In philosophy the term “emergence” refers to how something complex and grand can come from an array of smaller relatively simple reactions and interactions. In other words, it tells us how it is possible for something to become greater than the sum of its own parts.
Four years ago when I started down the road I’ve been travelling, I had no idea where it would take me. It was whim and taking a chance far more than educated choice that brought me to turn onto this path… and there have been many times along the way when I have cursed myself for not picking another – or at least stopping somewhere to get a GPS before I stumbled on blindly.
Yet now, when I am finally on the last leg, inches from the next intersection… instead of feeling drained and in need of a break… I find myself with an unexpected sense of renewed energy and zest for all that still lies out there, waiting to be found.
The past four years have been a transition for me in almost every conceivable way. Not only has it taken me from one life, country and mentalt state to another – it has taken me from living in the moment to building for the future. Which is something I’ve never really done before.
It’s been difficult to get the balance right, and I have often found myself wanting to do something, yet chosen not to out of a sense of duty or obligation or sheer determination not to be distracted from my goal. Too often it seemed that choosing one would detract from the other, so it has felt like a constant struggle between staying on track and keeping afloat. Of waiting for something else to happen first before other things could be possible. Of trying to ignore what lies beyond the confines of my own perceptions of being smart, practical and responsible, so that one day down the line I CAN have all of those things I want and long for so much.
I don’t know that I made the best – or even good – choices, but I know I believed in them wholeheartedly. And I have no regrets. I chose everything – and whatever the outcome, I stand by my choices. Even if I have hated them at times.
Such choices come at a price, though, and watching myself react to others who reach out and share with me their ability to encompass new things, instead of waiting for them to happen by themselves, I can see what these last few years have done to me. How they have changed me.
In the past two weeks or so I have found myself making long lists of new hobbies I want to take on, new career options to pursue, wishes, hopes and dreams of things I’d not have dared to consider possible before. Everywhere I look there seems to be endless possiblities and exciting new things to learn, challenges to take on and life to live. I am so used to holding myself back that figuring out how to respond to all these stimuli and options is a little overwhelming. But the important thing is… I have room for more within me! And I haven’t felt that way for years!
For me this is coming out with a sum that’s greater than the parts I chucked into the mix. To feel eagerness and excitement at the prospect of new challenges instead of dread and exhaustion is… just plain… FANTASTIC!
And for the first time in a long long while, I feel like I have something to give. Something to make ME greater than the sum of my parts.