It's been my experience that inspiration is such, that it hits you when you are least expecting it. I spent yesterday evening in Amsterdam with Ruud, Sandra, Melati, Uta, Kasia, and Andrew (her boyfriend), who is here for a visit from Salamanca. We met up at Centraal and headed to a little italian restaurant close by. The wine was plentiful and the conversation lovely as always, flittering from swingers parties and unconventional sex practices, to EU policy and possible outcomes of the primaries in The States. As I looked around the table at these faces, which have become so familiar to me over the past few years, I was suddenly struck with the realization that our time together at university has come to an end, and that we have all reached the point in which taking that next step is imminent. In the larger scope of things, the changes about to take place are neither drastic nor permanent, yet something about the undertones of the friendship we've forged during the time we've had together has shifted slightly and we all know that our days of wild parties, crazy stories and hour upon hour spent curled up in a dark little corner of Siezo have reached an end.
Everywhere around me, people seem to be moving forward with their lives. We sit around the table together now, still, in essence, the same people we were when we did so for the first time. Yet somehow it's not just our circumstances which have changed, but something else, something much more profound and fundamentally long-lasting. Where we used to dream of love and experience, trips abroad and success in every aspect of life, we now suddenly seem to be getting it. The unmistakable spark of innocence in our eyes has polished into a glimmer of content, traced with tiny swirls of desire and anticipation for the next adventure. Yet somehow, I can't help but feel like I have lost sight of what I'd always thought was so clearly in focus, like my grip is somehow loosening around that which my fingers used to cling to so tightly. I used to always know exactly what I wanted, and run after it without a moment's hesitation or regret. But lately, I feel as though I spend more time doubting everything than simply allowing myself to live it. I loathe this feeling.
This morning I awoke with a certain listlessness that I couldn't understand. After a cup of tea and a bit of an agitated pace around my flat, I suddenly threw my trainers on and headed to the forest nearby for what was meant to be a short run. I broke out into a controlled pace at the foot of the woods and continued as such for about 10 minutes. With every step in that short span of time, my thoughts seemed to become more and more clear, until they began to dissipate altogether and be replaced by an indescribable clarity and emptiness. Caught up in the ecstacy of such a feeling, I quickened my step and jolted ahead. The only thing I can remember distinctly after that was the feeling of the raindrops on my face and the searing sensation in my legs. Before I knew it, more than an hour had passed, and I suddenly found myself on the edge of a small creek that I didn't recognize. I stood there panting for a few minutes, not once taking my eyes off the water until it seemed as though my mind rejoined my body, then said to myself, out loud "what are you doing?".
Exactly. What am I doing? This is not me. This is not who I was ever meant to be. But all of that ends here. This will be my year.