In 65 days I am packing up 20 kg worth of my life, hopping on an air-conditioned plane and moving to London. Just like that.
When I booked my tickets back in May, December seemed like an age away and yet, here we are, in the tenth month of the year, me with very little time left in this fine country I call home.
I feel very mixed about it. But I have come to realise that my general state of being is always a mixed affair. I am saddened to be leaving my family and friends, all of whom colour my life with such a vibrancy that I feel like Picasso, but I am also excited to venture past the known boundaries of my life and my character, to see what I find out there.
Bread and Bones
Recently, a good friend of mine beached a jet ski on a sandbar causing him to become stranded in Port Waikato. This was most unfortunate, not only because both the coast guard and police were called to search for him, but also because he had tickets to see Justin Timberlake with his lovely wife.
His misfortune, however, was my destiny, as I was invited to go with the aforementioned wife, to see JT. I was out of this world happy to accept the kind offer. It was an amazing concert and I got to share it with a dear friend as well as my brother and his lover. We danced. We sung. We even did some high kicks.
It was during this concert that I found myself slipping into another realm which I like to call 'Bread and Bones'—due to the fact that I usually ponder life and mortality and suffering and survival here. Usually, I go to BnB alone, but occasionally, I can drag another unsuspecting victim there as well.
Fighting for Now
This time, while visiting BnB, I began to think about how quickly life passes us, how fragile it is and how lucky I am to be loved in it. And then, as if Justin himself were visiting BnB too, he busted out his ballad, Mirrors. In this humdinger, he sings about love and finding himself in another person and right on cue, he echoed "Show me how to fight for now."
And I knew then that that's what we're all doing. We're all busy, trying to fight for our 'nows'. Me, trying to find enough moments in my life to love people well, to be kind and gracious, to pack as many experiences as possible into these last few months before I leave New Zealand, anxious to do it right.
As I watched Justin and pondered this thought, it struck me how ridiculous it is to allow worry to steal us from the present moment. I spend a large majority of my time, pensive, being dictated to by my past experiences. But Justin and his sweet, sweet harmonies, taught me that actually, it is my present moment that holds the supremacy and that is where I should be investing myself.
Handle with care
It became apparent to me as soon as I looked for it, that life is a series of beautifully packaged moments, each one containing its own goodness. A flavour or a colour that we need in our life that draws us into noticing where we are right now.
Right now, I am in my bed. I have clean teeth and nice pyjamas on. I have just spoken to my sister who inspires truth in me and today, I attended the funeral of a dear friend. A classic ticket for a trip to BnB. And even though, in this moment, I am tired, worried and sad, I'm also grateful.
I'm grateful for the ability to think for myself, to question and reject easy answers, to turn over rocks in the garden in honour of discovery. In every situation, in every glance and interaction, in every story we have ever been told, in every choice, regret, action we have or have not taken, I'm grateful that there is something to be made ours.
Sometimes, I find that life can easily overwhelm me. I can get very irrational and become like a crab—shifty and cynical with an almost impenetrable shell, pincers at the ready. But I have realised that that is mostly because I am afraid. Afraid of not living how I want to live, afraid of death and losing, afraid of being seen and not wanted.
Moments have hurt me before. I have loved and I have lost, I have tried and I have failed, I have guessed and have got it wrong. But these moments have helped to create the richness and depth in me that I love. I'm not ashamed of the things that I once hid from; for it is by these that I can clearly see the contrast in me.
I now know that when I receive beautifully packaged moments holding the darkness that I will cope. That I am strong and determined, creative and clever, complicated and refined, and that even if I find myself buried in bruises once again, I know that I will show up with courage to explore the complexity of their colours and know myself even more.
This is the light of the dark, the good of the bad—and we need them both. I'm glad to be sad that I am leaving, because it shows me how much there is here to love. But I'm learning that it's a great thing to realise that where I want to be, is right where I am.
First published October 21, 2014
Gemma Taylor despite constant scorn and painful jokes is proudly from the Waikato; although she is presently living in Auckland with her fingers in many pies. She is inspired by truth, creativity and connection. Gemma writes for buoyancy and hopes to one day live wholly by the ideas that she writes of.
Gemma Taylor's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/gemma-taylor.html