I feel like an air bubble that’s been searching for surface water, years passed as if minutes underwater, bouncing about the ocean waves fiending for where I fit in. I’ve steered my little bubble a certain path for many years, leeching on to bigger stronger ones, in hopes of being swallowed up into their prosperous air of success or of reaping their benefits by mirroring their motions. Through this journey my bubble has grown, learnt the ropes of the ocean, found the places to rest and where the current runs strong, become allies with the right fish and turned down the angry sharks, squeezed through the small holes and found itself amongst a sea of identical others. In this moment, as I peer from side to side at my ever growing sheath- my ideological perception of the world shrunk into that which my eyes and mind can take in at any given point- I feel at peace and I feel at ease.
My legs mindlessly lifted one foot in front of the other, and the other, and the other. Faster and faster they climbed an imaginary hill while I gazed out the pristine window and yearned to be one with the earth. I watched from my 7th floor stationary 4 mile sprint as a group of birds soared through the sky, beckoning me into their world. Floating from one peak into a valley and back up again as if to dance to a choreographed piece of Mozart, they fit so perfectly with one another in their endless abyss of sky, I wondered what made them work. Every particle of their being made sense, every movement had purpose, every desire was pure, every dream attainable. They required no grounding, no foundation nor education. No roof over their head and no water in their cup. They moved with the wind, ate with the desire, lived with the times. They had no strings attached- other than the imaginary ones guiding their flight through the part of the world they own to themselves. It’s unfair, I thought, they get to live so freely while I have to live under pressure- commitments, deadlines, and responsibilities. What must I do to find the freedom they possess while maintaining my humanity?
It was then that my feet picked up, my back straightened out, and my eyes darted about in a haze of realization. An epiphany forced me to suddenly let the air drain from my lungs while I sped up my hill of inspiration. I could move today. I could make sense of my being, find purpose in my movement, make pure my desires, attain all my dreams. What’s more, is that I am doing just that. My strings have turned to elastic as I travel the world and stretch my bubble as far as it will reach. In reality, I may never be as free as the birds, flying from one tree to the next, picking up wherever I’ve left off, living one moment to the next, taking one breath at a time. But today, as I drift in and out of ideas and thoughts, people and places, words and wisdom, I feel free. I feel alone enough to find myself and my place on this ground we call ours, while protected enough to know my bubble will not burst in the open waters of humankind.
My life, in this instant, has meaning. Each moment I breathe in dirty air to let out half cleansed spurts of excitement and potential into the hearts and lungs of those around me, I feel the kind of happiness attained solely from the pursuit of happiness itself. And each moment this happiness exists within me is a moment of freedom alongside the colorful birds, dipping and soaring into the peaks and valleys of life’s beautiful journey, living and being as true to myself as I could possibly be.