People travel to wonder
at the height of the mountains,
at the huge waves of the sea,
at the long courses of rivers,
at the vast compass of the ocean,
at the circular motion of the stars,
and they pass themselves by without wondering.
Just as you think you’ve found yourself, you find that others have a way of filling parts of your life that you never thought were empty… or at the very least have long since been filled in. The last few days have left my mind occupied with memories of those left in South America. Compared to every day life, five weeks seems like a rather trivial amount of time, but five weeks devoid of work, familiar habits, and other distraction magnifies and amplifies the experiences and bonds grown over that time. I’m finding myself at a bit of a loss of things I didn’t know were missing…
Admittedly, this trip was as much about adventure seeking as it was soul-searching. Perhaps I found more than I expected… Often it seems we expect things to change, people to change, work to change; to wake up and life to be magically different. To no surprise, when I returned, the sky was still blue, snow was still white, and the sun still yellow.
I realized that the only thing that can truly change is you; who you are as a person, how you operate as an individual, and how you view the world. At first, I was a bit stunned to return. It felt as if I had never left; it was like, “riding a bike,” as they say. Everything seem just as I left it, as if time had froze in place. The gym was still packed with sweaty gym rats, papers still remained strewn across my desk, the bars still maintained artificial lines filled with familiar faces.
Perhaps five weeks isn’t that long, but it felt like an eternity to me, as if I were stepping out of a dream from “Inception.” My biological clock was out of pace with the real world.
The revelation was understanding that nothing around me had changed. Royal Oak was still Royal Oak, Buenos Aires was still Buenos Aires, the sky was still blue. The only change I could expect was of myself; my perspective of life and my part in it, an important subtly that is easily missed.
The trick is to learn from these experiences; to grow from them and to continue to reach beyond your comfort zone; a place that is easy to default to.
At the start of my writing, I wondered what would happen with it once I returned. I thought to myself, “I suppose it will end, there would be no more South America, no more adventure.” But that was before my trip! I thought there would be nothing interesting to write about. Since I’ve returned, my sentiment has dramatically changed! Who wants to live a life that isn’t worth writing about, even if it is just for my own amusement!? So I suspect this will continue…
I’m still left with many questions, curiosities about life and wonders of the world. Looking back over the past five weeks, I think it has given me a new perspective on the world, different from the narrow window America provides. It has answered some questions while opening a host of more. It has satisfied many curiosities, while sparking new ones. I can only hope that the wondering never ceases, fore the result would cease all progression.
Once before I referenced Steve Jobs. He references a quote that reads “Stay hungry. Stay foolish.”
Well foolish I am and hungry I remain…