Travel has been my one true experience of reality in the past. It was probably because that is something I felt affinity with, a glimmer of familiarity if you will. As a child, I moved around a lot. I moved schools, homes, cities, even colleges! Change was the most frequent thing, and seemed like the most sincere remedy to any sort of situation – going through puberty, friends acting strange, feeling like an outcast? Bam! New school, new people, new hobbies, new home, new dimensions to living.
Sometimes as it happened with pre-internet kids, one had little control over resources of communication, and it was hard to make sense of reality, so you drift apart thinking c’est la vie, nobody knows anybody forever, nobody knows each other’s deepest truths or darkest secrets, that’s just how it is supposed to be. Fights meant you cut people off because new people could be met, and new friends can be made, as if they were paraphernalia of convenience, the result of happenstance, product of circumstance, nothing was a choice right?
What a painful way of living. To start from scratch at the drop of hat, taking flight at the hint of trouble, never immersing oneself in a hard, cold fact because you see it as just that – a fact. Nothing more to it, no knowledge could change that. Right? But I am admitting to having been wrong. A fact may be, but the adjectives used to describe it are a figment of your mindset. A friend is rude – that is a surface-level fact. Stay with it long enough, and you will hear that she had been having a bad day. Dig your heels and show your trustworthiness, and she will share how talking about grades in front of boys make s her feel like she is under inspection and is being judged…because her mother mocks her for being boy-crazy instead of wanting to do homework all the time.
Life has a mysterious way of unravelling itself to us. It does not unfold to us in the span reality as we have it happen to us. It reveals itself in layers, through perspective and across the time-space continuum. That is both the strangest and real part of living.
Stick around and you’ll spin a new tale around it. You’ll find a new meaning. You’ll see new purpose. Just…stick around.
So what’s my most current experience of reality? Relationships. With people, in general. You – you’re in my life because I fully mean to have you around, to love and cherish you, to share, to show kindness to, to break down in front of, to make demands of, to be of help, to return favours, to argue and disagree with, to be annoyed with, to hold you as the cause of frustration, to apologise to. Let’s not romanticize love or human relationships as meeting our expectations from reality. They are rather our bridges to accepting reality, familiarising ourselves with it, and making peace with it while we continue to live out our interpretation of it. Relationships are paradoxes. They set you free from the fear of the suddenness of the new, but sometimes you might have to claw your way into one and hold onto it.
Now I don’t just want to learn about places through its people. I want to learn people through their stories, their people, their places, their view of the world. A brand new pair of eyes and sensory experience, as I am allowed to peer into the soul of another – could magic get any more real? Could reality get any more magical?