I've spent the past week chronically ill with what feels suspiciously like Glandular Fever (at least according to Google), which has rendered me entirely lifeless and comatose in bed, clammy, snotty nosed, with a sand paper throat and killer sinus pain for the majority of the past seven days. It's been terrifically agitating being so immobile and my infrequent excursions to the outside world, have seemingly only resulted in further suffering. Unfortunately, I'm one of those annoying types, for whom the concept of 'resting' just seems to be nauseatingly boring and this weekend, the idea of committing to staying indoors was especially difficult, due to the Labor Day Celebrations. So, I did indeed make a break for it and managed to get out beyond my sick bay, but even my low key activities had me sorrowfully burdened this morning.
Anyway, all this bed rest has at least provided me with a lot of contemplation time and I realised that it was two whole years ago today that I rocked up here in Berlin from Paris, with nothing more than a tiny borrowed suitcase, some crazy stories, a crush on a beautiful French boy I'd left behind and literally no idea what I was doing. Twenty four months later and I can't deny that sometimes, I still don't really know what I'm doing, but I've at least learnt to stop berating myself over it.
In fact, during yesterday's escape, I had an in depth and lengthy conversation in the sun with my friend Dana, down by the canal, during which we spoke about how we have to accept that life is about the journey not the destination. Accepting the never ending, ongoing process of repeatedly stripping down and putting into question your beliefs, behaviours, values and perceptions, so that they don't just become habitual, or unconsciously preconditioned by your surroundings, your upbringing, or even society itself. Which, it would seem, they so easily do, don't they.
I definitely have to admit that when I first arrived in the city, fresh from France and my travels that I thought in some ways I'd reached this magnificent state of enlightenment. That I'd done the work, I'd cleared through all my emotional baggage and this was it, I was going to be some zen yogi master with all my shit squarely together for the foreseeable future. So when problems gradually started to arise, I found myself suddenly laden with all new baggage and admittedly, I spent a long time feeling really disappointed and left wondering what the fuck happened.
That's the thing though isn't it, we've all come to assume that we have to spend our lives working towards this grand state of clarity, or understanding and then that's it, job done, we're somehow set for the rest of our physical existence. It's like being on a pilgrimage, finally reaching mecca and kicking back with our feet up. The truth of the matter however, is that yes, whilst maybe to a certain extent life is a pilgrimage of sorts, it's a somewhat never ending one and ultimately, it's this very journey in itself that's the most important aspect of the whole thing, not the idealised destination.
Because, let's face it, the one thing we all have in common is the fact that, regardless of our beliefs or fears, we're all ultimately heading towards the same destination; death of the physical form. So, perhaps once we begin to accept and acknowledge that which we share in common, we can concentrate on it a little less and start to refocus on the journey itself and equally the continual investigative work that is, in part, our life's purpose. For all those boundaries we manage to dismantle today, will only reappear in other areas tomorrow and we can't allow ourselves to get disheartened when we think we've completed the job, only to find that there's still work to be done. Because they'll always be work. Always.