I opened up to life, and now life has opened up to me in return.
Just last night I was in a café, sharing my most inner thoughts with an acquaintance from high school who I hadn’t seen in a while. We were inspired by a “social study” that we read about in the NY Times, titled To Fall in Love With Anyone, Do This. In the study, two strangers are placed in a room and ask each other a series of increasingly personal questions. We decided to try it out for ourselves.
Two enlightening & emotional hours later, we reached the final question of the study:
‘Share a personal problem and ask your partner’s advice on how he or she might handle it.’
I felt a lump in my throat grow as I tried to verbalize the thoughts whose only other location have been at the back of my mind.
“I think I have a good life… and for the most part I do what I want that makes me happy… but it feels like there’s always something in my brain that feels… trapped. It’s telling me to do more, explore more, be more…I almost feel like I can’t breathe…but I don’t know what to do about it.”
My heart raced in fear of expressing so much vulnerability. He gave me a quite notable response, as follows:
I see life like a nightclub. There’s the main entrance, where you wait in line, along with 99% of the other people trying to get into the club, and hope that the bouncer chooses you to get in. The second entrance is for privileged people, who get in because they’re celebrities etc. What most people don’t realize is that there’s a third way inside…
The third way is leaving the long line and running through the alley, banging on the back door, sneaking through the windows, doing anything you can to enter. The scariest part; however, is not going through this unfamiliar territory, but rather leaving the main line that you have already been waiting in for so long.
The main entrance is the line that I have been in my entire life, and it seems most of society is there too.
I am a 21-year-old business student, and until recently, I have been in this line- waiting patiently in line to enter the nightclub. My future plans consisted of securing a “respectable” internship for the summer that would turn into a practical full time job, graduating school on time, and having my career laid out for me. That’s true happiness… right?
I am slowly learning that the “I’m trapped” voice in the back of my head doesn’t believe that’s the right way to go.
Today, as I write this email, I have just arrived to an unfamiliar hotel, in a strange town, with someone who, yesterday, was merely an old acquaintance, but now is a friend. He convinced me to “get out of line” and go on an unknown adventure with him.
So here I am, ditching class during the week (which I never do), taking a spontaneous trip to an unknown town (which I never do), feeling scared, nervous, and excited, but mostly free. I’ve decided to take some time off of school, make my own adventures, and find what makes me feel permanently free. (Any suggestions?!)
I guess in my own, small-scaled, cheesy way, this morning I decided to run out of the line and into the alley, in search of the third entrance.