I had every intention of jumping in the water, just not fully clothed. I fell in. Hard. Though I like to think it looked semi-graceful , I know that I basically just looked like a flailing seagull using it’s wings for the first time, hoping to make landing on a rock. Which also happened, now with two jammed toes both black and purple but thankfully not broken.
The funny thing is, I loved it. I am pretty sure I was laughing as I was falling in, tumbling through the rocky water. I came out of it, without falling completely in, but my bottom half soaked and my heart happy. My childlike joy beaming from deep within my bones as I laughed ardently at myself and the beautiful mess I’d made. It’s one of the things I deeply treasure about myself. I came up, mostly unscathed and feeling so incredibly full of life. And I had this feeling of what it means to “jump in with your clothes on.”
When I was growing up, I imagined a life for myself. At the age of 6 this life was becoming a veterinarian and living on a giant farm filled with rescue animals. I can’t say this isn’t still a semi- dream of mine, but I quickly realized when I was 9 and fell in love with my very first dog of my own that I didn’t have what it took to be a vet (sensitive empath alert!) so it was around that time I decided I’d become a chef. I cooked meals for my family, made them enter the dining room like a restaurant and handed them menus while I went and got their plates ready. It was then again, when I was 14 that I decided I most definitely would not be a chef,
I found this tiny notepad in my purse pocket while I was traveling. Ever since I can remember I’ve carried small notepads around with me to jot ideas and thoughts down at a moments notice. I had packed one for my trip, but this one was different. It was old, worn, with every page full.
I opened it up to read it, quickly realizing that it was from a few years ago, not that long after I had lived in Florence. It’s full of randomness, to most people. Lists, thoughts, quotes, poems, you name it. On one page there was a list – it’s titled “To Lead A Successful Life”. My initial thought was that my opinion of success looks very different than it used to and this list probably would be reflective of that. And yet, as I read, I realized in fact it was a complete reflection of the life I have now.
Often times we get wrapped up in these ways of being in society. Who we are, what we do, what we stand for, what football team we root for, what type of food we eat or don’t eat, it is exhausting to live within some of the boxes we create for one another. Whether we realize it or not all of these parts of ourselves, these things we engage in some ways become our identity and close us off to truly experiencing the wonder of the world.
We can become rigid in our thinking because our egotistical opinions are perpetuating our own agenda while societal expectations are governing our judgement. It is rare that we often question the path we may be on. We’re settled into a routine, it’s comfy when there’s no room for change or curiosity.
It’s not all bad, but there is one huge problem I see with this. It limits our capacity to be open to the idea that our life can be radically different simply based on our actions. Based on our simple, every day choices and the way we approach life we can experience living in an entirely different way. You can be scared, or unsure, and actually marvel at these feelings!