“While the astronauts, heroes forever, spent mere hours on the moon, I have remained in this new world…I know that my achievement is quite ordinary…still, there are times I am bewildered by each mile I have traveled, each meal I have eaten, each person I have known, each room in which I have slept. As ordinary as it all appears, there are times when it is beyond my imagination.” | Jhumpa Lahiri

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There’s not much sitting on a bench in the Public Gardens can’t do for you

I now have just two weeks left until I get on the plane. I’ve been finding myself thinking quite a bit about how I want to spend the little time I have left here, and with who. Today I walked to the public garden and sat on a bench to people watch and reflect for a while. The public garden is one of my favorite places in Boston for a few reasons, but one is that it never fails to center me, to force me to recognize all the beauty that surrounds me, the seemingly endless streams of life that continue no matter what’s going on with me. I can’t help but think of all the people who have sat here before me and those who will after me. It’s a beautiful, humbling thing to be in places that make you realize how small and insignificant you are.

Soon I will be alone on another bench on the other side of the world. I’m sure I will be in many places like this in my lifetime, looking out over one little horizon of the world, and though it will all be new, it will somehow be the same, too. I don’t know when or if I will ever come back to Boston, but this place will always be in my heart and I will definitely miss it. It’s just one of the things I will learn to leave behind.

Maybe that sounds a bit dramatic; after all, I am only going for a year. I’m trying not to lose myself in the grand finality of things, in the inevitable drama of goodbyes. Still, I can’t deny that something feels very different about this year, very out of control, all or nothing, and unknown — in the best, though sometimes scary, way. Perhaps it’s because I know I will never be the same, that nothing will ever really be the same from now on. But I suppose that’s life. Lately I’ve been hoping that one day the people and things I leave behind will feel less like losing a part of me and more like a necessary change. Like a needed haircut, a cut that’s painless, and healthy, and new. That one day I will stop grabbing for what used to be there and move forward confidently, unabashed, and satisfied with what I have that remains. Like it was always this way, anyhow.

Part of me wants to know just how much and who I can live without. I think it’s very human to be scared of our own need. Maybe it’s because we know loss too well. But I don’t think it’s brave to close yourself off to the world to prove to yourself that you don’t need anyone or anything. I think what really takes bravery is to give yourself and your heart fully, in every direction, without expectations of what you will get in return, or who will stay, or whatever. And to accept what is thereafter, whatever it may be. This is the kind of person I want to be.

Anyway, I think I was just in the background of some weird wedding photos in the gardens. Pretty sure I’m the stranger in the photo albums of like 27 wedding parties at this point, as a frequenter of this place. And on that note, I should probably get up and go.

I don’t actually know what I’m doing

I’m starting this blog because I want a place for my thoughts, feelings, photos, poetry, my attempts at being funny, my attempts at being deep — everything. Right now I have a lot of feelings and a lot of changes happening in my life. I’m pretty much in the eye of the storm of my life rn. I just graduated from college where I majored in Political Science and Sociology and was way too involved for my own good. All I remember are burritos and crying. Anyway, I’m about to move to Madrid to teach English for a year, which doesn’t exactly have anything to do with my major or what I want to pursue, but is my way of traveling the world for a little while slash maybe forever.

To be honest, I’m kind of tired of talking about it, because I get the same responses over and over again — that’s so cool! I wish I could do that! What are you gonna do when you get back? Is this what you want to do with your life? Okay, first of all, it’s not that cool. I mean, yeah, traveling the world is what I’ve always wanted to do, but the reality is that all the people who have said this to me can do the same thing. Basically, if I can do it, you can do it. You just have to choose if you really want it and stop limiting yourself. Secondly, I don’t know when I’m coming back. Or if I’m coming back. Or really anything. I don’t know anything.

Like everything in my life thus far, this year is a wing it and hope for the best kind of thing. Def a fake it till you make it kind of experience. Because, for real, I really don’t know what I’m doing. I’m just making it up as I go along and accepting every scare, mistake, disappointment, and utter fail as a learning experience to laugh at. That’s how I want to live this year, and every year.

This post should probably end with something dramatic and vague and optimistic, but this isn’t the end of something or the beginning, it’s just a continuation of what already is. And there is so, so much more to come.

-M