She plays the trumpet in her bedroom, eyes closed. He spills all his passion into his lyrics. The beat moves his body as he jumps on stage.
The motivational speaker scrunches her forehead, irises burning. The therapist does his utmost to change the trajectory of his client’s hurtling demise.
I watch. I listen. I feel a surge of emotion, a prickle upon the skin. A tingling that reminds me to really live.
It’s my duty to inhale all this beauty and passion, to embody it, and to create some of my own.
A year later, I wake up from a slumber of day-to-day and it-is-what-it-is, and I ask myself some questions. Where am I going? Why? What’s my purpose? If nothing changes in my life, how will I be?
Fear. Paralysis. Stuck. Yes, I’m much improved but shouldn’t I be doing more?
What do I actually want? Where do I want to be? Do I even know?
The motivational speaker makes me feel inadequate. So does the therapist.
Where’s my drive? My ambition? My business-savvy?
I experience an uncomfortable shaking within. Maybe I’m scared of being pushed. But I brought myself to these questions.
So despite the tremble and the choking sensation at my throat, I take a look at my life and ask myself what it is that I want. What do I need to do? And when will I do it?
I’m inspired to do more, to reach higher, to push past the layers of insecurity to a belief that I deserve an existence of abundance, passion and freedom.
And where will that take me? To more of this, here? Or to a new start in a land of sunshine and opportunity?
Will I be writing books and launching podcasts? Or will I succumb to a 9-5 with a regular salary?
What’s next? Putting myself out there? Knock-backs and tears? Or persistence and resilience?
Hitting rock bottom so the only way is up again? Again?
All the while learning to feel the feelings – depressed, scared, victorious and in love – so I can open up and enjoy an authentic relationship with myself and my life.
What should my goals be? To have children? Buy a house? Get a pension? Make a living doing what I love, helping others, and living a rich, balanced, healthy, fulfilling life?
Will my parents worry at my continual shunning of the norm? But I’m an adult. And this is my life. I have to make it my own.
Will I remain childless and regret it? Or could I have a lifetime of affection and adventure with my partner instead?
Will I lose my loved ones and go through unbearable grief? Or will I be granted many priceless years of love and happiness?
Will I keep on this road of growth, gratitude and wonderful surprises, trusting that everything works out for the best?
Who got to decide the basics for us all anyway? Five weekdays and we’ll name Saturday and Sunday the weekend. By this age, you should be starting a family. And we’ll award you a mortgage and the next 35 years of making sure you’ve enough to make the payments.
I don’t do 9-5, weekdays or weekends. And what if I never get married, buy a house, bear children or secure a pensionable job?
Does that make me a fool? Should I live my life the way it’s been drawn out for the masses?
Am I fucked or free? Do I need to tie myself down so one day, before it’s too late, I can fly?
But I still hear her blowing that trumpet. And his heart’s splayed open in that tune he sings. And the globe is pulsing with possibility. Yet my bank balance is not enough. Not enough.
So I remove my gaze from the clouds. I place my feet on the ground, my hands on my hips, and my chest to the sky. Now what?
Artist: John Berry, Illustration Source