I have found myself in a place in my life that I have never been in. Call it reckless, call it free, call it naiveté, call it bold... any one of those labels will do for me. This post does not have a "life lesson" at the end of it, but rather serves the purpose of challenging your thoughts.
I'm going to start with where I'm at today and move backwards in time. The transformation is quite staggering - neither in a good or bad way - but that's subjective, really.
I'm 23 years old, I live in New York City. I support myself and I have no ties to anyone. No one tells me when to do what, or what to do with my money, or when to go to bed, or what I should eat, or how many times a week to exercise, or checks that I'm paying my bills. Sure, I have jobs and a bosses, and in these jobs I have a responsibility. But this contributes even MORE to this new found sense of... freedom.
I've been surprising myself. With each day that goes on, I'm seeking out new experiences - all good and bad, mostly bad honestly. And when I say "bad" in this sense, I mean that they push me to my limits and they're not easy experiences to have. Maybe I'm some kind of sadist justkiddingI'mnot. But it's definitely out of curiosity. Wait, there's a better way to explain this. It's out of... purely just to see what would happen. I've found lately that I have fearlessly, and completely naively, thrown myself into new experiences. I go out on a limb to put myself on stage, to be bold with my words, to share stories, to write an EP, to produce artists, to meet people on the train, to go on that random date, to stay up all night studying a genre of music, to read a book in one sitting, to take 3 shots and skateboard towards the Empire state building (no location in mind), to jam all night with people on instruments that I don't really know how to play, to sleep very little and create art all night... whatever it may be. I often stay up writing music or these posts until the sunrise just because I think "ok I'm tired now, but what if... what if... I just kept working on this. What would happen?". I've been told that I need 7.5 hours of sleep, but what if I got 3, and then carried on and kept on creating all over again. What would that feel like? It usually doesn't feel so good, but at the end of my horribly sleep-deprived day I think "that was rad, I totally did that, and I only fell asleep twice on my train ride home". (PS I do not recommend this).
I find myself in extremely high-pressure situations daily, and while the pressure is on my heart is beating so hard. There's a deadline, they need the music, it must be delivered or the world will end and we're acting like someone might die and omg what if I miss this deadline it's all over I've ruined it all. Sometimes the pressure gathers in my chest and it flows through my veins and then escapes through my eyes and all of a sudden I'm in a studio talking about how I can't get the right lush piano tone for the piece and all the while the pressure is now coming out my eye sockets and I'm talking about this piano-tone while crying like it's a completely normal thing. Then I laugh at myself after I've found the right piano tone and I think, calm down and stop being such a baby, now you know how to make the piano tone it's all going to be okay. Sometimes I walk to the farthest subway stop home so I can watch the sunrise while I walk down 6 Ave. Tonight I did that and a stranger stopped me in the street: I saw his lips move but I had headphones in, he kept talking, so I removed them, rather annoyed at first. He then told me a joke, and I laughed a lot, and he kept walking. I heard a great joke because I didn't just take the train home. My mood was lifted and I found life even more interesting and quirky than before.
This post isn't designed to tell you to go be crazy, like I have definitely been lately BUT it's more about the surprise-factor and how much fun it was been. This kind of "yes man" mentality has taken over all of my life and here I sit thinking... I have no ties to anyone. I can go anywhere. I don't have to answer to anyone or anything. I am my own person. It's beautiful, and it's exciting. I have never been here. Anything could happen tomorrow.
About three years ago I suffered from chronic migraines. Sounds hilarious, I know, like I'm some sort of 45-year old woman with children who really exhaust me or something but REALLY I'd wake up with a migraine about 5 out of the 7 days of the week. I saw doctors, therapists, kinesiologists and even had a series of tests done at a "migraine institute" (LOL). They told me my best bet was to have them drill a series of tiny holes into my head to relieve the pressure in my brain at which point I said NO THANKS give me more painkillers please.
I have a theory. Can you tell me your biggest fear? Like really, right now? Because I can tell you mine. My biggest fear is to be trapped. Trapped in a job, trapped in a house with people I don't like, trapped in a bad relationship, trapped in something against my own free will. At the time when I was really, really suffering from these migraines I was told by a very wise kinesiologist that I needed to be a free soul. I LOLed at her because I found the whole experience quite silly in the first place and my mom's hippie friend told me it'd be worth my time and money and here she's talking to me about being "free", like I'm not goddamn free already. I was offended.
I'm sad to say it took me about three years to begin to realize the gravity of her words. I was not free. I was caught in AWFUL relationships - awful friendships, awful love, awful jobs, awful band-related issues. I spent hours in my bed hurting, in hospitals for my asthma (even while on tour), my body was a mess, and worse than that, I was horribly trapped. Not only was I trapped by my immediate environment, I was trapped by my thoughts. I thought I needed my boyfriend, that I needed my band, or that I needed a music school... etc, whatever it was. If only I could have seen that I'm everything I need, in this small South African female-frame. I am here, and I'm alive, and I have powerful thoughts, and these thoughts can become real manifestations in my life. I don't need to hold on so tight. So I let go and I trusted myself. Did you ever end a bad relationship with someone you really loved? Or get broken up with by someone you really loved? The weeks go by and you're hurting so badly and then one day it just... feels fine. Then the next it hurts, and the next, and then 5 days later it's fine again. Until you reach a point where the entire week is fine. And then the month. And then you're hanging out with your ex and his new girlfriend. THAT is surprising yourself. That is strength and reisilience. That is freedom. I want THAT. I don't want to let external forces control my happiness or fulfillment any longer. Ever.
Here I am, pushing myself as hard as I ever have, with all the stress and excitement, and I think, wow I'm just fine. In fact, I'm happy. My friends look at me like I'm crazy sometimes, my parents try to talk sense into me to be more consistent and, well, sane, but in the morning while I'm walking to get my cup of coffee, I smile and think "wow, I feel so alive". And maybe I will swallow my words in a few months, when I've reached a breaking point and can no longer sustain this level of madness in my desire to push myself to my limits, but right now, it's so amazing to know I'm constantly surprising myself.
Now when things erk me, when I feel a relationship not going anywhere or I feel I'm being treated unkindly or someone's being dishonest, or I think "what if I was bold enough to just fucking end this?" I do it. Right then. I trust my instincts. Because I am the maker of my journey and I can't wait to see what happens next. All experiences are progress, and I only want to move forward. Without fear.
With love, from your crazy friend.
Go be free.