When I was little, I asked question after question of my older siblings and parents. I am the youngest of five children—three brothers and a sister came before me. I asked how? why? when? And when I deemed my questions were a nuisance, or (more likely) my family tired of answering them, I asked them in my mind. I wondered and dreamed and nurtured an inner curiosity about people and the world.
That questioning fueled my writing, my study of psychology. And when I started dating someone, our curiosity about each other kept us interested and excited. Six months in, I remember telling a friend that it was a pleasant surprise, really, that my overthinking and anxiety hadn’t gotten in the way. I have no doubts, I said. That must mean this is perfect, I thought. So when it all started breaking down—our conversation, our bodies, our brains—I resisted with religious fervor. But this was perfect, this was right. I am ruining this for us.
My absolute certainty hung around us like a curtain. When my weary eyes finally broke his gaze, I saw our space—small, dark, stifling. Those curtains drawn over the windows blocked light and life.
It all had to break open. I had to break to open.
Curiosity returned as my lungs and soul learned to expand again. Open eyes learned to see again.
Now I can move through the world unencumbered, wandering, wondering, asking how and why.
Now, I can dream again.