Sunday, December 18, 2011

the open road

I was on my scooter last Sunday morning, riding down High Tension Road here in Mysore, India. I was all on my own, searching for a place to have breakfast. Nothing extraordinary, other than this bright little feeling, a lightness in my chest: I felt so very free.

Truth be told, as independent as I make myself out to be, I'm not on my own much. Or haven't been in a long while. I've been in a string of long term committed relationships and, to top it off, I'm a people person. I know that I can take socializing to extremes; I always want to be in the thick of it. I used to have this insane fear: I never wanted to miss anything. And often this meant I was hardly ever alone.

Since June, I've sort of been on the road. Up till October, I was visiting with friends and family between the US and the Philippines. I arrived in India with roommates and have since had a brief but beautiful romance. These companions have gone, however, and I've found myself in a unique position of being quite on my own.

This new solitude is a little frightening but also incredibly exciting. There have been a lot of shifts in 2011, which started here in Mysore over a year ago, where I first realized that I had been burying my own needs and dreams. It has been hard for a "people-pleaser" like myself to distinguish between the wants of others and what I really want for myself.

Though a little lonely, this new space--vastly undefined, full of the unknowable, paved with possibility--is like an open road. I am coming to realize that I can go anywhere, do anything. I am free to want and do whatever suits me, whether its the small things like taking a drive to satiate my desire for Indian breakfast or the bigger things in life--which is coming ever so slowly.