One of the most stunning movies I’ve seen (and I’ll eventually read the book, too) is Life of Pi. Though the context could hardly be more different, it’s still a story of personal transformation and self-discovery. I could write an entire post about this, but there’s one quote that I find particularly relevant today:
“I suppose, in the end, the whole of life becomes an act of letting go…” – Adult Pi Patel
We release certain inhibitions that keep us within our comfort zones; we let go of our former selves, the world we know and people we love. Sometimes it’s for survival and sometimes to thrive.
At times, travel can seem like an accelerated version of such. Just as you accustom yourself to a new place, learn its streets and feel its pulse, it’s time to start again. People flow through your life faster than you usually meet them. Memories pile into your brain so quickly they blur and merge. And every trip comes to a close.
I wrote that paragraph upon leaving Switzerland, sad to have to leave yet another close friend and wonderful place behind (this is resurfacing with my friend here in Vienna). Brooding over the flight home that was rapidly approaching (and is now under 24 hours from now), I had considered it an end-point of fun and excitement; the next page in life would be a return to drudgery and monotony.
But that didn’t seem right. Home is hardly devoid of joy and excitement. Indeed, I love living in Philly/DC. So the journey is far from over. Instead I’m just going to a different place yet again. It’s another section of a long, continuous adventure that’s only over when I stop pursuing it.
|Just as when day turns to night, life does not disappear but renews its romance|
Thinking about it further, everything I do after returning to the States will be a result of these experiences. I’ve built ideas and clarified others along the way that will guide me through future decisions. Plus, I’ll have these memories as motivators to continue the adventure, as well as to cherish along the way.
|And Rocinante to remind me of it all|
So while, physically, you must move on from everything, your experiences will always remain an influential part of your persona. Just as Pi (in context of his quote) must let go of Richard Parker, his family and so on, they continue to be a part of his life. I’ve parted ways with dozens of friends and left behind enchanting locales. Tomorrow I break with my current path, but also realize that it’s part of the eternally growing foundation of the rest of my life.
In that sense, letting go isn’t so bad.
|So jump in and enjoy the ride|