Living Like An Alien

By: Jillian H.

space collage
The life of an astronaut

Can you imagine what it would be like to be an astronaut? Floating along, the only thing that separates you from the deep pull of outer space is a thin layer of metal. You rediscover each morning where you are when you see Earth looming ahead of you, so impossibly big. Somewhere down there, far beneath the cloudy whites and on the green-brown land, is civilization: even though you cannot see it, you know life exists down there in big cities and tiny farms.

Down there is the town you grew up in and the schools where you realized you wanted to be an astronaut. You trained for years to accomplish your goals and everything you did made this mission possible. Now, you look down on your life from the sky as one of only a few hundred astronauts. You make up the extremely small percentage of humans who have rocketed through the atmosphere, 3, 2, 1; who have slept, eaten, and bathed in space; who have seen the moon up close and experienced sunrises and sunsets in brand new ways.

Your water forms droplets that float through the air, your meals come in packets and your desserts in tubes. You zip yourself into the wall when it is time for bed, and you glide throughout the ship as if you are swimming. You are your own version of Buzz Aldrin and Neil Armstrong. Those are your eyes seeing Earth from the rarest perspective of all, and this is your body trying to adapt to a world without gravity or friction or sound or breeze.

Space overwhelms and encroaches on you from all sides. It is bigger than you can understand, infinitely expanding and changing. Jupiter, Saturn, Mercury – everything is out of reach.

This moment confirms that you were meant to be an astronaut. All your years of sacrificial work culminates in the realization that there is something greater than you, something so giant and powerful that it would never notice a tiny astronaut on a tiny spaceship like you. And you are just fine with that.

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