June, a year ago. Walking south on Fredrick Douglass Boulevard, 117th Street. The Avett Brothers on repeat. One song in particular, May It Last.
There is a sea. And I am the captain. Something unknown waves high as a mountain.*
Those words felt true in a very particular way, at that very particular moment. Like I was moving towards a thing that was both large and immovable. An eruption of land in a seemingly endless sea. And that it would, for better or worse, change my life.
The feeling wasn't altogether comfortable. Something unknown. It seemed so obvious and still so totally without form. Waves high as a mountain.
I feared it had to do with the election. That the world would turn an un-turnable corner.
Months later, on my 31st birthday, I sat in a bar with a friend and said, Something has to change. I am in danger of missing my life.
A month after that, I quit my job. Wrote a book. Applied to school. Spent a month in the mountains. Wrote four impossible things on the back of a postcard. Watched in wonder and awe and terror and joy as that something unknown came into focus. Carefully felt my way back to myself.
Said goodbye to New York. Didn't look back.
I flipped that postcard over recently. They were ridiculous things. Big starry-eyed life-changing things. I wrote them down at the start of the year, checked off three by the middle of April. Am working on the fourth now. My daily life is built on what only ten months ago seemed impossible.
It's raining in Durham right now. The trees just outside the window where I work are losing their leaves. Pasta is cooking on the stove. I am breathing deeply. The postcard is now framed above my bookshelf.
On Friday I'll see the Avett Brothers in Asheville, North Carolina.
I no longer feel like I'm missing my life.
*These lyrics are a bit off because I misheard them for the months. But even the mis-hearing feels important.