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Being Here

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Sometimes, I catch myself wondering how I got here. So many plans I had made, that lead me somewhere else. It’s as if I built my plans as destinations when they were really steps toward where I was supposed to end up.

I learned the past years that people can be generous — enough to stay with me through the dark, and when the time comes, to let me go off on my own. I had to learn so many things in the past two years. But if anything, I learned that home is where we are. It is not a place we arrive at but a state that we choose to build everyday. Some days, it is much easier to feel at home, other days, it’s a fight.

I learned that in life, we choose paths, and all paths are ridden with a form of suffering or another. All of life is suffering and in the words of Herman Hesse:

“Action and suffering, which together make up our lives, are a whole; they are one. A child suffers its begetting, it suffers its birth, its weaning; it suffers here and suffers there until in the end it suffers death. But all the good in a man, for which he is praised or loved, is merely good suffering, the right kind, the living kind of suffering, a suffering to the full. The ability to suffer well is more than half of life — indeed, it is all life. Birth is suffering, growth is suffering, the seed suffers the earth, the root suffers the rain, the bud suffers its flowering. In the same way, my friends, man suffers destiny. Destiny is earth, it is rain and growth. Destiny hurts.”

In this suffering comes the courage to fight for our space, to come in and walk through our lives with intent, even if it means facing the discomfort of leaving the old habits we knew. I learned that we can be comfortable in suffering, the kind of suffering that doesn’t serve us. The kind of suffering that shrinks us. And to leave this suffering, we must encounter an even greater suffering. In the same way that it pains the trees to let go of its dead leaves. But such shedding is essential. When a season of our lives have passed we must let it go, and let the new season come.

Life is short, time flies fast, and some good must be done while I am still here. I tell myself: take that photograph, say those words, live as you are, don’t hide. The world is huge, there is space for all. Fight when necessary, when you see injustice both in the world around you, or when you become unjust to yourself, fight to make where you are, home. Happy new year.

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