It’s 1-am right now, which is an uncharacteristic time for me to be awake, but now that I am, I have thoughts racing in my mind, beating against my head like drums. Last night, I woke up after drifting for a bit with a pressing idea for a new poem; I wrote it down, pondered it, stared at the ceiling, gazed out at the lights of 116 from my window, thought about life a little. And right now, lying under my colorful lamp, hearing the pitter-patter of the keys of my laptop and the murmur of Iron & Wine, I’m wondering about a lot of things.
I just watched Cloud Atlas, and found that I surprisingly loved it. Every bit of it. Although, considering that Tom Hanks is a lead, I suppose it’s not too surprising that the movie was incredible. It would be difficult for me to summarize it, but basically, it consists of many stories that take place from the 1800s all the way to the far, far future. And after thinking about it for an hour and doing some research, I finally realized the theme. No matter what, no matter when, no matter where, human nature is oddly consistent. We make the same mistakes and behave in the same ways in any given situation. History always seems to repeat itself. Even hundreds of years from now, oppression will exist in some form; love will still prevail death; and thorough happiness will still be improbable.
I feel like it’s so easy for teenagers to judge life based on our short years. With my friends, I’ve had endless conversations about life, about future, about connections. Maybe years from now, we’ll laugh at our naiveties. But I guess the truth we have to realize is that there’s an entire world we haven’t seen. South Burlington is a speck. And the people we’ve grown up with are just a handful of what the rest of the world has to offer. I suppose this is reassuring, in a way. At the same time, it makes me wonder if we’ll always want more than what we have, if we’ll always have the urge to meet new people, if we’ll always fear losing the people so close to us.
Last night, I felt like a true writer. Maybe there’s something magical about the late night that spurs inspiration like no other time can. I think there’s something prime about the moment before falling asleep, as if we can see our lives running ahead of us, as if we’re trying to catch a glimpse and hold on and understand everything. I always think of the most bizarre aspects of my life before falling asleep–things that have kept me up for hours and, on the rare occasion, all night. Maybe this is the time of the day when we are most vulnerable, which makes it the best time for writing. I often think I’m not vulnerable enough to be a writer. We had to write college essays for my English class the other day, and everything I wrote felt empty. Sometimes it feels like what I write is empty: decorated with an overdose of words, but lacking in meaning. I’m often scared to be personal, even if I’m the only one reading it. And I mean personal like inner thoughts, fears, things I would only say at 1-am.
My latest fear in life has been that I’m afraid of commitment. I realize this is a cliched fear, and perhaps even surprising for me, but every time I become close to anything—a hobby, a person, an accomplishment—I pull away. I am afraid of conflict. I think this is the only thing that holds me back from any dream I ever want to pursue. I want to be a journalist, a writer, a photographer–yet I can’t bear any sort of conflict. Ironic, isn’t it?
Before every summer, I make a vow to myself that I will change my faulty ways, that I will make a difference in some way/shape/form, that I will be a better person by the end. This summer, maybe I will finally stick to my word. At this point, I can feel myself sinking into my bed, my eyes barely keeping awake, so I’ll save the summer bucket list until next time.