On some level we all toe the line. Some sit on the split between rigid societal expectations and dreams that would make the most adventurous 5-year old jealous. Others run between monotonous order and flippant regard for law and norm. Every happy medium will be different per person, but there is that medium, that golden point where you feel perfectly, dynamically alive.
I count myself among the people who is constantly on. Of course this is not out of the norm for my generation, we, the young startups who are over medicated, drink too much coffee, have incredible potential and power, and type faster that all generations preceding us. Yes, we are always on. In fact, one of the reasons I so lust after travel is because I feel as if I have infinite potential. Ironically in this supposed potential is where I have found the moments taken tokenly as meaningless. A bench, a breath of fresh air after breathing in diesel fumes all day, a color in the sun that truly never existed, the second when the switch flips and you just get to sit in wonder… I officially get zero resume points for any one of these blimp-sized blips on my radar. They are so perfect though because of that perfect tension which is stretching me, yet the stillness brings life to the moment.
Yesterday I started my day off with a small mid-life crisis, wondering what in the world I was doing in Senegal, learning some small language, not really doing anything at work, and lusting after middle-eastern cafe, food, language, and historical culture. By 3am I had started judging CV’s for applicants for a World Bank partnership leader, met an Indian business leader, and was listening to a live reggae concert, complete with Adele’s Someone Like You, with new friends before being dropped off. This moment, when this song brought everyone’s rythm out and I was pulled up on stage, this was sublime. You can say it happened by chance, but I’m going to be selfish and say it was choice. I for one definitely chose not to go to sleep three hours earlier. This is all simply to say that I put a vote out there for being purposefully unconscious. A vote for the fact that letting the guilty satisfaction of always being on slip through my fingers means something. A vote for taking plunges, drinking the kool-aid [or local water in my case], hopping bridges, and choosing yes. Or rather, a simple reminder that while actually taking the old colonial, often robbed, derailed, and unreliable train to Bamako is probably not going to happen, the in-depth Indiana Jones-esque dinner conversation that left me with side stitches matters on my medium.