As a child we're encouraged to explore the inner depths of our mind - what makes us excited, curious, sad? There are no expectations, no rules.. By the time we are taught to read and write, societal conditioning has only just brushed its fingertips upon our minds to begin its moulding. But it hasn't taken over.. Not yet. We are allowed a brief moment (some more than others) to play, adventure. To question - what truly makes us happy?
As time goes on the mould begins to set with the nursing hands of 'responsibility' and 'comfortability'. It becomes harder and harder to look at what we do with lustful eyes of wonder and more about what we already know. The hunger dilutes and rather than thrive in a lush garden of possibilities - we find ourselves seated on a one directional train with only windows to view what's happening in the outside world.. Where people run free and follow their personal truths, missions, journeys. Where they are driven to explore themselves irrelevant of who they were or what they knew yesterday. A place where they know that if they ever wanted to grow they had only to nurture themselves in the areas they needed. As simple as that - put energy in, watch it pour out..
I placed my fingers to the window and traced the fields of trust and honesty passing me by. The warm light sparkled across the heads of hope then sharply reflected into my eyes to wake me from a day dream. I felt the weight of all the stories that belted me to my seat and told me of all the things I 'should' do with this life and why. I realised that I was no longer all of the heartache and hardships that flooded my first experiences of life and that they were just part of my journey - lessons sent to teach me along the way. I realised I had grown well beyond that dark reality and that with this in my stride, I was stronger than ever before. And with that - I ran. I ran down the hallway as fast as I could to the carriage door and felt the weight of expectations and all the things I had to prove fall from my pockets like loose change. Hanging by the carriage opening with my limbs flailing in the wind, I took in the immediacy of the moving train. It was pacing fast enough to go on comfortably, but slow enough that I just might make the jump. I felt the adrenalin racing within my chest as the world went silent and all I could hear was,
"Am I doing the right thing?"
"What is the right choice?"
"What if I risk it all and fail and all this time and effort is wasted?"
And then I realised.. There are no 'right' or 'wrong' choices when exploring who you are. There are only lessons. And no time is wasted when you're learning - especially when learning about yourself. With that - I leapt.
A tumble, a brief run, another scramble to the ground and grazes along the way to forever remind me of the jump - but sure enough, I landed. I found my feet and looked around at the lush paradise that was now before me. Here, in my garden, flowers bloomed by all different names and colours but all as sweet as each other. If I found a seedling that I desired to grow, I would only have to tend to it with pure intentions and determination. I came to understand that like the earth, everything has its season. Sometimes the 'Engineering' flower would get more attention, while others 'Art' would blossom brighter, sometimes 'Writing' or 'Modelling' would find its way to the top of the canopy - and sometimes, just like Spring, all of them would bloom at once and more! But perhaps the most important part of this understanding was that finally, I would allow myself time to sit and just enjoy the beautiful garden that I had created. That I had sewn from the deepest parts of my heart, mind and soul and contently watch as they grew and flourished before me.
It took some time to perceive the ebbs and flows of life under the same golden light and understand that they are all parts of who we are. When you come to this place in your mind it becomes easier, clearer, more peaceful.. And it's most definitely a blossoming. Whether you are shedding old petals to reveal your true hearts centre, or growing into a bigger and more vibrant version of the same thing.. It's all growing, it's all you. All the different colours, seasons, moods of your life.. It's what makes you, you. And you, are wonderful. Whoever, whatever you are. Yesterday, today, tomorrow.
"Inspired by the wonderland that exists both inside our worlds and all around us. This is an artistic collaboration of images by the talented Daphne Nguyen and words by me. Captured exclusively in Chasing Unicorns, exploring my own personal wonderland in Byron Bay."
A pure intention
of their time.