Up in the air

I’m up in the air, in more than one way. I’m 40000 feet up, off the coast of Vietnam. Kyoto is behind me, Thailand in front.

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Writing for this trip has not been as expected, at all. Inspiration came all the time, so much happening all around, and inside. But the writing had eluded me. I need a theme. I’m trained to write that way, knowing the conclusion before I even begin. But this kind of writing is something else completely. It’s just a seed, and the ending is unknown; I have to make it up as I go, without understanding where I’m heading. And I’m very uncomfortable doing that. It’s the source if my strongest anxieties and fears as I face down the very end of my 20s.

I find myself on a trip that is both very solitary and filled with people. Eri works–an amazing job, by the way, for HUB Kyoto–so I was alone during the day. And at night, people buzzed around me. And the same, innocuous question kept hitting me in the gut.

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“What do you do?” There are several answers, and I would surprise myself by which came out and to whom. “I recently got married, so I’m being a wife right now.” “I own a business.” “I used to own a business.” “I live with my family because my mom was very sick.” “I am looking for inspiration. I trust that the universe will illuminate me at the right time.” “Nothing.” “I want to do more, but I don’t know what to do.” They’re all true, they are all aspects of my life. But none of them are enough, or will ever be enough, will ever be big enough to color me properly. There is no good answer to that question, and it doesn’t help me to describe myself in such small terms. I’m tired of looking at life like a series of labels to choose from, like choosing a major at university. It hasn’t served me well. The world is full of insecurities that infect everyone, that makes us all so afraid of the wrong label, wrong choice, wrong image. And we judge each other at the same time, at least the scared child in us all does, and only because it feels a little less scared afterward.

On this flight, I discovered that Beyonce made a documentary, and I’ve been watching it. I am so glad I am.

“It’s difficult being a woman. There’s so much pressure. We need that support and need that escape sometimes… We’re all going through our problems but we all have the same insecurities and we all have the same abilities and we all need each other. You know, I have been around the world, I’ve seen so many things, I love my husband, but there’s nothing like a conversation with a woman who understands you. I grow so much from those conversations. I need my sisters.”
-Beyonce, in her documentary

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Another amazing, perfect gift from the universe today. I needed to watch this. She’s way, way more inspiring than I realized. I’m so happy to be seeing this right now, as I feel up in the air and confused and ready and insecure and grateful, all in one tired body.

And I feel more okay writing with only a seed for inspiration. I hope that translates to my life choices also.

PS. I write this on Friday afternoon. Internet in Thailand it’s tricky  😛

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