this is how you know

The time is right
I’m gonna pack my bags
And take that journey down the road
Because over the mountain I see the bright sun shining
And I want to live inside the glow
I wanna go to a place where
I am nothing and everything
That exists between
here and nowhere
I wanna go to a place where
Time has no consequences oh yeah
The sky opens to my prayers
I wanna go there
I wanna go to beautiful

Please understand that it’s not that I don’t care
But right now these walls are closing in on me
I love you more than I love life itself
But I need to find a place where I can breathe
I can’t breathe
I wanna go to a place where
I can hold the intangible
And let go of the pain with all my might
I wanna go to a place where I’m suspended in ecstasy
Somewhere between dark and light
Where wrong becomes right
I wanna go to beautiful

“Beautiful” by India.Arie

“Beautiful” was a song I first discovered my senior year in high school during a dance concert I was performing in. It is one of those songs you fall in love with upon first listen, a beautiful string of acoustic harmonies seamlessly blended together to become one bittersweet anthem to moving forward. It’s amazing to me how songs come full circle almost like life does; I can’t believe I first fell in love with this song almost 4 years ago but I realize that must be right because here I am, once again a senior and on the brink of moving on. My senior year in high school, I went through the same growing pains I think everyone goes through when you realize that you are outgrowing some of the people you hold dear to you, that you are on the eve of really taking some real and tangible control over your own life, almost to a place where you can shape it into what you envision it being. Back then, graduation was bittersweet for me because I realized that many of the people I’d grown up with, loved with, laughed with would soon become casualties of this war we call growing up and that, with the exception of VERY few, soon they would be no more than people I remembered fondly, memories of times I’d only recall from pictures. Some of them I grew away from naturally; some of them I realized I needed to get away from so I could grow.

I’m feeling the same way now.

As it is now 2006, I am forced to look at the fact that in 5 very short months, I will be on my way into a life I’d like to call my own. I will be graduating, moving on, relocating to an as yet undisclosed city (I’m not being secretive…only God knows what I’m going to do with myself) and I will be leaving behind some people, things and situations that I have grown accustomed to, for better or for worse. I am preparing myself now because I remember how hard it was in high school, when the realization that I needed to be without some people in my life hit me hard and suddenly and it was a lot to handle.

You ever just dealt with something, been through something, said something in the passion of a heated argument that you looked back on and went, “What just happened here?” You know? Like one of those needless. pointless arguments that you know you really just wasted your time having because you got nothing accomplished. Or have you ever been through something so terrible, so awful and looked back on it later in disbelief like, “I can’t believe I ALLOWED myself to go through that!!” and you just shake your head at your own negligence with which you’ve handled your emotional self? I find myself doing that often when I think of the year that just passed, and if I am to be honest about it, many of the things I have done over the last few years. And it is strange really, to watch your life go by, unannounced, to look at it objectively as a spectator and go, “What the fuck was I thinking?!?”

No, really. What the fuck was I thinking exactly?

I can’t believe some of the things I allowed myself to get caught up in in 2005. Even back in 2002 when I graduated from high school and felt so prepared to take on the world, so ready to change and to grow and move into beautiful. I think maybe I have gotten painfully sidetracked.

I feel like I’m on the verge of something and I’ve never felt this way before. I feel like I’m on the edge of something bigger than even those things I have allowed myself to imagine, and that’s pretty big. I feel like 2006 is gonna be a big year for me. I feel different right now than I’ve ever felt in my life. I have absolutely no concrete idea about where I’m going.

And it feels great.

Anyone who knows me knows I love my lists, love my plans, love my control. But right now I recognize that none of those plans really matter; they’re not important. Hell, I never end up doing them anyway. And maybe that’s what this feeling is… the comfort in knowing that even though there is no clearcut, obvious, or easy plan that I see, I’m ready. When I was 18 and graduating, I wasn’t moving on, I was escaping. I’d prepared my escape for so many years, so carefully articulated each and every step of the journey that I was only fleeing blindly, relieved that it had actually worked. The difference now will be that when I graduate at 22, I’ll truly be ready for the world. I am having no whatismymissioninlifewherewillIgowhatwillIdo anxiety that most upcoming graduates have. Because I KNOW. It is not the loud, boisterous sense of confidence I thought I had as a high school senior. It is a quiet, readied assurance that I feel down to my very core that I will be alright. No, really.

I am so different than who I was 4 years ago and I’m proud of that. And even more proud am I that I realize that there are still things about myself that I would like to change, and I’m proactively pursuing them. I have never been one for new year’s resolutions; I believe that if you truly wanna change your life you will do so whenever the hell you’re ready. I guess this year it just so happens that my ‘ready’ coincides with a flip of the calendar. So I’m gonna try something different. I’m gonna have some resolutions here that I hope, if they are in print, if there are thousands of witnesses that I will not go back on. I don’t believe I will. I do not have some crazy long impossible list of off-hand things. There are only 4. Only 4 things that I am going to focus on changing in my life. So here goes…

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