I STILL KNOW THAT
“The mystery of life is not a problem to be solved but a reality to be experienced.” – Aart Van Der Leeuw
There are people in school who seemingly do everything. Get involved in everything. Yet I feel like for many of those people, their hearts aren't in it. That they aren't involved in all these things for the right reasons. When you start high school you are encouraged to get involved in everything... for seemingly one reason, and one reason alone: 'it will look good on your cv'. In the UK, we start high school at around 11 or 12 years of age. I'd say we're still really, really young. But that same message was then, and has been stressed upon us for five years now. 'Such in such will look good on your CV. You should get involved.'
I feel like in this quest to go out and sell ourselves to universities, and collages and employers, the whole system has become a sham. We're only doing things to get more qualifications, to make ourselves "stand out", to be another somebody in the sea of somebodies. What about this blog, what about my writing? My greatest hobby, the thing I am most passionate about. I don't have a qualification, except maybe English, for the thing I love. Without some award, it's seemingly worthless. On the other hand,I took piano lessons when I was little. I hated them. Loathed them. I like the instrument, I can still play if I feel like it, and I appreciate that, but I stopped going for lessons at nine, I hated them so much. But, there is one difference. I sat an exam, I have a qualification, and for some reason, that looks better. Career's advisors recommend I put piano on my CV, than writing. Does that worry you like it worries me?
What happened today? What counts as something 'worthwhile' anymore? What is it that is important to me? I am aching to unleash all of this honesty upon you, to tell it like it is, to talk in tones I hardly recognise myself in. I just need to let my hands go, to let my fingers move, to let these words down. Where have I been for months and years? I believe I’ve been here, and yet all the things I’ve been working on and wanting to do are on shelves, taken down sporadically because I have specific work to do which gets me more bloody qualifications and yet is seemingly unrelated to my bigger goals. The quests. The giant mountains. I listen to music from years ago, find old iPods (since when did modernity progress such that an iPod can be old?) and read writing I’d put down from ages past, and I shock myself.
Perhaps I’m just mad, made of too much information, filled with infinite information which stirs within me and directs me at times without my own intention. Why did that happen? Why the synchronous systems and people like the everyday angels who cross my path and help me when I least expect yet most need it? Why this ability, this interest, this love, of writing? Why was the first award I received at school for ‘Story Writing’? Why that? Why aren’t I as good at maths, or running? I don’t like asking why because there is literally nobody to answer me, only this whispering mysterious message that comes through songs, through the actions of others, through random thoughts and ideas. I don’t like to talk too much about being any good at anything, neither even to talk about what I will one day do, because I need to know I can change my mind. I believe in freedom of being, and that includes the freedom to do nothing, to fester and stew, to grow in different directions to that which seems set for me. No, I refuse to do something because 'I'm supposed to' or 'that's what everyone else is doing'.
I want to tell the great tales of the world and the stories in between. I need to let you read mine and I don’t know who you are, you see. Who are you? Not that identifiable you, the unidentifiable and magical you, the expressive and fearless, implacable you. I am thirsty for my own uniqueness such that I demand it in you. I am afraid of my own power such that I demand it in you. It is a path not neatly laid out for us. I started keeping a blog and discovered the subtle genius of writing, sending it out through the internet. What more evidence do you need, world? I write because I need to, because I LOVE to, because I respect and treasure my readers, because generations before me found immense possibility in sending word from the nowness of their loneliness, sending it out to whomever, putting messages in bottles, transmitting word of man to the stars.
I never know what the hell I’m about to write, just that I feel like being myself. I demand that space for myself. I demand that I have the freedom to be fully me, and to do it without condition, without the restraints of old worlds. When I realise that I do not live in Medieval times anymore, and I am not going to be run through with a silver sword for my free speech and reflection of truth, I realise that I have more freedom than I remember. When I see that indeed I have carved this space and yet I do want to be with you still, I realise that I have incredible freedom which I don’t quite know what to do with. When I crave activity, I realise how enjoyable my calm really is. When I’m busy and lust for lazier times I realize how beautiful this madness and movement is. I am blessed to have this opportunity. I am blessed to have fought and won certain battles. I am blessed to have people who listen to me, and who respect who I am, not just what I do or have done, what I say or what I look like. I am blessed to have talented friends, talented readers, I am blessed by you. I am blessed to be in communication with people all over the world. I am blessed to be part of a committed, and although-it-still-blows-my-freaking-mind GLOBAL family, to be in a city where mournful bagpipe playing, or unbelievably talented buskers move me as I walk the streets.
I don’t know exactly where I’m going. I don’t know exactly what will happen tomorrow. I know that there are things I want to change and things I need to remember. I know that I might be tired when I wake up and have to do what I have to do. I know that other people seem to have lives or be in positions I sometimes wish I might be. I know that other people are going through exactly what I’m going through and that it’s not as easy as it all looks. I know that I will continue writing like this as long as I have the opportunity to, because to a) be of service b) be truthful, c) be myself and d) be joyful, is a quadruplet of wins that I can’t ever compromise.
This didn’t come easy, but it didn’t come hard. It just came. I don’t know from where. I don’t know why. I might be smack bang in an unknown place, working it out sometimes awkwardly, somewhat clumsily, but always endearingly and always whole-heartedly. I know I see myself in other people, in books and films and I see the human race in those places too. Even when I sit on the steps and think about the long distant past and find old photos of myself where I barely recognise the girl with my name, and wonder “Who the hell am I anymore?” I know that I’m on the right path. Somehow I know that. Time mashes on and somehow I still know that. People change and I still know that. I change, and I still know that.