Tag Archive : freedom

 

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On the bus to Los Angeles, sunset

Few things I know for sure. Few things I think I know for sure. I know that, to me, there is nothing more important than showing love to other people. This takes priority. And the result is that I’m not depriving myself of anything. By putting others first, I’m actually receiving the ultimate joy of providing love and support to someone who deserves it. Every single person on the planet deserves it. We didn’t choose this life.

This is what is what deserves attention…what is easy to discern as a path worth pursuing… and what is most meaningful to me. Treating people lovingly is not only the right thing to do tomorrow, or in 6 months, but is also the right decision in this moment, this very second.  The right decision is timeless.

I can’t remember her name…but does it even matter? She is identified though her actions, her words. She was so interested in my life, in my trip.. asking me where I’ve been, where I’m going, who I’ve met.  This soul sitting next to me fully entered  my thoughts, absorbing each word as I spoke it.  When someone is really listening to you,  you can see it in their eyes. She told me where to go once I get off the train–take the metro to Market East station, which is where old town  and historical monuments are.  Once we arrived, she led me to the metro area and wished me good luck–the most genuine good luck I’ve ever heard.

IN Philly I spent the day mostly walking. No host. But feeling free. Entirely aimless. I truly loved the lay-out of the city–simple to navigate  and the streets looked similar to Charlottesville. I took a train back to D.C to stay with Braden, my old host for a few days. I need to write about the conversation we had one night: him talking about his passions…what classifies a passion.. and also of how he judges someone–not based on their job/contacts/likes/dislikes but based on how they treat other people. He referenced the purposelessness and misunderstandings involved in war. People are so much more than their religious beliefs or the labels society creates for them. He said the only part he’s concerned with is the treatment of others, pointing  out that couchsurfers invite me to stay with them without knowing what I believe in or without having similar interests. I’m still treated with kindness– and this treatment takes priority.

In Chicago, went to:

  • Lincoln Park, Millennium Park, Lincoln Park Zoo, Hyde Park, Chapel Tour, Little Italy, Greek Town, Lake Michigan, Obama’s house, Michigan Ave., Water Tower ( wasn’t destroyed by ImageChicago fire), Tribune Building, Cultural Center, Chicago Temple, Chicago Theater, Rock& Roll McDonalds (mansion looking), Comedy show at IO Theater

My host, Adam, is 25 years old and has a graduate degree in music. He’s been to Tanzania ( pictures= amazing).  Such a great person to talk to. So considerate and nice. Something about him is very pleasant to be around. I feel relaxed and confident when I’m with him.  I felt rewarded for my efforts in blindingly trusting a stranger. It’s a good feeling– knowing my host won’t come up and stab me in the middle of the night–and, instead, will enrich my life, will breathe life into me. I haven’t been raped, mugged, or attacked yet. Never been so happy to say that. The world is a beautiful place if I choose to acknowledge its generosity. It will give me everything I want if I choose to accept it, if I choose to work for it. Adam makes me want to work for it.

Still to do: dye part of my hair a different color, buy a homeless person a meal, play soccer with strangers, leave # on check at restaurant, fall in love (ha), look through a telescope, ride on a motorcycle.  Image

I’m noticing that goals like “pay 5 people compliments in every city” are things I do without thinking about it. I’m here. And my attitude is already “balls out.” I don’t need to remind myself to be adventurous and impulsive and giving. My approach to life in this moment is nothing but adventurous, impulsive and giving. Forgive people who treat me worst on the trip? I’m required to do that. Otherwise I beat myself up and take a train back home. It’s confidence and optimism or it’s nothing.

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Is it normal to have this much indifference about the future? Shouldn’t I feel more anxious– being out in the middle of nowhere, by myself? With no plans for the day and no goals for the future? Why do I feel incredibly comfortable when I’m thrown into the unknown? Or do I hope to endure the punishment I think I deserve for being unmotivated in school?

I fear that part of me wants to be kicked around–just so I might feel something…just so I come running back home to appreciate everything I take for granted. I destroyed my life. On purpose. I did this on purpose. Do I like pain? I know I do. But do I like it more that happiness? Who craves suffering? I do. I crave it. And it is an addiction I’m drawn to because it feels good to give up and deem myself intractably helpless. I don’t consciously do this. But in reflection I see the truth.

I’m here and I’m on this train… but do I want to be here?

Or am I punishing myself for not being “normal”?

And by normal I mean robotically putting effort into systematic learning..and getting a degree.. a degree that says what exactly? That I conformed better than you did? You college drop out ?! How much of our conformity is a product of greed? How much is a product of desiring status? How bout, how much of our conformity is attributed to a longing for the idea of greed, or the idea of status? I wonder how much… I guess this is my way of finding out.

Why go to school? And by that I mean, why is it important to get acknowledged for learning? Take away money. Leave the rest. What is left? What part of me sees value in not only learning but in being tested over what I have learned — and in using my knowledge to influence, to make a tiny dent, in my community? Positively influencing my surroundings is a good value. Would I be able to more efficiently influence others if I was tested on my knowledge? What if a degree is needed to accomplish something that affects others in the most positive way I can think of? Do you think the best way I can help others is through sharing my passion? Who am I talking to?