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A nomad of dreams

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NOVEMBER 11, 2014

Home is where the heart is. It is, or at least it should be, where we can find the steadfast rhythm of our most important vital organ, where we find our most loyal pulse, especially when it quickens in anticipation or happiness. Home is supposed to be a place easy to find within ourselves, taking only three clicks of the heels to materialize before our eyes.

But what if we can no longer hear that once-unwavering beat? What if we lost our hearts’ throbbing somewhere between the lines of narrow text in our frantic cramming, within the frustration of our third sleepless night this week? We have forgotten our true passions in an interminable list of things to do and places to go. So many of us feel unfulfilled, unsatisfied with our day-to-day routine, but we do nothing to change it. We complain but do not take action, instead living vicariously through the knowledge of what our lives could be through the still captures of another’s highlight reel.

It’s easy to wish to be elsewhere. It requires little effort to pick up a phone and scroll through Instagram or browse Tumblr, lamenting how the lives of others appear so much livelier than our own. Our generation, heavily affected by a fear of missing out, has a fatal case of wanderlust: Being elsewhere could always be better than being here now.

My rigid schedule too often prevents me from feeling free, and so I cope by quenching my thirst for adventure and exploration by traveling through pictures in digital mediums. I continue living my too-busy life, sacrificing real passion for temporary satisfaction.

It’s hard to find what one really loves in an environment too fast-paced to have a second to breathe — it’s hard to find a heart whose beat is smothered by the mundane requirements of everyday life. How can I find an organ if it never lets out so much as a thud in my ear drums?

I can’t find what I love or where I want my life to go. I can’t make a home for myself because I simply don’t have the time.

Staring at my laptop, all I have are montages of arresting images that remind me how much life there can be everywhere that isn’t here. I can only dream of the day I’ll have the liberty to go to all these places and do all the things I see on the screen in front of me. But will I ever actually be granted this freedom?

Everyone will be asked, at some point, “What do you want to do with your life?”

And everyone will answer, at some point, “I don’t know.”

We are a generation torn by our multitude of options, cursed by our fierce fickleness and shown the best of every choice humanly possible on the Internet — rendering it impossible to make a decision we are not afraid of regretting. We have no time to listen to or for our hearts — we first have to finish everything we planned for today.

But this pressure of figuring it all out will inevitably close in on us, demanding that we choose our life paths, whether we have had time to find our callings or not. The world will not spin a second slower for anyone. So what do we have to lose with our indecision? Isn’t this enough inaction?

Take the time now to try it all. Dip your toes in every possible career path, study every subject you remotely care about, travel to each beautiful place that causes your soul to ache with longing. Do all of these things without worrying about lost time, without the fear of failing.

Fortune herself said she favors the brave. So let’s show her what true courage is. Listen to your phoenix of a heart as it thrashes to life again in your eardrums, demanding, for the last time, to be heard.

Close your eyes, and do not ignore it; trust it. Close your eyes and let every fiber in your body tingle with the excitement and anticipation and uncertainty of venturing somewhere you’ve never been before. Close your eyes, click your heels three times, and — just maybe — when you open your eyes again, you’ll find that you’ve come home.

Eda Yu writes the Tuesday blog on the day-to-day life effects of technology. You can contact her at [email protected].

NOVEMBER 10, 2014