Photographs by Kevin Tosh.
It’s November, which means it’s almost December, which means it’s almost Christmas, which means it’s almost the end of 2015, which means I’m thinking a lot about the past year and about the future and what I want to do. When I was younger I used to imagine that by the time you got to this age, you’d have clearly figured out your destiny (whatever you take that to mean). But then as I’ve grown I’ve realized that you could be 16, 20, 40, 70 and still asking the same old questions. And while it’s a comfort to know that 60 year olds who seem to have it all figured out are also grappling with questions about their purpose on this earth and the future, it is also a little frightening to imagine that this uncertainty doesn’t end.
I’ve come to realize that I’m the kind of person who thrives in the structure of plans– especially when these plans have already been made for me and all I have to do is stick to them. And the last few months have completely thrown that in my face: time and again I thought there was a plan, and time and time again life laughed in my face like “Ha! Did you think it was going to be that easy? Suckerrr!” I’ve experienced more rejections than I ever thought I’d have the stamina to withstand. I’ve learnt that sometimes people don’t say no but they don’t say yes either and in those cases you just have to let go and keep moving. And I’ve found myself constantly confronted with the dark uncertainty and unknowability of the future.
You know the thing about love stories? There is always the possibility of heartbreak. And life is a series of love stories– whether it’s loving our families, or our friends, or our romantic partners, or the work that we create. It sucks, and it makes me want to hold everything close to my chest and not put myself out there.
One time, I was sitting on the grass with a boy that I liked. It was a little after the sun had set and he was holding my hand and we were both looking up at the sky and I thought: “Wow, look at us. We are so so free. Free to love. Free to hold hands. Free to breath. Free to write our life stories.” Because not everyone is. Some people don’t have the ability or the power to choose their destinies like we do, at this moment. And when I think about it like this it feels like there’s something sinful about being so hang up on the rejections of the past.
I wish there was a neat, happy ending to this post. There isn’t really one. I’m living in questions, but learning to take each day as it comes– one day at a time. And trying to be grateful even for the times when life hasn’t gone according to plan. So, November. Here we go.
P.S. I know that some of you aren’t big fans of the name change and I completely understand the reasons and the concerns. Thank you for that feedback and the only thing I can say is that I thought about this long and hard before deciding to change things, and there was a lot of reasons why that transition was inevitable. So please, trust me. Trust that I know what I’m doing.