these obstacles

“For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin - real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be gotten through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life.” - Alfred D. Souza

One of my friends posted this quote on her Instagram last fall and I’ve never forgotten it. Every few weeks it springs up in my soul and relays some of its hidden wisdom. Too often I fall into thinking that real life is Not Yet Here, I’ll think that once I get a good paying job that’s when I’ll have it set or that once I deal with this obstacle or that obstacle, life will suddenly be very good.

Lately I’ve been worrying that I’ll have time to overcome many of my obstacles, but not enough time to enjoy my life without them. Like, maybe I’ll feel really good and really whole at an older age, but then die right after experiencing a brief hour of inner harmony. I assume others of you have felt this fear, right? It’s sort of an unexpected fear and I don’t think you can understand it until hitting a certain age.

When I turned twenty-five, I had an acute understanding that I was in the midst of living. It was sort of jarring to suddenly feel alive, right in the middle of it all, but such is life. I’ve come to realize that maybe life will never feel as serene as I want it to and it’s probably best to make due with that truth and enjoy things as they are — obstacles and all.

Life. It’s the walk to groceries, it’s unlocking the door to your apartment, it’s the sound of the baristas calling out your name, and it’s that eternal search for all those missing socks that just keeping going missing. I want to stay alert to all of this life. If I don’t stay alert to it, I don’t think I can really live.

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