Somewhere, in the back of our minds, resides a bright, singular source of infinite weight that influences even the minute details of life. That source is from hearing that we are cased in cement, that every step is another brick laid on the only road we have in life. There is something deep inside, some societal pressure that we get it right and on the first try. And once we get it right, it should be what we are doing. Forever.
Why? Why does this feeling control us?
As a college senior this feeling is overwhelming. There is pressure to know, to do, to be ready; while I am preparing for one future, my heart wrenches as I consider what I’m giving up. Paperwork is filed, phone calls are made and relatives constantly ask, “so, what will you do after college?” For once, I have the answer that sounds from deep within me; “I will be myself after college.” There are no names, dates or locations in my answer. I will do what I want to do and when a new passion burns inside me, changing who I am, I will do something else. I will be who I am. I will not be cased in a singular identity crafted from age 21. I will be many different persons as I age and continue to grow; I will be fluid. I know I will fail, I know I will cry and I know that I will do something that stirs a fire in me.
What is your identity? What passions are smothered by the permanences in your life? What mould are you pouring yourself into?
I think we could all do with breaking the mould. Let’s view life as it really is: love, faith, change, disaster, tradition, hate, society, self, hope, etc. Life is fluid. So why don’t we see life as it is? Why do we persist in being a stone in the river? What keeps us from being new, adventurous and willing to fail? Why are we crawling on the earth when our wings are capable and the skies are open?
Now, I’m not calling for a mass conversion to negligence or irregularity. In the deepest part of me I am passionate about being a daughter, a sister, a friend, a lover and maybe even one day a mother. And these passions are going to be a part of me, a reason why I do what I do. Because I’m a daughter I’ll keep in touch with family while I travel abroad. Because I’m a friend I’ll miss important meetings to be a shoulder to cry on. And because I’ll be a mother, I’ll seek a steady income. But these passions shouldn’t be hardening cement blocks on your feet, these should be part of your life- your fluid, changing life- every day. What I’m trying to say is, to be fluid, you don’t have to abandon life as you know it. Just be willing to change.
I challenge you to join me, whether it is in a passing breath of wistful thinking or a painful break from the mould. Do it. Do something that you think you shouldn’t, couldn’t, or wouldn’t but you crave and dream about. Go back to school. Quit school. Try a whole different profession. Move to a different city. Blow all your money and backpack in Asia.
Just, live free. Live free to fail. Live free to risk. Live free to be fluid. Live free to be FREE.
Let this be cathartic. It might take small steps or it might take one giant plunge. But do it. Do it now. Don’t let that singular source rationalize it away. Just, be spontaneous. Free. And be happy, not pressured.
Feel that weight off your shoulders.
Let’s do this thing.