I read a few words of wisdom once on the bathroom wall of a ruin bar where wit is most at home. The sentence, simple and direct, said : ‘I hope this message finds you in a good place, but if not, then make it one.’ It was a step up from the many phone numbers left there by trusting men hoping for the magic of a callback.
Being in a bad place can mean a lot of things, needless to say not all related to a geographical location. It can mean, for example, reaching a point one would describe as rock bottom or, for increased dramatic effect, a place where one believes to have nothing left to lose. This, of course, is rarely the case. And still, a bad place is a bad place, regardless of the reason and going through it is tough. Clearly, we have much less control over things in and outside of our lives than we’d like to acknowledge, but not little enough to be absolved of the responsibility of making choices. Or not making them, which is also a choice, I read that somewhere on the internet.
I don’t believe dreams come true, although I like the phrase, because it’s cute. I believe something can be important enough to channel your will and your determination so that you will make it happen. It can work or it can fail. When it does you’re brave and inspiring, when it doesn’t you’re stupid. I am positive everybody has a fair amount of both in them. Dreams don’t come true, but the possibility for change exists. It comes slow and in small doses, but not small enough to be dismissed.
I am also distrustful of the concept of starting over. Changing cities doesn’t alter the past or the substance of who one is, good and bad. Everything goes with you. A different location doesn’t fundamentally reshape one’s character or existential experience. Everywhere people are born and people die. Everywhere, everyone asks more or less the same questions to which nobody has a definitive answer. And there’s a lot of dirt in the sea water in summer left behind by people who treat the sea like a source of entertainment and garbage at the same time. There’s a special place in hell for you, Dante just texted me to confirm.
I believe the point in doing anything is the commitment to it paired with the willingness to pull it through. As an absolute procrastinator, daydreamer and undisciplined lazybone, I know pretty well how hard that is. And boring. Consistency is very boring. You have to plan, worry, and sometimes even pack.
On a different note, maybe a not too shabby definition of growing up is realizing there are things we cannot have despite our strong feeling of entitlement. We usually understand this after great loss, but if we’re lucky, we’re encouraged by patience. And I believe patience brings humility, which, in my opinion, opens an endless possibility for beauty.
I love the city of Barcelona. I have since the moment I first set foot here. And it is an incredible joy to be able to live here, to spend my days without the thought of time passing and me having to leave, to see how friendly and open the city is even when completely deserted on a Sunday morning, how mesmerizing the sea even when full of plastic bags.
I believe we can turn a bad place into a good one by making decisions and respecting them. It doesn’t change much in the bigger picture, I know. It is pretty clear from the get go that life is a losing game. We are all going to die.
But is that a reason not to live (in the cities of our dreams)?