Conscious Choice

I love this quote: “What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.” To be honest, I just googled “quotes on choice” so I could sound well-rounded, but, because I chose to search for and tell you about this Leo Buscaglia quote, I found a saying that both encompassed my inspiration for this post and made me sound smart.

Since this quote truly comprises my current feelings, I restate it: “What we call the secret of happiness is no more a secret than our willingness to choose life.”

So, what lies at the crux of happiness? Choosing it. Choosing life. When we skydive into being, we fling our arms out, tip our head back, and launch into oblivion, trusting that the potential rough landing is worth the midair exhilaration. If we focus too much on the end, we won’t glory in the moment. Me, I want to glory in the moment. I want to feel deeply—not just feel, but feel, live in italics—so my vitality becomes an entity in itself. My choice to exist without boundaries becomes an unconscious eagle’s wings. I want to span the breadth of life and screech into the night and exult in my metaphysicality.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve tried to choose this elation every day.  I have a propensity towards laziness, though; this occurs all too often, and I swoop into a vicious cycle—stay up till 8 AM, watch episode after episode of Godknowswhat on Hulu, cop out of daytime existence—where I loathe my being. Stop it, Mary! I cry. Good God, you have dreams, such dreams, and you’re wasting it. You’re wasting those moments where you could be living to the tips of your toes, and you know what you’re shortchanging them for? Law and Order: SVU. Rock of Love. Good God.

You are more than this. You are more than this.

I woke up this morning acutely aware of my conscious suspension of reality. I have reaffirmed, embraced, rejected myself, but it’s only been passive. I need to act, to do, to be a choice instead of a mangled marionette. My existence is a validated selection.

A sampling: I choose to make this novel a priority. I choose to claw through this vast research like a falcon. I choose to record my search for Great Love more faithfully. I choose to fully prepare for Ireland.  I choose to let my unconscious take the lead. I choose to be and to love without reserve.

I choose to be me.

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Embrace

So, it’s been awhile (three months much?) since I posted last. Let’s not mince words: I slacked off with my writing (albeit, I had school), but that’s no excuse for not chasing my dreams.

Thank GOD it’s summer. The moment I finished that last take-home exam, I tasted, imbibed my freedom. I could write again, not always worrying about the next paper, the next all-nighter. My world, my creativity could flourish.

I promptly sat down and watched Law and Order: SVU for five days straight.

I had another one of those relaxation “binges” this past weekend. My family went to Wisconsin on a religious pilgrimage, so I had the entire house to myself. After some Friday night hookah with high school friends, I got home around midnight and didn’t leave again until Monday morning. I ensconced myself in our worn, navy recliner with my laptop and “A Passion Denied” by Julie Lessman (shameless plug: her books are amazing and heartfelt). I read her book in one sitting and gorged myself on Rice Krispies and apples. It was marvelous. And, then–the pull, the mesmerizing, tech-lime Hulu. [cue Phantom of the Opera music…] I watched the entire latest season of Project Runway in a day and a half.

Was there a point? No. Was it inspiring? Surprisingly, yes. It was great to see heightened mainstream creativity and immerse myself in another artist’s visceral process, but I enshrouded myself in someone else’s muse instead of cultivating my own. I remember walking in the door Friday night and being so excited to wake up Saturday with the sole purpose of drinking endless cups of coffee and creating till I burst. Instead, I woke up today with a metaphysical hangover, and I hated it.

Fast forward to this afternoon. I’m working full-time at my university library this summer to earn money for studying abroad, so noonish found me outside oozing up the sun, with a lukewarm salad, Gala apple, and my looseleaf flapping in the wind, just begging to be covered in ink. I spewed my frustration with myself onto the page—God, why do I keep losing myself in laziness, promising myself that this is the day, this is when I’m going to apply bum glue and embed my soul onto that crisp paper. I stall, I conceive excuses, and nothing emerges.

But then the breeze caressed my hair and whispered indistinguishable intonations. My soul half-turned, closed her eyes, tipped her head back, and just…was. She embraced the calm, made me let everything, everything seep into being, the unbearable lightness and the poignant weight, whole, hypostatic. She held out her arms, a Mother Nature fertilizing my consciousness, made me embrace my glorious complete. I always claim to live without regrets, but today, in that thirty minute lunch break, I embraced myself like a long-lost sister. I welcome my imperfect, raw beauty. I welcome my binges. I don’t condone them or want them, but if (and when) they do happen, I feather them over with my lightness and beauty and love and hope, and nothing, nothing can prevent their fusion into a more heightened glory.