The feeling of it is indescribable.
In a place like the one where I am now, it’s very easy to get caught up in the dreams of others, tossed into a pot of brilliance as we all are.
I remembered though, recently, that my walk is my own; I don’t have an entire life ahead of me anymore, just half of one, probably. My life already reads as a list of grand adventures and minor accomplishments, and I have little desire to let go of some of the things I had before immersing myself in academia: a garden, a wildness, time to create and enough of an income to provide for my daughter and pay for a pleasurable life lived within our means.
I’d felt isolated, but now I know why. The separation was only painful because I was unwilling to accept the truth: I am different, I am in a different place in my life, I believe that knowledge is power, I’m already good at what I do and being able to study and network with top-notch professionals is an icing on the cake. And I know exactly where the few people I can count on here are. This is literally all that matters right now.
I came here with much more noble ideas. I am finishing my stay with the realization that I am at a zenith. It’s time to reflect.
It’s a story that was told to me many years ago, but I only chose to remember half of it. I would eventually come to this place. I would eventually have things to accept. I would have to come to terms with what I’ve always known: regardless of how loudly I shout, I’m more effective when people don’t know who it is that’s yelling.
I will relax into doing something for sheer joy, with the knowledge that my choice to do so is a radical act in and of itself. It doesn’t require age to earn the privilege of pleasure or creative expression. Anyone who’s been doing the hard work of trying to make the world a better place deserves to settle into the goodness of a present, and we deserve to have the time to create that space if it’s not already there.
I don’t need to be a hero, I just need to live, to show my daughter how it’s done, to make sure she and others have the space they need to be joy.