It is rather rare that you meet someone, hit it off right away and end up talking about life, the universe and everything. Surprisingly, none of the answers is 42. Unsurprisingly, the questions are legion.
There are two ways for me to learn more about myself: contemplation and conversation. I have a penchant for the former simply because I’m an introvert with a lot of alone time. And I find that I do know myself quite well, but I would not claim that I know myself fully or completely, because there’s a lot of potential to learn about oneself through another. That is where conversation comes in. (Let’s keep it simple because there are other ways in which we can learn more about ourselves through another that doesn’t involve conversation.)
Through conversation, we may voice thoughts previously unspoken. We find validation or discourse that allows us to further examine thoughts we’ve been having but couldn’t form completely, with any sort of conclusion.
And it’s oddly difficult to hold up a mirror to ourselves. The best we can usually do is not to lie to ourselves, but it helps infinitely more to have someone hold up a mirror and show you what they see. Because we can never see ourselves through the eyes of another. They have to show us what they see.
I learned an enormous amount of things last night during the course of what turned out to be a nearly non-stop conversation of almost five hours. And I did not just learn a great many things about my conversation partner, but about myself. I’ve not had a talk like that in far too long. Needless to say, I walked away from the evening with a gazillion thoughts.
Most of these thoughts and the things I learned are mine to keep and perhaps to share with the one who caused them. But I’ve also arrived at a conclusion that I felt the strong urge to write about. Because it’s the urge to write that woke me up with a vengeance this morning after barely five hours of sleep.
I write every single day, mostly for my clients, and there’s not an awful amount of creativity involved. That I have been bottling up. I’ve been holding it in and keeping it to myself. But over the last few weeks and, oddly enough, even more so since the beginning of the New Year I have found that I need to let it out. Need to let it go.
I cannot sit any longer on all these words and ideas I’ve been collecting. All the things I’ve started but have yet to finish. It’s time to start finishing things.
I’ve been running from safety for nearly 11 years. The safety of a comfortable life and a career. When I decided to ditch university and travel around the world instead, I was chasing my dreams. And I abandoned what most people want to keep. Granted, I’ve been lucky enough to know that I could always return because I have a wonderful family and incredibly supportive parents. But even now that I returned to Germany I chose to live alone in a different city rather than hurrying home.
Yesterday I realized that I have been holding on to two things, however: my heart and my writing. And then I realized that I have absolutely nothing to lose. My heart’s been broken before and yet I’m not afraid that it’s in danger of being broken again. It might happen, but I’ll only find out if I’m not afraid of it to happen.
And if I never get my writing out there, then I’ll never know if it’s worth anything. It’s my biggest dream and the thing I’ve been most afraid of. But what is there to be afraid of? Rejection? No. I don’t think so. Not for me. Failure then? How could you fail if you don’t try?
I already write for a living. I just have to start getting my own stuff out there. The writing that I truly care about.
I have a few dreams I want to pursue, a bucket list of things I want to do. But I’ve also done so many things already, seen so many places, collected experiences, that I would have few regrets if my bucket list remained nothing more than a list of things I’ll never get around to. But this, writing, is something I have to do.
I came across this two days ago and it says it all.
I may have been running from safety, but does that mean I’ve lived dangerously? I think not. But it feels as if I might just do that by no longer holding onto my heart or my writing. Instead, setting both free and hoping for the best. If you’ve got nothing to lose and nothing to be afraid of… the possibilities are endless.