“Announcement in progress, please wait…” appeared in front of George Clooney’s face as the male voice of a cabin crew spoke into my ear explaining that we were about to land. I was neither interested in the movie nor the announcement so I looked outside the window and saw the thousand little lights in the darkness that looked like copper flecks. It was beautiful – these tiny little lights that stretched out for minutes on end was my home. I looked on for just a bit more, clearing my thoughts for a few more precious minutes. The lights slowly took the shape of lamp posts and the dark, the shape of houses. And then, thump. Or, rather, one massive thump. The plane started shaking as it moved forward. I pressed my eyes together like I always do and silently said a little prayer. It finally slowed down, approached a stop and I opened my eyes.
My 22-year old life had many such moments – a series of touchdowns and takeoffs, of running after flights I almost always missed, of stuffing different currencies and boarding passes into my rundown wallet, of meeting old and new people in old and new places, of counting the days by the stories I hear, of missing all the sunrises and the sunsets, of being here and there, of having the best and the worst – all at the same time.
It’s been amazing.
In the five months living in this strange new city, I have grown to appreciate so many things – the fear of being an outsider and the excitement that comes with starting from scratch, building your own furniture despite lacking the screws in the package, sleep deprivation intensifying undiscovered passions and morning talks filled with thoughts that feel so familiar, of being enveloped with so much love despite my countless fears and imperfections.
At 23, I don’t think I am much different from my toddler self – taking one step at a time, constantly looking around as if seeing the world for the first time, feeling intensely yet feeling it’s never enough, always wanting to take a bite of this world everyone has taught me was so unfair. I think that people are like comets, each with a different trajectory, different speed, and sometimes all that is there to be done is to be silent and see how beautifully they break the darkness. I’d recklessly conclude that this universe is a collective result of chances taken and missed. Eventually we’ll take enough right ones and when the rest in our orbit do and come our way – boom panes.