Crossing the Threshold - (Biopage Mini-Essay Writing Contest Entry)

Ive had two decades of internal wanderings and what gets me the most is how a life lived freely is decorated with synchronicities. As a whole it's an epic saga which rivals even fiction. However these wandering daydreams could be seen as means of escape. Once in therapy I cried for an hour and my eyes hurt so much I skipped school. Now I travel the world with a woman twice my age and the emotion's so real if I was in school I'd skip it still. These external wanderings match closer to my insides anyways and I prefer to call it destiny more so than escapism. I was standing on a river bed in Spain. Golden pillars of sun fractured through pine trees and glittered over the stones at midday. I stood motionless, lost in a trance of rushing water and white noise. I could hear my girl hiking in the background and I felt philosophical. Internal reflections spawned from nature's simple beauty. That day I began to think I'd found comfort in the constant flux of my personality. Before I had attributed my mutating self to puberty and that somehow I'd one day hit a ceiling and become the person I was to be for the rest of my life. At that river though I realized the day I get comfortable may be the day I stop living. Life was about change, and if I really wanted to make change I may as well break up with my girl right then and there. Maybe my love had run out and it was better to end on a high. I suddenly felt ready to break off on my own. We met a year ago in Scotland when I volunteered on her farm and we just fell into this helpless romance. Before I blinked her farm was rented out and she'd joined me. Now here we were hopping borders and camping out in hostels having the time of our lives. Whoever could alter their life for some kid that fast must be impulsive and reckless. Maybe she's a lost soul grasping for a new direction and I would be wise to get out while I can. These thoughts of new beginnings never did spill that day, but the whole country of Spain was boiling hot from dawn until dusk and this iron tension started to coil up inside me as I brooded and inched away over time. Like water in cracks, love will always seep into it's hidden frailties. The relationship was unraveling and this heavy reality was setting in for us both. It didnt feel right but I was supposed to be mature and stay firm. At least that's what I kept repeating to myself while standing in my underwear staring into the gray haze of a storm one night. My girl had gone to bed early after having fallen asleep crying. Another fight and I stood there watching palm trees warp in gusts of wind. In a drunken state of depression I could hardly hold onto thoughts. What was I still holding on for? I couldnt shake this sunken well in my stomach. As if something had changed inside since I started vocalizing moving on. As it turns out, in the heat of the moment, my partner had just reminded me of what a fool I was for being consumed by the future. How foolish I was to let time expire and quietly plan the demise of something I was still engaged in. Just like that my greatest flaw had been ripped out at last and she'd flicked on the spotlight. Not even once did I sit in the present. In the middle of this rampant Spanish storm the realization struck me that I hadn't yet surrendered. These thoughts of change which ran through my head weren't even tangible, just future idealism. True love isn't about what's coming next; it's like succumbing to a feral instinct where you're lost in a connection without any fear or cerebral engagement. These epiphanies were liberating and sent flashbacks of my father leaving my family when I was young. He had fallen in love with someone else and wanted to start a new career. He was in search of what's next. Neither the new relationship nor the career panned out and he now sits alone and works by the hour. I had to learn from his mistakes and this relationship was meant to show me exactly that. My partner and I can fight all we want about the way to live since it's an age old archetypal debate. The intellectual mind versus the instinctual or as physicist Victor Weisskopf put it, knowledge versus compassion. Strip away the egos and there is no right answer. The key is to find balance. Sure her childlike instinctual purity is what's attracted me, but does a man really need love in order to stay balanced? As a young man the thought of being dependent is terrifying. No, what I needed to survive here was the confidence enough to be open and receptive to our words exchanged, so that I could be changed. All I can ever really strive to be is a man in constant flux. Its in these depressed states with sore and glazed eyes that the mind is permeable enough to feel life's lessons, let them change who you are. And so I've let go of fears and ideas of the future and for now, it feels right. It doesn't matter whether or not my adventures is a form of escapism, because for once I'm feeding off a bit of instinct, and the ride of life rolls on.

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