Spiritual travels, intellectual journeys, and endeavours in the pursuit of capital and consumption: which to embark? Do these come in a certain order? Or do most people, who live in the first, third, or between worlds who are able to leave their cities for leisure and in the pursuit of discovery, restrict the former (spiritual) to the beginning years of their lives? Are our first study abroad experiences the only opportunity we have to engage and abandon ourselves to the construction of consciousness and spirituality? Do we need to conform to a spiritually and physically sedentary life once graduated from college?
On the one hand, the unearthing of this conversation makes me uncomfortable, mainly because these concerns remain restricted to a sort of existential crisis of the first world, along with all the other spiritual crises born out of living in a world dominated by those infatuated with capital and with money. But I can’t help but feel that digging a bit into the subconsciousness and subtext of this dilemma. I think in doing so I scratch the surface of something widely shared and unsettling for people of my generation – and people in my transbarrio communities who are (sometimes barely) able to live and experiment life in another reality and place, only to return to the reality of student debt, underemployement, and capital crisis par excellence.
A friend recently published his insights about the topic of maturity. According to him, what we have come to understand about maturity as a concept and reality that we fetishize, worship and struggle with is simply the acceptance and succumbing to the state of the world – or as he says, la mierda – of today and a relinquishing of our belief that this world could be better, that we could be better people in this world. We blind and benumb ourselves by making a pact with “maturity” that in turn impedes us from working toward alternative and better ways of living. These meditations articulate part of what I am perturbed by when contemplating the transitions of life and becoming; the perpetual pressure to “ground” yourself in the reality imposed upon you, the pressure to cease entertaining possibilities that stimulate the mundane and oppressive: poner los pies en la tierra no es más que aceptar ser un punto gris más en la mancha gris. As pointed out by my friend, resisting this imposition can bring upon solitude, which doesn’t perturb him, but that is a reality for some who make this decision. And I wonder whether solitude is the rule and whether solitude should necessarily involve loneliness and isolation. I can’t help but think so many people identify with these sentiments and have actually already worked for the alternative ways of living, of inspiration and of creation.
Yet my personal curiosity has turned into a sort of creative life project: I want to perpetually recreate those meditations and sentiments inspired by my first experimentation with life and love elsewhere in all possible ways and realms. This has so much to do with my time traveled to and from Mexico City. As an ever growing gift of these travels, I begin to articulate and string together my mantra to inspire a life of travel and growth:
I want to be mobile, flexible, movable. I want to construct (and join) communities of intersections and dialogue.
I want to work for (and alongside) alternative ways of living, breathing, communicating.
I want to build a sustainable life for myself, where creation through my hands, mind, and soul can provide me with spiritual and physical nourishment to inspire health not only in my being but sustenance for those who surround me.