I have a theory that our perceptions of time and space are only, really, perceptions (I think this is Einstein’s theory, or maybe the storyline from Inception, but it makes sense.) What if years are not years, and our lives are just dreams that feel longer than they really are. Have you ever woken up from a dream that seems to have told a weeklong story but you were only asleep for a few minutes? Sometimes I wonder if that’s what life is like.
I write these reflections as I enter my 33rd year of life and reflect on time, patience, courage and what it means to feel truly content. In the time that has passed since my coming of 32, however long that maybe be, I have experienced so much. The good, the bad and the ugly of life. The highs, the lows, the in-the-middles. I have changed, my surroundings have changed, my life circumstances have changed. I have grown more stems that have flowered and fallen, I have grown more roots. I have felt. I have failed. I have absorbed, like a curious sponge, every ounce of wisdom that has come my way and as I enter 33 I’m ready to do it all again.
What is this life but an unpredictable, impermanent dream? I mean, you might as well muster up the courage and throw all your cards in? Experience it all? Obviously, that’s easier said than done. Our courage is taken away from us at such a young age. In fact, I’ve learned at my ripe age of almost 33 that a lot is taken away from us at such a young age. Our self-love, our ability to walk confidently into a room and be our true selves without fear of judgment, our ability to openly cry and be vulnerable (this has particularly hit hard with men but that’s another conversation), our ability to fend for ourselves and create a community; the list goes on. As I’ve got older I’ve realised that these things that have been taken away from us are actually the fundamental things that we need as a species to maintain happiness and, essentially, to survive.
Now, look at where we are? Societies are suffering from either physical poverty or mental poverty and we’re looking for solutions in the wrong places, resulting in the destruction of the one planet we live on. The equation isn’t working. Something needs to change.
I found my way back to some of these things this year. I found community in many places around the world, met people who opened their hearts and let me in – the real me. I found self-love (although certainly not a master at this just yet). Actually some of the gauntlets I’ve had to run through to realise my self worth have involved a lot of sitting in discomfort, dealing with romantic rejection, professional rejection and personal shame. But that’s what I meant about wanting to feel it all. Our biggest learnings come from the uncomfortable times.
If I had to reflect on some of the most positive moments of 32 it would have to be around the connections I have made. As some of you know, I traded in my life in Sydney for full-time life on the road. I became a nomad. While this decision saw me leave a country that I love and a man that I love, it was a decision I was meant to take in life. It was my purpose and my calling. Since October I have travelled to 10 countries and experienced serendipitous connections with so many incredible humans. I really do believe in the idea that everyone we meet comes in our lives for a reason. I believe that we exchange more than words with one another. We exchange energies – and when your intentions are good you attract some of the most wonderful energies. You also can encounter negative energies but a teacher once told me that if you keep your energies positive (that is, keep your light) then it can radiate onto them and light them up too.
I believe in oneness and this belief only becomes stronger as I delve more into the idea of higher consciousness and spirituality. In fact, this year I’m going to put more focus on that part of my journey. I find it fascinating, and it ties in with my goals as the Altruistic Traveller to bring people together and connect, in a positive way. I think I’ve achieved that this year. One of the other reasons I took on a part-time remote role was so I could put my energies back into The Altruistic Traveller, and it’s paid off. I’ve had such wonderful feedback and support from my community (yes, you) and it really has made me want to keep pushing on. I mean, don’t get me wrong, some days (like today actually) I sat by the sea and had a little cry because I had been moved by the refugee crisis and was overwhelmed by the recent media about how we’re all doomed because we’ve killed the planet. You can’t really look anywhere these days and not have a feeling of disheartenment, or get frustrated by wrongdoings, or not have a piece of single-use plastic shoved in your face (had to throw that one in there). But what do we do? Do we just say f*** it! Or do we stand up for what we believe in, live our truths and put all our cards on the table? Do we feel it all and try and make the short time we have in this life or in this dream as beautiful as it can possibly be for ourselves and everyone else, animals, plants and all beings included? I don’t know about you, but that’s what I choose to do.
I’m all in. Bring on another year in this imperfectly beautiful dream.