So here it is . . . the moment I have been so adamantly awaiting for over two years.
I leave America in a matter of hours. It is a surreal thought, one that hasn’t quite hit me yet I don’t think. I am remarkably calm for what is facing me. Either because I have accepted it and have nothing but exhilaration and excitement in my heart, or sometime as my plane takes off tomorrow morning the feeling will finally hit me like a loaded round of grape-shot from the trebuchet of reality. I sincerely hope it is the former.
I am ready for this life to begin. I am ready for this. I am ready . . .
My bags are loaded up. With more than I think i will need to be sure . . . but that comes with having an overly neurotic mother and grandmother. I keep having to insist to my mother that one does not, in fact, need a year supply of toothpaste. I am not traveling back through time. Japan will have everything I need. If it doesn’t . . . well millions of people have gotten on well enough without said thing, so obviously I won’t really need it anyway. In all honesty, I actually want to go without some things that I think I’ll need, just to realize how much I don’t actually need them at all.
Growth isn’t something we always see . . . it is something that happens whether we realize it or not. We have all grown. I know I have. It hurts horribly to say goodbye to everything and everyone that has made my life something wonderful . . . but it is a goodbye that I honestly think is necessary.
This is something I have to do. For myself. Strange thought, that. I feel that tug of truth more than anything else. I’m anxious about the unknown, but I’ll never regret my choice to leave . . . not for a single second. I honestly just don’t believe I was ever meant to stay in America, at least not for now. I may change my mind later on down the path. I may reevaluate those thoughts once I spend a few years far beyond everything I’ve ever known, but not right now. Not today. Today I am ready for these changes to come and sweep me away.
I can’t guarantee much of anything, only that I am more than a sufficient romantic to keep in touch with everyone who I care about and love. I use those words “keep in touch” with bitterness in my mouth, for they are words that fall meaningless more often than not. I live my life believing whole-heartedly in the power of words, my greatest desire being able to wield the written word to change a person’s life. In that vein, I don’t believe anything should be said if it doesn’t hold weight and meaning. So often the things we say float away into vapor, an insubstantial dribble. Only if we let them, though. The things we say can mean nothing and mean everything depending on the way we choose to let them out. Keep in touch is something you write in a yearbook, or something you say to that kid you buddied up with at summer camp. They are glorious sentiment . . . but fall short of truth. You may make a small effort in the beginning, but time slips, you slip, and finally before you even notice . . . you are swept away into two opposite ends of everything.
I refuse to be swept away.
The relationships I established mean something. And that meaning has more value than I think I realized. I have made a lifetime of being too damn stubborn to let nature take the course it had set out for me. This isn’t any different. I will look at the natural trend present in human beings everywhere, and decide right here and now that I am a little less human than trends anticipated. So I’m not going to say “keep in touch” and let those words slide into smoke. I will be talking to you, and I want you to talk to me. I am going to tell you about all the wonderful things in my life, and I want you to tell me all the wonderful things in yours. More than that, I am going to be there to be a part of that wonderful life, because I hope with all I am that you want to be a part of mine.
You just don’t let something like that fall away into insubstantiality. You hold on to it however you can.
The theme of my book, the theme of my life to be precise, is simply this: What I am is only what I choose to be.
We can be so much more than the world dictates we can. We don’t have to do everything the same way the rest of the world does. We don’t have to abide by statistics. We can love every moment when we prove that world wrong. I revel in that feeling of being different, not because it is something I am inherently stuck with, but because I made the choice to do so. That really makes all the difference, knowing that your own personal distinction make you who you are, and who you are is pretty damn fantastic.
You can be told all your life how something is going to be, but in the end, it comes down to you whether you chose to listen or not. The greatest mistake we can make is forgetting that we shape who we are.
Don’t forget that.
I am going to go do some shaping of my own.
Remember me, because I will never stop trying to be a part of your life.
It sounds like a eulogy. In truth, the me I was in America will probably very much die. Time changes who we are more than we ever even realize. That is something I cannot change.
That is ok though. More than that, it is just lovely.
I can’t wait to meet who I will become.
I look over my shoulder and smile . . . thankful for the time I had, but ready to see what else this world can show me, and what else I can show the world.
How about you?