“Does anyone ever realize life while they live it…every, every minute?”
I sit here, next to my potted aloe plant, soaking in the symphony of raindrops against the fogged windowpane. My pen rests lazily between my fingers. The blank page stares back at me, waiting for congealed thoughts to make their way into smooth coherency. My mind drifts, escaping into the soothing rhythm of rainfall.
The plant beside me was once small, perfectly fitted into the white ceramic pot that houses it. Now, months later, it gives the appearance of a tangled mess. Its roots stretch their long arms through the dirt and press against the confines of the home no longer sufficient for its growth.
As I give it a cursory glance, I see that this plant is me.
I resolved this year to try stepping out of my safe, but confining fortress. Most days, it feels like taking three steps back for every step forward. I vacillate constantly between safety behind and the unknown outside. Today, I realize—truly, fully realize—for the first time, that I can no longer go back.
This blog’s name began as a simple play on words, tying our surname into the tagline verse from Deuteronomy 30:19. But it has evolved to become much more than a clever pun. It serves as a constant reminder to live life with intentionality, to never grow complacent in the face of daily routines and obligations, and to remember that a heart pumping and lungs working is not the same thing as life.
I think of my Dark Ages, when my vision tunneled, and the world around me presented itself in dull shades of gray. Reflecting on my 25 years until this present day, I don’t remember ever choosing with a determined decisiveness, to live. “Life” forced itself upon me, however unwelcome, and I allowed myself to be dragged along.
As I look behind me, I acknowledge the days that I have known, how they have shaped me. I am grateful. The space behind is familiar, but no longer safe. Life is a choice. It always has been, though I did not know it. It is a choice that presents itself before me every day, every moment.
As the rain continues to streak down the window in a steady stream, I realize I am happy. The world outside my doorstep is vast. Colors have slowly crept into the once-dreary palette of my vision. The coming of the new year, though fraught with changes, no longer fills me with a muted sense of dread, but with an unfamiliar tinge of hope.
Tomorrow, I think I will take my plant out of its pot, and plant it in our backyard, where it can finally grow.