It’s the morning. It’s the clear, crisp air laced with car exhaust and bated breath. It’s that sigh, that little sigh that escapes your lips as you step out into the day. That sigh holds everything: the goodbye to the sheets, the goodbye to the dream, goodbye to the pillow that fell to the side of the bed at 3a.m. way before you woke up and realized it was gone. The first breath of outdoor air – of reality – the choice of hot coffee and the hope that it was brewed strong this morning just like you like it by the fifteen year old kid with dandruff who doesn’t drink espresso and was told by his ever-quarreling parents to get a job over the summer and learn about adult responsibility.
It’s the way you ask the barista how his morning has been and his surprised reaction that someone actually cares. I never had a job growing up, not until the summer before college. My friend Sasha and I scoured the mall to find potential working places that wouldn’t completely kill our souls, that might-just-allow us to take a dinner break together and might just let us fake adulthood. She found a maternity clothing store (she did not have kids) and I found a trendy fashion chain (I did not like mainstream teenagers). I did not learn about adult responsibility. I learned that it’s in my blood to want to start something so much more. That summer I decided, maybe I will start something big.
It’s walking to your car thinking about traffic, but really, in the hazy marine layer of your mind, thinking that this day will be the adventure. And it always is, really. The lane merge you just made, the phone call from an unknown number, the glance to the side of the road where you see a homeless man with a sign that simply says “Gratitude.” Isn’t that all there is?
The day gets moving and the air changes. It becomes thick, gasping, suction-cupping itself to the trees and the cars and your appropriate, responsible-adult sweater. And you see it happen, the shift that change brings in the people around you. It’s oh so slightly frustrating and sad and motivating at the same time. Look each other in the eye! Make your handshake firm! Let air linger in between call and response, soak in intention and say what you mean! And you decide, if no else is going to, maybe I will start something big.
It’s in those moments that time warps and the morning air comes back to you. That’s what it was! you think. I felt it there, just for a second, that something magic was going to happen. The moment is always there, it’s always packed inside your purse or shoved into your pocket. It’s inside of you, it is you, it’s the possibility each moment holds for your skills and talent to merge with your ideal and ethics to create something truly incredible.
Your adventure is now, your time is here. Whether you can see the end point or even the middle point is of no importance; the reality is that it’s all happening whether you are trying or not. As long as you bring your authentic self to each step you take, as long as your hellos and goodbyes are more than just letters and syllables strung together, as long as you breathe this air that’s been circulating in our world since the beginning of time and let it sink into your bloodstream, it’s all happening.
And maybe you run a mile or four or maybe you find that sweet spot in your voice whilst singing along to Sia in your car. And maybe your best friend says, We’re going on an adventure. And you – you who knows what that usually means – maybe you tentatively wade into the waters. Because it’s already here, you are already in it. This is your journey, this is your life. And while it’s not always clear what adventure lies ahead or why in god’s name we have been given these gifts – our knacks, our sensitivities, our ways of talking and deciphering the moment – it’s always here and you’ll always have everything you need. Ask questions. Share stories. Feel what turns you on. Notice what it is to be alive, to be a human on this earth who might only be guaranteed a second but in that second can hold an idea that could change a whole other lifetime.
And the day winds down and you pull into your driveway, or street corner, because most places in L.A. and beyond don’t give you anything as far as parking is concerned and you take what you can get, as close as you can get it. And you have to just trust some opossum family or badger or bad guy won’t hide under your car in the wee hours while you are sleeping. You trust, it is safe, you are safe, you are here, you are home.
There are faint calls out in the distance, maybe someone trying to hail a taxi, maybe someone in an alley talking to himself, maybe someone’s far-off laughter at the end of a day and the end of a moment and the end of a decision. And you realize, boring is a choice and routine is a fallacy. You are switched on, you are alive, you are a walking conduit for change and boy, does that feel so good. And there’s the haphazard sheets, the pillow on the floor. You pick it up and you lay it down, it’s all still there. Your little nest, the warmth you create. Your heart skips a beat every now and then; it always does.
And the air crisps up and you can see the stars, and you decide, maybe I will start something big.