Sunday, January 4, 2015

Bullied By Life

Today I caught up with a dear friend of mine from five years back. (FIVE YEARS BACK, WHAT?! Here’s to five years FORWARD).

We were connected on Skype and I must admit, I completely forgot how beautiful her smile is. It literally brings all things good back into the world the second it arrives, like the first breath of air as you rise from water.

We originally met in the mountains of Colorado and have since moved all around the country and the world creating mountains in our stories, mountains in our hearts, bodies and minds.

When I think of my time in Colorado during my final semester of college, I think of the colors red, blue and yellow.

Getting lost in Garden of the Gods.
Backdrop of the sky.
Warmth of the sun.

I also think of setting my keyboard up across from this same friend’s keyboard in her dorm room and playing music while playing life.

Wooden, creaky floors.
Colorado College.
Melodies and harmonies on end.

Life was unfolding, yet time was still.

In these moments where our imaginations were allowed to run as free as sand in the wind, we were escaping homework. We were escaping calls back home and necessary, grade-saving conversations with classmates and professors. We were escaping tasks off of our never-ending To-Do lists along with that deep, unforgotten fulfillment of actually drawing a line through those threatening tasks and calling it “done”.

Here we were: ignoring that familiar puddle of water slipping out of our palms and escaping this treadmill of life which always seems to speed up faster than I can handle. College was ending. I would be moving back to Alabama. We would get Big Girl Jobs and forever cherish the days with our keyboards in the dorm room.

But why on earth would that ever have to end? Why should we ever have to sacrifice the core of who we are in order to please and pretend, in order to officially “move on” in the world and become adults?

If this is becoming an adult, I don’t want any part of it.

Repeatedly in this world we live in, we allow ourselves to get bullied by life. Bullied by expectations and timelines. Go to college. Graduate in four years or less. Get married. Have a kid. Have more kids. Get a job.. a real job. A high-paying job. Make sure your kids are smart.

This timeline shrinks me. It stands over me with its hands on its hips, its eyebrows bent down in disapproval as I cradle my body on the ground out of fear.

This timeline makes my heart beat faster, my breath run shorter, my thoughts explode, my words shudder and slip, when suddenly I am no longer the owner of my story or the voice behind the Record button.

When did I let someone else become my storyteller?

Here is the truth: I feel most alive when I am creating things… stories, music, friendships. I feel most alive when I am in the dormroom with the wooden floors playing keyboard for hours on end.

I never want to sacrifice who I am for the sake of growing up.
I never want to become someone else out of fear or approval.

I am me.
I am real.
I am a creator.

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