Friday, May 21, 2010

On my 22nd year

Today I am 23 years old.

My 22nd year was such a transitional period. I graduated from college. I got two jobs, and quit two jobs. I had my heart broken... twice. I finally got rid of the debt that has plagued me for four years. I moved back home.

The whole time, I wondered what I want to do with my life and what kind of person I want to be. Still working on those ones!

I read some life-changing books. I became addicted to memoirs, continuing my longtime fascination with others' lives: Barbara Walters, Helen Keller, Martin Fletcher, Jeff Henderson, Rosie O'Donnell, Sam MacDonald, Kathy Griffin and more.

I plucked a book called The Simple Living Guide from my mom's bookshelf and it changed my outlook. It began with this quote from Henry David Thoreau:
"I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I wanted to live deep and suck all the marrow of life..."
It's all about living intentionally, with purpose — not perfection. It has helped me become at least a little calmer, a little more patient. And I appreciate the time I have alone.

Last week, on a clear, sunny evening, I walked around my neighborhood with no particular route in mind. No destination, no time limit, no cell phone. I walked to be alone with my thoughts, to breathe the fresh air and observe everything I miss outside when I spend all day on the 18th floor of a Seattle high-rise.

I wandered into an area of the neighborhood that I'd never seen before and kept walking. I said hello to couples out walking their dogs and a mom who was landscaping part of her front yard. I watched kids play basketball and skateboard. I noticed how tall the trees were, how many birds and bugs were out and about, and — to my surprise — how you can see clear out to the mountains in one area.

It may sound silly, but I felt like I had fallen down the rabbit hole and ended up in an entirely new world. I headed home only when it became too cold and dark to continue.
"Each moment is truly a miracle, but this can only be so if humans are willing to slow down, to turn off the lights, to be silent, to listen, to see, to wonder... Yes, revel in the fireflies. And live calmly, so that they may revel in you as well."
—Kirk S. Nevin

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...