Being back in the familiarity of my hometown is offering me the safe comfort I need to tie up loose strings from this summer’s transformation.
Biking down the streets of my childhood, sun streaks glittering through the leaves of trees that raised and rooted me, brings a point of romanticized reflection and a gentle reminder of where I came from, how I was built, and why I am who I’m becoming.
Growing up is strange and beautiful. The expansiveness of twenty years on this planet has given me enough perspective to witness myself from above, just detached enough to begin making sense of all that I haven’t been ready to understand until now. Returning to the house that watched me age, I can see the evolution of my being. I bring with me the bits and pieces, parts and puzzles of two years away, living on my own for the first time in the big, bad, bewildering world. I feel my humanness with fullness now that only comes with love and loss, through testing the limits of my mortality. Home is a concept that I am still defining for myself. There has been a newfound freedom in the internal conflicts of my aliveness, reflected in the mirror of my external existence. It has been a surprise for my childish ego to learn that every other human has the experience of life in this world, just like me. As special as I am, so too are the billions who walk beside me. And though the paths we choose to take are different, they stem from the same point of entry. We all walk together. Not alone, but united under a blue sky that wraps us in its embrace no matter how hard we try to run away from our inevitable truths.
The facts are in front of my face and finally I’ve given up the fight against them. My ego cannot outsmart my existence. My physicality is too tangible to ignore. Time is not real, but life is linear and there is no way for me to write my story before I’ve lived it. I think part of growing up is the integration of a humble patience, to see and accept that while I cannot control the flow, I can BE it.
Living as myself is a matter of allowing the external me to change, grow, and evolve in whichever direction she chooses, guided by the truths of my internal compass but ignorant to my internal ego’s want to be right.
I am a real life human and no part of this journey is predictable. I am formless. I will continue to surprise myself and that shock is not a scary reaction — it’s merely a fact of life’s beautiful mortality. The duality of existence in this physical dimension has always fascinated and perplexed me.
This understanding that all other beings who walk beside me can only perceive the external me has illuminated my desire to wear my truth on my sleeve. They have no way of reaching behind my physicality to know my inner self. So, balance is EVERYTHING.
My most powerful weapon is my vulnerability. It is my sword, my shield, and my strength. It is what frees the truth within me and sets me loose on planet Earth. That vulnerability is my ticket out, my honest escape from the cage of my flesh.
Your truth really will set you free, once you stop running from it, denying it, or fearing it.
You are YOU. There is no reason to be afraid of yourself if you have the courage to know you. Then all you have to do is BE you, to live in authenticity as the limitless creator of your own life. My story is unfolding. It is more radiant, more impactful, more poetic than I could ever plan it to be and it’s happening here and now.
Floating through the flood of my feelings, I’ve only just begun to live.
Vivian is an artist currently in a basement in Atlanta recording her second album. (Listen to her first here). She finds strength in vulnerability and is constantly pushing her limits of what it means to be female, what it means to be young, what it means to be human. Find her: Instagram // Twitter // Soundcloud