• Keren

The garden: A reflection from Amsterdam

I remember seeing this scene on the air bnb site and thinking that I would sit outside in the garden and drink my morning coffee and write. I envisioned myself doing this five months before I am writing this now. Except in reality I am eating a salad, drinking a Bavarian beer from the Albert Heijn that doesn’t take any of my credit or debit cards (much like all the other businesses around here), and writing in the garden. I am in Amsterdam. I am on my pilgrimage.

I’ve spent the last thirty five years becoming this version of me. It turns out you decide what you want to be and then you go be it. I heard that in an Avett brothers song once and thought well shit is it that easy? I heard that about a decade ago and really have been trying to figure it out ever since. I believe that the answer is both yes and no.

You figure out the kind of person you want to be, then you do things as that “ideal” person would do. It’s kind of a giant mindfuck. Well. Do I want to be somebody who actually has a life and lives it or do I want to be somebody who just plays it safe all the time? What would the person who I want to be do in this situation? Then you do it. Repeat this over and over and you become that person .Wow. Were they really you all along? Has that always been you doing those things? Rabbit hole extends, slide down it.

Living from your heart is hard. It tells you shit all the time and your mind just kind of talks you out of it. Pretty soon the heart will remind you of the laundry list of things that you never got to do with your life. Big things, those things you always knew you were made for and dreamed about. I can’t imagine a life without these big things, not anymore. Can the heart be wrong sometimes. Um, yeah. But it always leads you to the right place in the end. Mistakes become stepping stones.

If you get quiet and listen, figuring out who you want to be is easy. Once that’s done the path becomes more clear, but this doesn't mean it's easy street. Once you start down it, it’s so fucking difficult to walk. Like incredibly, insanely, wonderfully, fucking hard. Your path will take you far and wide but while you’re on it you’ll have to stare all your fears in the face and literally just live them down. Just you, and them, until you pass by them.

Fear of failure, fear of the unknown, fear of love and intimacy. Fear of success, fear of actually getting what you really want in life and fear of greatness. There’s a lot in there. I picture it like a great video game, you have to keep leveling up to beat it and there are boss levels for sure. Ones that are like ten times harder than the normal ones, but when you are beat them you are in a whole new part of the game.

Amsterdam is a boss level for me. Traveling alone to a new country when I’ve never been out of the states and have a ridiculous fear of flying? Boss level. But I’m here because my heart told me to come here, it told me to come to this concert and follow the music that so enchants it. Plus it gives me something to write about, my own story. Which we all get to write in the end.

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