Life moves too fast.
And everyone just speeds along through life as the earth revolves around the sun, never relishing the slow beauty of those atmospheric juices painting the sky with daily sunrises and sunsets.
We forget the astounding achievements such as paved roadways intersecting like heart lines on the palms of this beautiful country. Instead we curse and rage in traffic, always in a hurry to get to somewhere when the beauty has always been and will forever be the journey.
And we’ve ceased celebrating our birthdays; they’re just another reminder of the inevitable death sentence where each wrinkle only serves to punish us further.
And we let life punish us.
We take each beating silently instead of fighting a glorious fight. For life is a constant war in our minds, in our hearts, and each scar, each wrinkle, is another hard-earned medal, proof that we were alive once and we survived many battles.
But we only see age as a flashing warning sign. A perpetual reminder of the time we’re wasting trying to figure out who we are and what we really want and what we stand for. A beacon telling us that we should be getting married, having children and making more money.
But age really is just a number and time really is just arbitrary digits on a watch.
Age should be reminding us to slow down and enjoy the ride because the more we plan out our life the more quickly it passes us by. And we miss the things that make a life worth living. And then we die.
If we never slow down we will die never knowing who we really were but only what society conditioned us to believe ourselves to be.
When what I want is always changing, how am I supposed to answer the world’s questions about what I want out of life?
When I’ve always shirked society’s expectations of me because I believe I can do anything I want, and always have—my parents taught me this. They also taught me that it doesn’t matter what the rest of the world thinks I should want.
When I’ve never followed the crowd because I knew I would never belong in its suffocating clutches.
When I’ve spent all this time painstakingly carving out my own hollow in a garden grove. And I’ve finally figured out how to tend the foliage so it will grow.
When I just want to make the most of this day.
Because I can’t live life planning for the tomorrows I may never have.
When what I need continues to simplify and shrink while the world gets more crowded and complicated.
How am I supposed to answer questions about what I want out of life?
When I am just as lost as everyone else and no longer assured of my place. Only sure that I don’t want to take up that much space.
I am a young woman made up of many contradictions.
I hold fast to what I believe in—everything I believe in, on any given day—with such an unrelenting conviction.
Until everything that makes up my every day causes me to be this conflicted. And then those unrelenting convictions change.
And how can I make anyone else understand if I can’t yet understand myself?
Because I only want to own myself.
I may not know what else I want but I have always known what I don’t.
Author: Alise Versella
Volunteer Editor: Jessica Chardoulias / Editor: Travis May
Photo: Rajarshi Mitra, Flickr