Truth? Sometimes I feel like I'm not living - like I'm here, but I'm not here at all. Before you jump to the bottom of the post, hit comment and start to type your 2000-word response encouraging me to hang on and not give up, let me explain. I am hanging on. I'm not giving up. Frankly, that's not what this post is about. It's about something infinitely more essential - it's about living while alive ... and the freedom a body is supposed to have to do it! It's about finding purpose in the course of one's existence and pursuing that purpose with singleness of mind, heart and spirit, and being liberated to do so!
My particular concern has always been for the YOUTH in Caribbean nations - that demographic which is supposed to be representative of our nations' individual and collective futures ... the statistics are far from impressive. Apart from the spate of senseless murders targetting children and youth in this country, there are the scores of unemployed, undermotivated and uneducated youth who just feel and look hopeless.
In some ways, I'm like everybody else - I'm here. I'm sitting here in this chair in this large edifice typing at this desktop computer. You can see me, a touch would startle me, you can probably smell me (hopefully my cologne, lol) because I'm REAL. I'm alive.
So what am I getting at? What's eating me up? The thought that despite my obvious physical existence, I'm not as present as I'd like to be. See, my mind ... how do I put this?? My mind is not settled here, even if my body is. It's still stretching and reaching for other places, other avenues, other destinations.
And this has been the story of my life - a constant pursuit of something ... higher? Nobler? Better? I'm always looking to the next step - the next big thing. I don't think that I've ever really settled anywhere. I watched Julia Roberts in 'Eat, Pray, Love' and laughed out loud because her character reminds me so much of me (minus the actually going anywhere part). But I always want to. Go somewhere. Be somewhere else. In whatever sense you read that, it's probably true.
Some people have tanks that are fuelled by the events of their past. Others run on the exhilaration of being fully entrenched in the present. I run on future - the thing and time that is yet to be. And I'm always reaching for it, looking to it ... Now don't get me wrong. I have this gift of throwing myself so fully into whatever I'm doing that sometimes it seems like that's all there is to me. But. The part of me that never dies is the part that reaches out to the next thing - whatever the thing might be - the next experience, the next adventure, the next story.
"Let us not look back in anger. Or forward in fear. But around in awareness."
That's one of my favourite James Thurber quotes. I've memorised it since I was in high school. But the other day, I was reading through my book of quotes, going over my vision document (yes, I actually have one), and it hit me: when do you start looking around in awareness? The minute you take your eyes from before you or behind you and direct them to the spot in which your feet are planted; the minute your mind becomes actively engaged in your present ... when you stop fading out the voices you'd rather not hear and start listening to their every inflection. When you start looking people in the eyes and seeing the whole person, not just the job title, description and rank. When you start living not just as you are, but as you ought to be because that is what matters.
Open eyes. Open mind. Open arms. Open life. And that's what I've been doing since then: Coming alive.
* This post was originally composed for my blog, http://ruthibelle.blogspot.com.