How it feels to be afraid.
How it feels to be teetering on the edge, too terrified to move and too tired of standing still in the same spot.
How it feels to have the stakes raised against me.
How it feels to be completely helpless.
How it feels to rather be left in this gray area than to be sent hurtling back to the black area.
How it feels to know that this time around — like all the other times — I really could stand to lose everything.
That in the end, I would still risk everything to know how it all could have been.
Europe backpacking trip
With the prospect of my impending Miami-Boston trip at the end of the September looming, I’ve taken to going through old photos of the summer I spent backpacking through Europe. It was a full decade ago, and even though I remember so much of it, I realize that there is yet so much more I have not discovered.
So in my current bout of nostalgia — and also because I need a distraction from the current circumstances of my life — I will be posting some of my favorite photos from that summer, in the days to come. The photos will be color-treated because the difference in image quality over the years is astounding.
Italy is one of my favorite countries, primarily because of its incredible history and the vast importance it has placed on the arts over the centuries. I miss walking through old courtyards and well-kept gardens, and I miss looking at the centuries of masterpieces that one can barely believe were created by names we have only ever heard or read about.
I miss it especially now because I would rather be anywhere but here. What seems so dangerous (and unhygienic) to a 30-year-old now felt so free and exciting to a 21-year-old then. Hopefully the next one will take me through South America, because what seems so dangerous (and unhygienic) to anyone else now feels like the only option for me come next year.
Sometimes it’s difficult listening to people give advice, especially when they’ve heard our problems and are doling out their own analysis of the situation(s). The sympathetic ones tell us what they know we want to hear. The candid ones tell us precisely what they think, whether we like to hear it or not. And more often than not, we end up taking more heed of what the latter has to say, and eventually, we start to see the picture they’ve painted for us and concur that what they say is completely valid.
But is it accurate? Granted in our vulnerable state we open up our minds to everything that everyone has to say, but how much stock can we put in it? And even if we find ourselves agreeing with what they say, are we being swayed by their words because of our vulnerability? Or are their words simply shedding an all-too-harsh light on the reality that we’ve shunned all this while? Is our view of the way things are becoming distorted because of what we have heard, or did we have a completely preconceived notion of the situation in the first place, and we’re only beginning to see it for what it is now?