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Why Fly Unbound?

Back in the spring of 2013, I was nearing the end of the school year that has to date been the most influential and unbelievable year of my life. I had been so incredibly lucky that family friends had offered me to stay with them for a year in the state of Delawhere Delaware, attending an art high school with the most supportive and talented, kindest community of students on the face of the earth. It seemed as if the transatlantic flight to the States had been my very own fall down the rabbit hole, and what awaited was wonderland itself. A place where my horizons got broadened more immensely than an Alaskan river in the spring, where I received more support and love than my little heart could bear, and which made me feel like I could achieve anything I set my mind to. It was truly the epitome of the capitalised American Dream.

As part of my art portfolio I sent to an end of year examination, I created a mixed media piece for which I cut up a photocopy of a drawing of a bird’s taxidermy I had done a few years back, and rearranged it on a canvas. In the background, I wanted to write a word that’s similar to free, but somewhat less cliché, yet still represented how much that year had made me feel like a bird released into the wild from its cage.

A boy I liked and whose razor-sharp mind I adored suggested the word unbound.

Painting with bird

There it was, the perfect adjective for my painting and my state of my mind. I quickly figured that the name of my blog – which I had wanted to start in order to document my adventures in America – would be Fly Unbound, since although not so grammatically correctly, but it meant exactly what I had been yearning to do. To love, to explore, to exist, to fly; unboundedly. Not expecting anything, not worrying about the future, just diving head first into near-life experiences.

And so I did. For the past few years, I’ve ventured out in the world, tried countless new things, got my heart broken and glued its pieces back together a dozen and one times, befriended this person in me I’m stuck with for my whole life; explored tons, and experienced even more.

However, no matter how much I was longing to turn these experiences into witty anecdotes or poignant tales to share them with others, I never got around to starting this blog. I did set up a tumblr blog with the same name where I reblogged beautiful images and quotes for a year or two, but somehow didn’t manage to finish any of my stories and post them.

Then, last summer, when I finally sat down to purchase the flyunbound.com domain, which I had googled numerous times to make sure it was available, I found that it had been taken already. I felt devastated; I had waited too long. No matter how many alternative domains I tried to come up with, my mind was fixated on flyunbound, and I just couldn’t let it go. So eventually, noticing that the then Fly Unbound blog had been inactive for a while, I mustered all my courage, and emailed the owner of the domain, explaining my problem. To my greatest surprise, he turned out to be incredibly lovely and understood that my part-time job at the uni library wouldn’t allow for a big compensation, and since he wasn’t using the domain any more, passed it over to me. He did take on my offer of a custom painting of something of his choice, however; and I’m utterly ashamed to admit I still haven’t finished that. (Ankush – if you happen to be reading this, I am so, so sorry I still haven’t got back to you about that. I promise I’ve been working on it and will be sending it your way as soon as I can. I don’t think I can thank you enough for your patience, generosity, and kindness.)

Despite being one crazy lucky bastard, practically gaining someone else’s domain for free, I still couldn’t get started. My frustration with myself and shame of telling people about my aspirations with this blog just kept growing. I did have an issue with transferring my domain to an outdated hosting company and then struggled with transferring it back to a proper one, but that’s just another excuse among lots of other crappy ones.

There was always an excuse. An exam to study for, a deadline to finish a project by, some carbs to snack on, a guy to cry after, a two-hour nap to take, or another episode of The Office to binge-watch.

More often than not, however, it has probably been a fear of failure lurking in the back of my mind, having set the bar too high. Since I had waited for so long with this blog, it needed to be absolutely perfect. I wanted to have at least three posts already done, every single picture had to be SEO-optimised, every little bit immaculate. This, however, has put a whole lot of pressure on something that I was supposed to be doing for fun.

I’ve listened to epic, motivational songs way too many times. I have repeated the sentences of this exact post in my head over and over again. Yet, no matter how many times I sat down to finally finish and publish it, something always held me back.

But I cannot physically wait any longer. As flawed and fearsome as this may be, I wonder what would happen if I just… started?

I’m equally thrilled and terrified. Will this be yet another broken promise like the one I made to my diary at the age of nine that I’d write in it every day, then never opened it again? Or will this, finally, be the start of what I wanted for so long? I guess I’ll never find out if I never try. So I’m doing it. Right now.

Here’s to flaws, fears and failures; and, most importantly, here’s to overcoming them all.

Still from the film Mood Indigo

Mood Indigo/L’Écume des jours (2013)
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