Running through the airport you see a thousand faces. Do you remember any of them? No, not likely. There is the odd eye contact, businessman on some technical gadget, small family scurrying like roadrunners, suitcases wheeling behind, to catch their next flight. Personally, I love airports. So many untold stories, mysterious and guarded faces, exotic men… Anyways I am getting off topic. Last week I found myself in a split second situation. Literally, it was seconds. We were weeding our way through the moving walkways and slow walkers of the Istanbul airport and this girl just appeared from the crowd. She came through like that one fish who is oblivious to the flow of its own school. Only she wasn’t oblivious. She radiated with confidence and a bliss I am still trying to process. In her flowing silk pants and scrappy tank top, she cracked a smile as she bee-lined towards her travel companion. Her energy was incredible.
The only plausible reason why this mystery woman is still stuck in my mind: I admire her. I envy her morale. I dream of being that girl, with that bright energy, that free spirit, lead by her intuitions and confidence in her decisions, seemingly oblivious to the flow of the crowd. Oblivious or not, she walked with purpose and light feet (and hopefully didn’t see my eyes in awe, bigger than the wad of granola bar that was about to fall out of my mouth). So why can’t I create this energy? What’s stopping me?
I am struggling to find the balance between what I want, what I have been taught to want, and how it clashes with my morals and self image. There is this black hole between the idea and the reality of life. The idea of living in Africa vs. the reality. The idea of breaking contract vs. the reality. The idea of leaving all this behind vs. the reality. We have this idea of what/how things should be and it isn’t always parallel to the reality of the situation. For example, returning to Africa: I was absent for weeks and upon returning I coaxed my brain into optimism galore. I tried to leave the bad taste of last semester in the past. It was only when I was actually back in my apartment that the reality of living in Africa settled in. Everyone is different and who knows, maybe this idea and your reality in my situation would work for you. But until you have lived this reality, or any other reality, it is still exclusively an idea in your head.
I hope you can be a little more kind to yourself this weekend and trust the little pull in your belly (and I don’t just mean towards deep fried potatoes).
All my heart,