As I make my way through a crowded walking trail in Brussels, Belgium, I feel free. No one talks to me or gets in my way, and I don’t get in theirs. For a moment, I am nameless.
And in that beautiful moment, I am allowed to forget myself. I can shed my identity and embrace the world. I am everything around me – the kids swinging on the playground, the dogs panting their way forward, the old couple jogging past, and the French man jetting forward on his bike. I am all of them and at the same time, none of them. I am nothing. But in that, I become everything. I lose myself, simply to gain all that I am not.
When I am nameless, I am truly free.
I am no longer bound by my self-imposed limitations or others’ preconceived notions of what I should be or who I am. I am not the 18 year old boy who is 5′ 5″ and going to Georgia Tech, the Indian who can’t speak German or Dutch, the nerd who can’t rock climb or sky dive – I am nothing. And when I am no longer anything, I am no longer bound to be this person stuck in this teenage body. I have absolutely nothing to lose, because I have stopped clinging on to this restricted idea of who I am, allowing myself to become absorbed in the immense universe around me, giving me the ability to be anyone and do anything while simultaneously being nothing and no one.
As I come back to my host family’s home, a part of me yearns to remain in this moment of nameless beauty, just as I walk inside and hear someone call for Suraj.
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