Company, Career, City, Country, Culture. Changing just one of these C words in your life can lead to untold discovery. Them all? Well that’s what I’d call a life well lived. You step up to the edge, toes peeled over the side, peering into the unknown, mind full of fantasies and possibilities about what could happen next as you get set to step over.
A whirlwind of new encounters, friendships, lessons and knowledge flash before your eyes and next thing a year has passed and that feeling you had before stepping over the edge suddenly seems so far away, the gaping opening of a tunnel now just a pinprick of light in the distance.
Taking the step in my mind to choose to come to Brazil, taking the step into my boss’s office to tell them, taking the step onto the plane, and each and every single step I’ve taken in this new country have all been steps away from normality and into something bigger.
Something that now I don’t even know the full effect of on my life, and probably won’t for a long time to come. But the paths this shock to the system could send me down are already forming in my mind, things that weren’t even brainwaves two years ago.
Another C word, confidence. I now have it for a change to my future which when working as a journalist before I came I couldn’t have imagined. But with my Portuguese improving, so many Brazilians visiting Australia, and education and tourism being two of the pillars of the Australian economy, my mind is full of possibilites of the ways these could all come together for me.
It doesn’t have to happen the moment I return home, but the idea is in my mind and all of a sudden my future has that feeling of stepping into the unknown again. That this change for me is not a matter of if but when. It’s something I can feel in my stomach, it’s excitement.
So when you never change any of these things in your life, what then?
If you’re happy with it then it’s hard to argue, but in my eyes it’s still a life of missed opportunities, unknown chances and never seen crossroads. That excitement in the pit of your stomach as you’re about to step over, that can’t be replicated.
It’s that feeling to be alive.
The path from birth to death isn’t about just existing, but so many of us fall into this state. Maybe not forever, but maybe long enough since we last stepped over that we’ve forgotten how good it felt, that we need to do it again.
But no doubt when the decision has been made for change and the new course in the mind is set, like coming across a forgotten photo or an old and loved smell, the brain lights up again with recognition as the mind floods with those fantasies and possibilities once more.
I imagine it’s the true essence of when an old person says “I feel young again”. That can only ever happen after a change, right. For them it can be something simple, getting outdoors again or making a new friend - it takes them back to a time they fell headfirst into something new.
But when you’re young it’s the time for epic, life-affirming changes, the ones that your old future-self will feel at those simple moments of transformation which take them back to times they thought they'd forgotten, memories stored in that distant pinprick of light.
We owe it to ourselves to change these C’s in our lifetimes. As they pass ever quicker, it’s those pivotal times we step over which suck us back into a moment of slowness, of stillness, where we are suspended, when we stand and wait to put our next foot forward.
Where the road may rise up to meet us, where it may not.
It’s these moments where life comes back into focus, where we can see it clearly, it imprints on our brain forever, before it all speeds up again into a blur.