I’ve recently become an avid reader of Delightfully Tacky, and have read through nearly the entire archive of Elizabeth’s Brave journey. Last year, Elizabeth was in grad school and wasn’t sure if she was in the right place, and she essentially asked herself “If I could do anything in the world right now, what would I do?” The answer: drive around the country in a Winnebago Brave, something she’d wanted to do since she was little. She set out this past September to roam the American roadways in the Brave, and has just recently returned to the Pacific Northwest to settle down in Tacoma for a while.
The Brave journey is so inspiring to me. I love that Elizabeth recognized what she wanted to do and then just did it, regardless of how silly or impractical it might seem to the average passerby. I have dreams of doing something as spontaneous and heart-centered as the Brave journey, but I’m cursed with an abundance of pragmatism: I can dream, and I do dream, but I’m never able to get both of my feet off the ground and just float in the possibilities and the unknowns of dreams. I have too much fear, and it cripples me.
Especially lately, I’ve been itching to do something unexpected and extraordinary. I’ve fallen into a life routine that I’m not entirely satisfied with, and because of that, I want to just cut loose and do something wild. And not even something crazy wild, but just something that will get me outside of this neat little box I’ve constructed. I want to, but then I start thinking about the stability of my job, the lack of money that I have, all the things that could go wrong, and then I start to have a panic attack, and on and on and on. The inability to be even the least bit impulsive is one of my (many) genetic defects, I think.
But then this past weekend, I had a conversation with a friend about reincarnation. It’s something I think about often, but am not sure what to think of it. Growing up, I was told that when you die, you either go to heaven or hell. Maybe that explanation just doesn’t suffice anymore, or maybe my brain just doesn’t have the capacity to imagine what it would be like to not be a conscious being, but if I think of reincarnation as just a short cessation of individual consciousness that then becomes a new and unformed consciousness, it makes sense to me. I guess what I’m saying is that I have a hard time thinking that my sense of consciousness will just end at some point; I think it’s more logical in some ways to believe that my consciousness as Kendall Goodwin will take a break for a bit and then my consciousness as a human being will be carried over into a newborn, who will grow up and become a different person than Kendall Goodwin, but who will share that same consciousness that I had as Kendall Goodwin. Does that make any sense, or am I crazy?
Either way, this conversation got me thinking about living in the moment. Whether reincarnation is real or not real, I still only get one chance to be Kendall Goodwin, and that means I should stop being afraid and start living my life like it’s the only one I’ve got, because it is. I’ve thought of an idea for how I’m going to do this (more details to come in the following months) and have committed to it, and now I just have to get the logistics down. It’s going to be frightening, but it will be good for me to take a plunge into the abyss and find my own way. And perhaps I can even have fun while I’m doing it.