Wednesday, April 08, 2015

Life is a Bucket of Dirt

On my morning off, I am frying up some plantains and daydreaming like a normal person. 

It is my absolute favorite thing in my world, passing by the Tampa International Airport on my commute. Not because I am one addicted to travel, but because the interstate runs perpendicular to the landing strips and, if the timing is right, my car passes directly underneath a landing plane. It always makes me feel like we're living in the future, regardless of the relatively dated technology passing above me, but mostly because I have a tremendous gift for extracting wonder out of mundane situations.

I never, ever want that gift to go away. I hope to never grow out of it, and more than that, I hope it doesn't end up being medicated out of me.

And since I'm on an upswing and being a little over-analytical, I wanted to reflect and admit and announce a couple of things. Except, that sounded really dramatic. Nothing super huge. Just standard me.

Recently I had an interesting pregnancy dream, due to what I assumed was my incessant baby fever. But something interesting happened during this dream. Something that I think stems from something far more relevant to my immediate existence.

During the dream, when I found out I was pregnant, I was given a bucket of dirt.

Yep. A bucket of dirt.

But inside the bucket of dirt, there was an assortment of buried things. There were roughly rounded stones, and little spiny bouncy balls. I was told that I had to reach into the bucket of dirt, without looking, and pull out one of the items. If I picked out a bouncy ball, it meant that I could keep the baby. But if I picked up a stone, I couldn't.

In the dream, I knew I wanted to keep the baby. Now, I'm assuming that I wasn't meant to be able to distinguish between the two options while my hand was in the dirt, and it was meant to be a completely random decision. But I didn't want it to be. With my fingers in the bucket, I felt around for the spines on the bouncy ball, because I had a life to save. I pulled it out, and held it in my hands with bits of dirt falling from the spines. I'd won.

Waking up, as most of you have already read, I was a tad disappointed to find that I wasn't expecting. It took a few hours of waking up to realize what I think all of that meant.

What if the life I saved was my own?

In the dream, I had made a choice. A conscious decision to keep somebody alive. In my waking life, it's a decision that I have to make every day. There have been some very, very bad days; days during which I have had no interest in seeing another one. And I'm not particularly sure why. It comes with the season, I guess.

But something clicked and instigated this upswing, and I realized that I need to make a calculated decision to keep myself around, by whatever means necessary.

So obviously, I booked a flight to Iceland.

I'm not kidding.

Being surrounded by people who practice militant self care, I see lots of beautiful things being done for the people around me. And this is my version. My insane, impulsive version. I'm 24 years old, and at this point, 24 is being spent to prepare for marvelous things in 25. I'll spend a few weeks gallivanting around Europe and visiting the people to whom I've been promising visits, but I'll kick it off in Iceland. 

Because I can, because I found a deal, and because I've always wanted to. Because my heart dances to the same tune as the Northern Lights do. Because I want to sleep in a room full of strangers until they become friends on a glacier hike. Because.

But mostly, because it's my incentive to stay alive until November.

And with that, I'll leave you with the words of the great philosopher Ani DiFranco:

"Self-preservation is a full-time occupation; I'm determined to survive on these shores."

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