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Saturday, July 9

The world is beautiful, and it is ours. All we have to do is reach out and touch it.

This is something that I have wanted to write for the past few of days, but I wanted to make sure that it was not a fading moment of optimism, not an insane thought that would quickly fade. So far, it doesn't seem like it. So here it is, in a very unorganized and stream of consciousness format -- my epiphany:

The time that I have been given now is a gift. A precious and wonderful gift. For seventeen years, I lived with my parents, following their rules, and thinking about life through their terms. Then, I went to college. But instead of living life for myself, I lived it for myself and for James. Making decisions that were based on what both of us wanted, planning my life for him as much as for myself. 

And now, for the first time, I can look at the world, look at my life, look at my passion and my ambition and my dreams, and say: "What do I want to do? Just for me. What do I want to do?" And for the first few weeks after James and I broke up, this was overwhelming. Straight up scary, actually. The world did seem big, the numbers of people unimaginable, but it was frightening. The thought of facing such a huge and unknown world by myself made me want to cry. I did not know if I could do it. Especially after becoming accustomed to the companionship and intimacy that I had with James, facing my life and all of the unknowns by myself was so intimidating.

That's how I felt for the first few weeks. And I still feel like that sometimes. I'm sure I will, in moments, for a long time. But those moments are more and more rare. Everyday they decrease in frequency, and instead, I find myself, in particularly good moments, smiling uncontrollably from the excitement of the many opportunities that this vast, beautiful world holds for me. The world has opened up to me. It feels like a great and oppressive fog has cleared, and here it is: an unending blue sky, a vast and rolling landscape, a softly curving horizon. It is mine to explore; it is mine to discover.

Yes, I want companionship. Yes, I want to find love. Eventually. But, for now, I don't feel rushed. I don't feel desperate. Because, for now, I am going to take the time to love myself. To love the world and to dedicate myself to the things that I want to accomplish. For me.

Think about it. The average life span for a woman living in the United States is 80 years. So that gives me 58 more years to live my life. Well, I could die tomorrow, or in the next five years, but I also might live until I am a hundred, so whatever. Let's just say that I have an expected 58 more years to live.

Even if I don't find love until I am 30, I will have 50 years to love and live for that person and our children. 50 years is a long time. And if this is the case, if I don't find that love until I am 30, that gives me only eight years to live life for myself.

In the big picture, eight years is nothing. Compared to the 72 years that I will have spent, at the end of my life, considering the feelings and thoughts of so many other people, eight years is really nothing (And, to be honest, I don't think it's going to take me that long to find someone I want to spend the rest of my life with). Before this realization, I was thinking about being alone, about finding someone to love, and felt so exhausted just by the thought of searching for someone. The thought of getting to know someone, dating someone, that failing, starting the search all over, etc, etc, freaking etc. But now I realize that these next few years don't have to be about a search for anyone but myself, anything but happiness. They don't have to be, and I'm not going to let them be. I am making that decision today, and hopefully I will make it every morning for the next few years. I am taking this time to love myself, to think about myself, and to live my life for myself.

Now, this doesn't mean that I will live my life selfishly or greedily. I plan on volunteering and working for non-profits and all these things, but I will do it because I want to. But because someone else thinks I should. All of my decisions, where I live, where I work, what I do every day, these things will be my decisions -- they will be my choices to make for myself. And this idea is exciting. It is exhilarating and refreshing and beautiful. Sure, I will get lonely sometimes. Sure, I will long for that companionship and love. But I will also know that when I find it, I will go into it knowing more about myself and the world than I previously could have ever imagined. I will go into my next relationship being the best and most whole me that I ever could be. And that's a beautiful thought. Because the person who is willing to love me deserves that "me." He deserves a more intelligent, more self-aware, more stable and confident me. A "me" who has taken the time to discover the world and its opportunities on her own.

For most of my life, many of the things that I did on a day-to-day basis were things that were decided for me. Placed before me on a wonderful platter, arranged with love by the people who care most about me in the world. And I appreciate these things, these opportunities, these traditions and rituals. But I am ready to make my own decisions, arrange my own days. 

I am ready. Right now, I could feasibly be spending the next year in Chile, in Pittsburgh, in Santa Barbara, in Detroit, in New York, in North Carolina or in Chicago. These are all feasible and within reach opportunities that I have been looking into. Right now, I feel exhilarated by the world and the many things that have been revealed to me in the past month and a half. I feel blessed and lucky and happy.

Yes, I have moments of doubt. Yes, I have moments of deep sadness (as was witnessed by my last post). Yes, these moments will continue to happen for a long time, probably, because I am Satpreet, after all, for the rest of my life. But my life, my happiness and my excitement is no longer overshadowed by these moments, these doubts. For the most part, I wake up happy and go to sleep happy.

I am happy, happy, happy. And I am excited, excited, excited. What more can I say than that?


Anonymous said...

it' good to see you're doing better. your artistic skills have always intimidated me. i'm sure you will be more successful than you can even imagine. if you're ever back around the el hit me up.

Anonymous said...

Collected a "pocket full of rocks" for you at the seaside a couple of days ago. I will mail the best ones to you.


Anonymous said...

Hate to break it to you but James is experiencing that love now.

S. Kahlon said...

Thank you for the positive feedback, anonymous. I would like to add that your comment is precisely what I am not talking about in this post.

I am not talking or thinking about James or any other person. I am talking and thinking about myself. This blog, the things that I write here, they are written for me. I've had a blog since I was a freshman in high school. So this is not for James, not for his family who continues to read this blog (even though they never bothered to read it for the four years that I dated him), not for anyone (except for my friends). This is for me.

If he is experiencing that love, good for him. I'm happy for him. I just don't feel ready for that love. I am truly, truly not searching for that love at all right now. It's not something I think I need, when I have so many other forms of love and positivity in my life.

So thank you for "breaking it to me," although I can't say I believe that you honestly "hated" doing it. But I'm fine.

Katie Johnson said...

I'm really surprised at the outright cruelty of the comment by anonymous. I certainly do hope that the commentor was young and just doesn't know better. Wow. That aside, because in your post, you were NOT talking about your past love, I'm so happy for you that you are fully embracing this gift of time that you've been granted to explore life just as you. Just you. It sounds as if you have some exciting things to choose from in the near future, and what a huge blessing that is. When one door closes another opens. You are seeing a better, happier path now and that's always cause for tremendous excitement.

Anonymous said...

A few things the past year has taught me to value the most:

I think for some people, to truly love another person to the fullest, healthiest extent, they must love themselves fully first. They must know they alone are whole and happy in single, isolated, stages of life, independent mentally and financially, that at the end of the day they are all they need and others are what they want.

Love is a beautiful thing in all forms. Fearless love that comes from knowing you are all you need is the most beautiful, most powerful and purest form. When we find that, completeness in singularity, we can give the most to others.

Anonymous said...

Satpreet's too nice to say it, so I will: Going to church three times a week does not make you a Christian, and neither does praying before every meal. At the heart of a Christian and Christianity are the teachings of Christ, which are teachings of kindness, love, and compassion. Being a true Christian is about being honest and brave and loving.

As Christ taught us, we all make mistakes. But by actively sitting around and talking about someone who treated you, to the best of her ability, with kindness and respect, or even talking about someone who was rude to you in a malicious way, is not Christian. It is not godly. It is disgusting and sad, and deep down, you know this. I know it, you know it, and above all, God knows it.

To Satpreet: You have once again shown how gracious and beautiful you are through your response to anonymous. There are so many things you could have said and could have done. Even amongst your friends you do not talk about James and his family with a great deal of negativity, even though you very well could. This is one of the many reasons that I love you. You are darling to me and so many other people. And you exude the spirit of a Christian, the true kind and compassionate and moral spirit, than so many other Christians I know. You rock. <3 <3 <3

S. Kahlon said...

Um. Through my powers of deduction, I have figured out who the two above posters are, but I would like to remind you that you should feel free to leave your names when you are saying nice things about me, friends. :)

Or even when you're saying mean things about me. I like honesty. Duh.