Ho scelto di essere libero.
I had two books with me on the plane: The Picture of Dorian Gray and Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass. I felt this was appropriate as both books deal with the self-realization of their respective main characters. Dorian Gray finds a new world within himself, where beauty leads to morbid terrors, and Alice finds herself in a new world, beauty in terrorizing morbidness. Both are ultimately set free, in a manner of speaking.
I made the recent impromptu trip to Hawaii partially in an attempt to find myself. Self-identity was something I struggled with continuously in college: the dilemma of living in California while having grown up in Hawaii. In visiting home, I felt like I had no claim to either place because I really had claim to both. I would dream, then, of living on a boat, traveling from port to port, existing between worlds and having loyalties to none. It’s amazing how lost one feels when one doesn’t know where “home” really is. I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere, which in turn made me unsure of who I was.
I’m very thankful now for being quite certain that San Francisco is my home. I’m even more thankful for all the good friends I’ve made since. And while there’s a soul to Hawaii that could never be replicated here (I always forget how beautiful the beach is at night when all the stars are clearly visible), there’s enough wonder and discovery to more than make up for it in other ways.
I found my apartment as I left it weeks ago. It was at once familiar and foreign to me as the underside of my palm, a familiarity committed to feeling but never noticed until actually thought of. It stood as if frozen in time, though I had changed and experienced so much since. I suppose mine was a combination of the adventures of Dorian and Alice, where I rediscovered aspects of myself by both delving deep within and tumbling, tumbling away…
I recently revisited one of my favorite films of all time, The Motorcycle Diaries, before returning home on an impromptu trip to Hawaii. It inspired me to finally pick up what might possibly be one of the most haunting and emotive soundtracks I’ve ever heard, a collaborative experience composed by several great artists, notably the Argentinean musician Gustavo Santaolalla. The introspective melodies were quite apt for my journey home, in where I’ve been delving into memories from my past via the otherwise mundane task of cleaning my room.
“Let the world change you and you can change the world,” said Ernesto “Che” Guevara, a controversial figure who, whether or not you agreed with his doings, has done great or terrible things for many Latin Americans. Regardless, it’s an inspiring quote that reminds us to open our eyes and our minds, and to connect with the intricacies of the world around us.