Try to Remember
- 10 Posts
In the order and structure, we lose a piece of who we are.
I walked out of a room filled with laughter and into the silent night. I climbed the staircase to the rooftop, the warm summer wind blowing softly through my tousled hair. I leaned on the metal railing, staring out at the sky full of stars that seemed to be speaking to me. I was alone - just me and the city below.
For once in my life, I relished in the fact that the land that stretched out before me was practically foreign. Every square inch of my life had seemed to be pragmatically planned, and that was the way I had always wanted it. Until that moment on the roof, I had been content in the direction I was headed. Part of the reason I was infatuated with Israel and the Middle East was because of the unknowns of everyday life that served as a parallel to my life at home. There was a glowing ball of curiosity inside my heart, a thirst for something different that needed to be quenched.
I made a promise to myself that night that I would approach my life with enthusiasm and gratitude, to embrace and enjoy the spontaneous moments that I had either shoved away or failed to recognize. I heaved a heavy sigh, all the world’s beauty and intrigue washing over me like a warm Mediterranean wave. I suddenly felt like everything I had ever worried about seemed so miniscule in the grand scheme of things, and in the process I had forgotten the things that are most important.
I gazed around one last time, taking in the scenery as if I was taking a picture. I wanted so desperately to capture what I was feeling and tuck it safely in my pocket, being able to return to it when summer felt like an ancient memory and the scorch of the desert sun was replaced with the blistering northeast wind. That night, I made a silent promise between myself and the sky to live spontaneously.
How easy it is to want to change, but how hard it is to do so.
As time marches on, the promise I made to myself seemed to slowly slip away. We spend years of our lives trying to find a rhythm that we are comfortable with, subconsciously developing a multitude of habits that define our days. For once in my life, it was no longer enough to be comfortable. It was no longer enough to simply go through the motions of my day, no matter how happy the actions had once made me. It is in our very nature to resist change, but I believe that change is still possible.
It has to be.
Months after that night on the roof, I found myself alone once again. I had to be at school early that crisp fall morning, and I was stuck waiting outside the building until someone came to unlock the door. I was annoyed, impatient, and agitated because I had things I had to get done and a limited time to do them. I pulled on the door one last time, to no avail, and then turned around - greeted by a glistening morning sun. Something about the way the array of orange light shone through the cracks of the trees brought me back to that night on the roof, a night that seemed far, far away. It was the first time I had been utterly alone since that night, just me and the open sky. It was the first time I had taken a moment to look around, to breathe in, to let my world stop spinning for a second in time. Closing my eyes, I tried to remember what I told myself that night. Sometimes it is in the most unlikely moments that we find a piece of ourselves we thought we had lost.
We live in a world where a moment alone is a rarity. We live in a world where it is increasingly harder to slow down and reflect, when everything around us tells us we should be moving, thinking, and acting faster. We live in a world where we often forget who we are and who we would like to be in the midst of the chaotic tempo we are expected to keep up with. Yet in order for us to make changes, whether it be for ourselves or the greater good, that moment to stop and think is the moment that can change everything.
I know it did for me.