Hi, friends. It’s been awhile! Instead of giving you an excuse this time, I can say that this hiatus was actually intentional. In the weeks before I left for break, I felt like I was doing so much talking, constantly putting out information but rarely taking the time to sit back and absorb. I was writing a lot, sticking my nose into Facebook debates, sharing articles every other second. A constant flow of information coming from my mouth and my fingertips and a disproportionate amount coming to my brain.
Although I read almost constantly in college and continue to read online articles and listen to podcasts, I’ve recently realized that I produce so much and consume so little. Reading a book from cover to cover has become somewhat of a foreign concept to me. To me this is just a very arrogant way to go about life–always pushing your own opinions out into the world but never taking the time to appreciate others. My sister, whom I saw for a few days in Venice, Italy has always been an avid reader. It’s time I take a page out of her book (pun intended).
So I picked up a book over vacation. I forgot how great it is to close the final cover of a great book. “No Baggage,” a story about a girl who meets a guy on OKCupid and takes off with him after only a few weeks to travel Europe with no baggage (literally and figuratively) and I loved it. My friend Melissa who visited in the fall gave it to me and it could not have been more fitting for my life and what stage I’m in. When you’re constantly putting out information, it’s easy to forget that you are not, in fact the first to go through a certain experience or come have a particular epiphany or dream up the same invention. In this sense, reading can be both humbling as well as comforting.
So in the spirit of listening and not talking, I thought I’d share my favorite passage from the book, as a representation of it, and of me:
“Wasn’t it a little bizarre to be stuck in one of eleven billion meat bodies rushing around a 4.5 billion-year-old exploded star planet, furiously hunting for whatever it happened to be: hot sex, fairytale love, the next meal, enlightenment, the down payment on a Range Rover, world peace, cell pone minutes, a house with a white picket fence, ripped abs, sanity, whatever! Wasn’t it a marvel it be sentient? To be capable of love, terror, and over-the-moon joy? …
…I was interested in living it. Meaning was not an intellectual concept that could be captured in a net, labeled, and pinned to a board. It was a physical act, a continuous investigation renewed each morning. A decision to boldly explore despite chaos and messy fragility. And choice to give myself to the world without any promise that life would make sense or end up with a neatly tied bow…I was all in-even if it meant falling down, getting lost, and making a mess of things.”
Santé mes amis.
P.S. The featured image of this post was taken while I was out on a run the other day–one of the most beautiful views I’ve seen of Hyères. I usually never go this way but for some reason that day I decided I needed a bit of a different perspective. Fitting, isn’t it?