Not the End

I started this post with the intention of it being my last. I felt the blog’s lifespan was drawing to a close because I needed to get bigger and, at this point, the world knows a lot about me and I want to know more about the world. Not necessarily its facts or sights, but the essence, in the way that truly knowing someone is a deep, un-nameable sensation, characterized by small discoveries and shared, hidden giggles different from recognizing their face or growing up in parallel. I want to realize and manifest the joy or even absence of pain I can bring others by being present and soft and pushing the boundaries of my compassion. And though this blog was always intended as a connector and a means of breaking barriers, it began to feel like another self-indulgence.

Because after the unbelievable fortune of having been able to catapult myself across the globe during the past year and a half, it seems natural and expected that I would have gained perspective. That I would have developed my sense of self and what’s important, have experienced new challenges and surmounted old ones and deepened interpersonal connections and continued to expand and think new thoughts. All of which has happened.

But sometimes I feel unsatisfactory. That I turn around to find exactly the person I left, still quivering in existential questioning and unable to relax into the ebb as the waves inevitably roll, caught in a bouncing bubble with walls that thicken and constrain the longer I remain inside. So I convinced myself I have nothing more to say. That continuing these posts is really just an exercise in extending my stubborn stuckness, allowing myself to expound more and listen less. And I convinced myself that others, too, expect a more worldly and broadened Barae, open and humbled after the blessing and privilege of travel and the soul-searching by which it is accompanied.

And I do need to get bigger. Service and justice work are potent antidotes to internal struggle, empowering and healing and providing a tangible, grab-able rope to reality and community. Listening and adapting rather than declaring and demanding allows compassion and perspective that can help wrench me out of my cocoon. But I missed the blog, its fluidity and inspiration and catharsis. I missed the community of it. Of course, that community is extremely limited and Barae-centered, with me at the helm and the prow and therefore really more of an audience. But this tool for sharing feels more important and valuable now than ever.

As part of our human affection we struggle. We all wage internal wars and navigate stagnancy and disorientation and anger, and even though we know it’s harder alone we are taught it must be stifled, trapped, and hidden. In exploring vulnerability and euphoria and insecurity and realizations in a public space, without shame or stigma or judgment, I can at least open my own borders. I can establish that these are universal experiences and truly not wrong, not broken or disgusting or shameful. That by acknowledging and revealing and discussing we can wear away at the isolating barriers and dismantle the notions that tell us we must wrap ourselves tight until we are choked and already burst.

I am proud of but mostly grateful for this blog. I’m grateful for reception and encouragement and feedback and the opportunity to release, and honored to hold the trust of reciprocal listening and sharing. In the high-stress, no-pause whirlwind that is college I don’t foresee frequent blogging, but I’m allowing this creation to hover, leaving room for new growth and new directions and hopefully to emerge as a positive ingredient in supportive communities. If you feel comfortable and the desire ever strikes, please know that I am available, eager and open for questions and connections. Thank you for journeying with me.