Beyond Being

When I think back on my trip to Turkey, now well over a year and half ago, I don’t necessarily remember all of the little details that I noticed in the architecture. I don’t remember the taste of the hot tea and how it cooled me despite the warm temperature outside. But what I do acutely remember is how alive I felt. Because I was actually noticing those little details, I was 100% in the moment, taking in every smell and sound. My eyes were wide open.

Last night, I took a bread baking class at Portland’s Culinary Workshop (a place I can heartily recommend). I was paired for the class with a gentleman who was probably in his 50’s, an Engineer at Hewlett-Packard who made a great conversation partner in between bread risings. Well traveled himself, we discussed his work trips to Asia, particularly Taiwan which he loved, and of course, we talked about my own travels and my desire for more. We also talked about career paths and in the end I kind of felt like I was talking to somebody who was a mentor, he was so intent on listening to me, and I thank him for that kindness.

Toward the end of the night, he said to me, “have you ever considered a job that involved traveling? You light up when you talk about your journeys.”

Hearing those words, “you light up when you talk about your journeys,” brought back a flood of memories of how alive I felt in Turkey. I was momentarily heartbroken to think that I’m not living every day lit up like that. It’s my best self, the person who I want to be. The person who is aware and in love with everything that surrounds them. I want more than to just Be for my life.

I’m going to try to start noticing things more. To slow down and actually SEE where I am currently. It seems a shame to only be “alive” in far aways lands when I live in such a beautiful place now.

“Maybe, she thought as she fastened her cloak, there was some middle ground to be had, a resting place between passion and practicality.”

-from “The Golem and the Jinni” by Helene Wecker

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