It’s a humbling thought to know that I am at the will of the world. That I am subject to the forces in which I cannot control and that I will forever be, both intentionally and unintentionally transforming. To know that time, people, and an environment can change me so quickly and so easily. To know that I am a palette on which the world paints on and I in return. To know that I am an original but to also know that there are those who have come before me, those who are with me now, and those who will certainly come after me and all of which are versions of me. Their parts make up my whole, and I in part share a role in creating someone else’s masterpiece. To know that their stories are now my stories, perhaps not always to share, but rather to keep. To keep and evolve alongside. To know that a life in which we have control is not entirely fiction for life is what you will make of it. But that life will also sometimes throw things your way and you will have to learn when to take it as is and when to fight it without hesitation. When to push boundaries and when to know your limits. All of this and more I have come to know.
The people that I have met here have taught me how to be fearless in the face of the unfamiliar and fearful of failing to try. They’ve taught me that reactions and actions are different in that reactions while honest and true to a moment are not always as you wish them to be and should instead be left to time and the gift of consideration. I have learned that people make time. Time slows with the people you care most about, ebbing and folding just slowly enough for the seconds to blend to hours. And yet I find again that time through people also finds ways to blur past us, a consequence of people aging years between their days.
Some days I forget that I am in Senegal, that of which I take as a sign that my evolution is one on many levels, the first and foremost being a personal one. Understanding that this transformation can be manifested anywhere and at any point in time and that I am lucky enough that for me, it is here and it is now.
I am learning to validate. To give purpose to each emerging and remerging feeling. To exchange the imprisonment emotions for the liberation of them.
I am learning to write. And then rewrite. To be at peace with the process and not just the final product.
I am learning to live. I am living to learn. I am the me I was yesterday and the me that I will be tomorrow. I am a time traveler by the gift of a ceaseless yet intentional evolution.
Here in Senegal I am me, reborn again and again. Some days I wake up feeling like the pens and pencils can’t make words on paper as I regress to an age where communication is only vaguely interpreted through a game of uncoordinated charades that I have yet to grow to know. Other days I wake up with the clarity that comes at the age in which one wears the wrinkles and scars on their skin as badges and memories earn their titles as lessons.
Each day that I am here, both in Senegal and on this planet I am at the will of the world with an authenticity rooted in my own authority. So here’s to each day and whatever glory it may bring.
All I have is what I can share. And today this is it.