On Seeking, Truthfully

Lately, I’ve been all sorts of tangled-swirling inside – the kind of storm that’s slow-building yet electric. It’s a heavy late-summer thunderstorm: thick, dark rolling clouds and unending pulses of lightning, creeping with overshadowing intent.

Part of it is self-made – I’ve been procrastinating “real life” now for six months, and I’m ridiculously happy with that. I’ve been ignoring my household duties (my room looks like the aftermath of a fashion show, everything strewn everywhere, much to my dismay – but no one should be remotely shocked about that; it’s a constant battle), and I’ve been enjoying putting off the hell that is cubicle chasing. I love that.

I’ve been living without taking frequent stock of any given situation, mostly on a weekly “what is my schedule going to be now?” sort of basis. It’s been freeing, honestly, in a way that I can’t attempt to describe. While I’m clearly not killing it on a financial level, I’m static in an “I can pay the bills” sort of way, and I’m making about what I made at my last job with fewer hours worked and significantly less stress.

I’m still searching, and I’m not afraid to admit that. I know that I have written quite a bit about how I imagined my life would be (hah, younger Katie, you’re so naive), and how I had always thought that I would someday stumble upon the perfect career path. This summer taught me a lot about what a sad facade the ideal is, and in that, I’ve let go of a lot of assumptions/presumptions (same meaning, one’s sexier) about what it is that I want to be.

Instead, I’m settling into me, at long last, stilling the reckless pursuit of perfect and ruminating on the resoluteness that is my own true self. It’s silly how circular it seems to be, and yet, there’s nothing necessarily cyclical about it.

I was hit over the head with art recently, in a way that was a clear reminder that I cannot go without creating. I cannot not write – it calms my soul, heals me, and provides an outlet no amount of yoga ever could. I cannot not do weird things – I recently partook in a music video shoot where I bound a man and water boarded him. With milk. And so much flour. (He later told me I have a very calming presence, so that was comforting in a quiet but certain way.) It reminded me of that Friends episode with Ross and the leather pants – “They’ve made a paste!”

The past few weeks have been unsettling, in a way that’s not unfamiliar, but feels like those blurry parts of life when you’re caught up in the moment, completely encased in the now. I’ve let go of “what will be” and am attempting to embrace what is and is not, and in that, I’m feeling the sort of freedom that I’ve been chasing wholeheartedly since I was a college freshman on the brink of something better.

I had happy hour tonight with a longtime friend who’s stood by me through everything, and whom I love dearly, and in that, we were discussing dating. I laughed, and described my current situation, much to her dismay. She laughed, though, as I told her that I think I’ve been trying to hard to find that ideal instead of my ideal, and she suggested that I’m just looking for my own Mickey Avalon. Yep. College all over again.

I told her that I have recently come to understand, innately, my own odd. I am a part of this earth, and yet I’m not. I’ve never felt like I am a part of a thing; I’ve always felt slightly at odds, somehow indifferent to and hyperaware of that “thing” that everyone else understands, and yet lately, I’m in a sort of place that demands exploration and understanding.

Who are we if not the sum of our experiences, the culmination of a hundred and twelve thousand adventures, a story to be told to our children, if we should be so lucky to make them?

I am a four on the Enneagram, so bear with me on that deep level of narcissistic internalization, but understand that for me, the beauty is the experience, the reflection, the resonance of adventure. My soul seeks to be understood, to be heard and valued and cherished, and without that, I don’t know what else to do. When the drums of the heart call, I can’t not answer them, because I am nothing if not the most romantically inclined human being on this planet. It’s insane. I hate it, and yet, I relish it, because with each and every interaction, I see the humanity that plagues us. I feel it, so ridiculously deeply, and it hurts and it’s horrible and it’s simultaneously the most beautiful gift I could have been given.

To love deeply, and to want to do that, is the hardest task we’ve been assigned. It’s easy to ignore it, to turn that blind eye to complacency, and yet, when those floodgates open, the call has sounded and I refuse to let it go unheeded. Hubris, mostly; solace, ultimately; and everything catastrophic that lies in the in between. It is perhaps the searching that hurts the most, the moments of naked truth that cut the deepest, and those fraught moments in the middle that matter the most.

I am still lost, read a t-shirt. I laughed, that’s dumb. But it’s not at all. It is everything, exactly, summed up into four words, one sweetly succinct phrase. It is my rallying cry at the moment, and I am leaping in with both feet, determined to drown in the process or rise to the challenge, drifting determinedly to the place we were told we could never have.

I want it. I will find it. And if I don’t, at least I’ll have one hundred and twelve thousand stories to tell about the greatest-ever undertaking that is my own adventure.

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