step and suddenly you will realise that it is much easier than you thought it would be. And so worth it. Take each chance, live without regrets, and make sure each circle of your life is overflowing with happiness.
All things are one! ♥
Thank you to each and every person in my life, no matter how big or small a part you play within it. And thank YOU amawjus, for sharing this journey with me. ‘Happiness is only real when shared’ ♥