I am currently writing this in the Caltrain – I am on my way to the city for a day-trip solo excursion, armed with my trusty iPod, the classic le petit prince in my Kindle, and enough planned activities to keep me happily on my toes the whole day in the concrete jungle where I thrive, always.
I’m ready to be lost in the crowd of nameless faces, to once more be a stranger busily out and about; rubbing shoulders impersonally.
I’m on my way to watch Like Father, Like Son – the Japanese movie that has garnered so much attention and praise last year – and if I feel up for it, I might also catch Hayao Miyazaki‘s The Wind Rises too. I’ve purposely cleared my schedule just to have the day off, and told no one about it.
For the past week, I’ve been struck by a serious pang of wanderlust and asphyxia. I started feeling so terribly claustrophobic that you know what? Get out. Get out of there. Get out of your mind and physical space.
Sometimes it scares me how much I thrive in being alone, because surely it is telling, based on how meticulously I pick my company? These days I’m convinced each person should try to live alone, however brief, because I believe that one doesn’t know oneself, truly and deeply, until one is at peace with the silence surrounding oneself.
Or maybe that’s just me.
The train is chugging along, and slowly the constriction in my chest is unwinding. My breath is shallow, as if it is only now that my muscles are able to relax. The vision of small towns are slowly breezing past me as I head towards the big, bad city and I… wouldn’t want it any other way.
I can’t describe what I feel; it tastes like freedom. I kind of want to cry at the realization that I’ve apparently been holding it in all this while, all along.
If there is something I have learned about myself, a realization I now know with an unshakable certainty, it is this:
You can take the girl out of the city, but you can’t take the city out of the girl.