Last year, I turned 30 but I’ve been feeling much older than that. My friends have told me that I must be a really old soul and it wasn’t just because I had a penchant for things from the past. I liked being old school in a new media world and it made me wonder how old my soul really was. The energy inside my body felt like it had known the earth for hundreds of years.
I grew up without knowing that word for someone who constantly retreated into one’s self but these days it’s a household name: I was an introvert. I found safety in that word. It was my key to being understood in today’s hyperactive age of information and interaction. But just how long have I longed for my own alone-ness? Sometimes, it felt like it was all my soul had ever known.
Yet I did crave company. I felt guilty when I missed out on social commitments. On certain days, I missed certain people and I daydreamed about the day I would see them again. Then I realized that, in my introversion, and in trying to make sense out of being a responsible adult in my 30s, I’ve distanced myself from two things that made living essential. One, I’ve detached myself from human connection to the point that it was what I daydreamed about. Two, I no longer daydreamed enough.
The last 5 years of my life have been exhilarating as much as draining: moving to the seaside, starting a new life, learning how to run a business, and knowing one’s place in a community while trying to make a difference in small and meaningful ways. Not to mention everything that made these transitions difficult and unbearable, the curveball decisions and emotional investments, the days of retrograde, and the relationships that stretched over time. I’ve been my happiest but I’ve also been most tired. The most daunting part was that sometimes it felt like I’ve not even begun anything yet.
So I was forced to accept that I had limits. This should have been obvious but I had thought that limitations were imaginary boundaries that you can draw and redraw depending on your energy. It turned out that these dead ends were real. Things do break down. Despite the world’s randomness, the things in it were designed to slow down and break apart. Humans broke down. That was our way of giving in to entropy, a natural order of disorder. And the only way back to orderliness was something as formless as a floating dream.
Here was my mistake: I spent somber amounts of time at home thinking that I was recharging but I didn’t allow myself to stop worrying and planning and trying to stay in control. I had no desire or power to get over hardship because I wasn’t going easy on my mind. My headspace remained so cluttered that the rest and relaxation that I yearned for could not take root.
During these difficult and draining moments of adulthood, the child in me took over. My brain summoned happy thoughts and I’d fly away into the glow of glassy waves in an early Pacific morning, I’d swoop over the humbling view of the sea from pine-laden mountains, and I’d peer into a window of my childhood home to watch my family share a meal at Christmas. The stuff of my daydreams renewed the fire to make dreams real.
Then I began daydreaming wherever I was and wherever I went. I’d often daydream in the lineup while waiting for a wave. I’d daydream whenever I was in transit, looking out the window and thinking I was bound for a home I had not been to yet. I’d daydream about life’s delicious moments, whether or not they’ve happened. Standing beneath the shade of a tree, I’d listen to the leaves rustling, a secret song it seemed, now being sung to me by all of my past selves. I had forgotten how good that felt.
This may sound a little crazy and my friends are right to think that, sometimes, I actually am. But this was the good kind of losing one’s mind because it could make real rest possible again. And when the mind and the body were fully rested, I could do anything.
So daydream with me. Let there be chit-chat and iced tea while sunbathing. Let there be days spent doing nothing but unraveling the old secrets of this earth and learning about the lives we’ve lived before this and the lives we can live, still. Let there be songs from the deep ends of our lungs where our hearts tremble to be reborn. We will feel that feeling we all thought we had forgotten. Perhaps, in between the reverie and the healing, we’ll stop wasting our youth while we are young.
About the writer:
Camille Pilar moved to La Union in 2014 to pursue waves and a better version of herself. She has since grown more comfortable surfing with her backhand while learning the ropes of running her own business. Find her at Clean Beach, a specialty coffee shop that also serves as a platform for big ideas. Borrow their baskets to collect litter on the beach and get free iced tea!
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