I wonder if the life I long for is swimming somewhere among the stars.

Something about outer space fascinates me. Maybe it’s the knowledge that I am but a speck in an endless universe. Maybe it’s knowing that my problems—in the scope of everything—are small and insignificant. Maybe it’s a feeling that I don’t belong. That maybe, somewhere out there, I could fit in.

We all have moments of internal longing. Someone inside screaming, “I don’t want to be here!” Uncomfortable in our own skin. Wishing to be somewhere—not quite sure where—but somewhere altogether different from where we are now. Or maybe it’s just me.

I stare at the sky. Surrounded by stars, stress ceases existing. If only I were in the middle of the vast expanse of the universe. If only I truly felt free.

I can imagine it, the flying away. Rising to the heavens, every worry and care leaving my mind. I’m weightless. Nothing matters. No one to answer to. Alone in the middle of the emptiness. All is quiet. I can think.

But in the midst of my wistful wishing, I come crashing down to earth. Plain-old, normal, everyday earth. In that moment, earth is the very last place I wish to be. Tripping under a too-long to-do list, I remember who I am and why I’m here. Things to do. Places to be. People to see. The usual.

All the while, I’m longing for that place I’ve never been. Wishing to swim among the stars.

In the meantime, however, here will have to do. At night, I look up and see them—twinkling and dancing, those beautiful balls of fire. “Come be with us!” they call. “You’ll be happy here!”

“Later,” I always answer. I’ve learned to be happy here, as a speck in the universe. “I’ll join you one day,” I yell to the sky. “But until then, I’ll be here.”

So I stay: a soft soul, sitting on earth, patiently waiting to swim among the stars.