WE are all searching. The only difference lies in where we choose to look.
Much of my college life was spent trying to figure out what was missing. And then, in my Third Year, I began to write again ; small passages, hidden notes that exposed my vulnerability, but also my soul. Things changed after that. My oldest memory of writing is standing in front of my Grade 8 English class, reading out a creative essay I was succinctly proud of. I still remember, it was called ‘The Key’. My teacher, Mrs Hutchinson, doesn’t know how much she impacted my life, just by encouraging me, as it was after that, that I learned that I was good at it. After I finished school, I pursued a career in Law – possibly the most contradictory profession to the freedom of creative expression. The irony is uncanny. There were no longer any creative-writing exams and talks about poetry’s beauty and hidden meaning behind the words. I lost that, for a while. And it’s good to have found it again. It has been all technical jargon, deciphering what’s right and wrong and legal loopholes – and trust me, there were a few of those, and I suppose that was the fun part of the degree. Law is a very crafty profession, mind you.
Halfway through the year, I got a part-time job at a mall down the road from me, where I learned how to balance the art of studying, and using my minimum wage on partying, food, and black friday shoes. So now I can add ‘Professional gift-wrapper and soap-seller’ to my resumé. No one could understand why I was doing it, I just knew that I needed to. It tested my patience, my pride, and now I’ve closed that chapter of my life and am happy I did it anyway. It’s taught me humility, tolerance, and also how to go nine hours standing on my feet (I mean, you never know when that might come in handy).
The point is, we are all searching. And we will always search – that comes with the territory of being called Human. We will never know why a path may lead us somewhere entirely twisted and seemingly off course. But sometimes, it’s important that we go with it. Surely happiness does not have to be a constant pursuit – not if there is something within us to keep us grounded ; something that stands through the storms of life, the wandering, the fear of not being okay. We need that. Surely there is a meaning to everything ; the problem is finding out what that is. What makes us alive, what makes us different? Different. I’ve grown old enough to admit that perhaps we will never truly feel set apart from everyone else. So what is it that gets us through that reality of commonness? What is it that makes us feel beautiful when society dictates what is, and when age touches us and paints us into something else?
This year, I want to learn that I am enough. I want to do things that not everyone does. I want to feel fulfilled by extending beyond myself and my own desires. I want to travel the world and experience the lives of others in 20 different countries. I want to learn their languages too. I want to live and feel young even at 30. I want to write, and write a lot, about memories that matter, and not an 8-5 job.
I like to believe that one day, I’ll be sitting on a porch in a tiny cottage, with the sea spray brushing up against my cheeks, and a copy of my published novel on the bookshelf by the fireplace ; content, and worthy, and I will think, “This is why.”