The first time I encountered the term ‘loitering’ was when I was a grader. All over the hallways of my school back then were reminders stating “NO LOITERING ALONG THE CORRIDORS” and student leaders took the rule seriously by dragging to the office of the Principal whoever was caught staying along the corridors. I have always thought loitering as illegal, a bad thing to do, a violation. Today, loitering to me is salvation.
To loiter is to stay in a place for no reason at all…to lag behind…to stop idly delaying something…It isn’t a crime at all as I used to think of it when I was a grader. At the moment, loitering is saving me from overthinking, stressing over and worrying about fickle matters.
Days have been passing me by and each passing day I seem to lose a part of me to frustrations when I am fully aware that there is a great deal of joy I am putting away just so I can bleed over the wrong decisions I have made in the past. I carry the weight of the past around allowing it to slow me down to where joy truly is and weighing me down instead of being strong enough to afford a simple smile. Short or long, the days have left me depleted, drained and devastated. Until one day, I decided to walk aimlessly. Then I decided to keep still. That was then I knew what I have been missing.
Walking aimlessly may sound like I have gone nuts or something. But the real score is, I have been walking around, sometimes chasing, running and leaping for things I would never have the power to control, and I have never given myself the opportunity to see myself in the very things that I just allow to pass me by, like the days that were supposed to have been spent with a better purpose than just having to get it over and done with. As the passing days consume me, I do not even recognize myself anymore. I have lost me.
So I have stopped and stared at familiar and unfamiliar places alike, hoping to find myself again. There are pieces of me everywhere and I have been too busy brooding to notice that even broken pieces show a beautiful story. I am everywhere, and I have to be a loiterer to be able to attract back to me the wondrous pieces I have thrown out because I do not want to be reminded of how unfair life is (truth is, life is really unfair, but someone told me that life is unfair but is still beautiful, and I believe him). In stopping by without purpose, stepping back a bit, staring while in senseless stops, I have seen once more how beautiful this life can be.
Even though I cannot promise myself that I will never have to lose my way again, I know that I can never be completely lost. Even though I cannot promise myself that I will never have to slice pieces of myself up, I know that I am not beyond repair; I can be fixed. That is the salvation from being a loiterer.
Some people live beautiful lives and they take pleasure in being wanderers. Some people live unfair lives beautifully and they find joy in being loiterers.
So just let me stop and stare.