finding seashells

These days, I find myself blurring the edges. 

I think to trust myself is to be ok with letting the reins go and seeing where the motions take me. To fall into life a little bit, giving some slack to its bit, rather than pulling it in by its teeth. This is not to say that you should let go of your agency and coast, but that agency requires breathing room to carve out. I want to inhale and exhale into it, rather than holding my breath rigidly.

Agency does not necessarily mean knowing the right decision to make at all times, if there even is one right choice. It does not mean you have to be executing and making decisions, all the time. To instill agency within yourself is to give yourself the freedom to take strides, stop and breathe, and fall along the way. Notice that pausing on a walk to stand still and take in the experience is still refreshing. 

Something I fall into too often is searching for the right answer, and trying to learn and optimize from the mistakes of those who have walked similar paths already. I realize that lately I’ve been admiring people who let life’s reins hang looser between their grip. It’s ok to not know right now – some things require a bit of experimenting to find out. What I find is that people who hold onto life’s reins by their fingertips rather than holding on for dear life feel more self-assured. It’s the same suave as the composed daredevil holding onto the edge of the cliff, instead that I’d trust them to hold the world together if the apocalypse happened.

Perhaps what it really is, is the levity that’s transferred in taking a serious situation and lifting the weight of it. To know that someone has something under control, by exerting less of it. Levity shows that you can make some good lemonade out of life’s lemons.

To search for pre-packaged truth all the time is to deprive myself of the joy of finding out on my own. This applies to many things: career, personal life, my taste. I truth-seek even in my painful experiences, searching the web for stories from people who have experienced similarly, and how they managed. I wouldn’t say it’s wrong to search for shared understanding, but I wonder if that takes away from the experience of wrestling with it independently? Am I numbing the experience by not trusting that I can overcome it on my own – instead trusting that other people have made it, and that I will too? 

I savour the moments when I uncover a seashell from life’s beaches while I’m out for a walk, taking it out of the sand and rinsing it over a couple times in my stream of consciousness. The new realization about myself or about the world that I uncovered on my own feels so much more concrete in my hands than buying a souvenir from the tourist shop.

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