These past few weeks have been a challenge. These photo’s somewhat betray my inner thoughts. I have been striving to find a purpose in each day. Each day that I spend wandering, contemplating, capturing beauty, looking for the unnoticed, trying to plan, trying to find my meaning. Some may look at these photos and be envious of my freedom – and let it be known that I do not take this for granted. Although I have spent so much time over the past month in my own head that I am craving a purpose so much so that I cannot sleep at night for lack of peace.
Often I feel like I’ve been thrust back into my 16 year old self when I had independence and opportunity in my hand, but I just didn’t know what to do with it.
I’ve got support and stability in so many ways, but I distance myself from social situations and friendships for fear of the perception that I am not making the most of what I’ve been afforded.
Don’t get me wrong, being alone, an ocean away from the comforts of home, and an ocean away from the one I love, is not easy.
But I don’t really think that gets to the heart of the matter.
I am always thinking ahead. Planning for the next hurdle, searching for the next step, looking for a good challenge. This doesn’t sound so bad at first, but I’ve begun to realize that I spend so much of my life looking forward to how good the future will be “when____happens” (mostly my daydreams consist of me thriving in a productive and meaningful career) that I spend my time now entirely uncomfortable with the present moment.
A few weeks ago while checking the mail at my apartment, I came across a free book that was up for grabs in the building lending library. A New Earth – Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle. I’m a sucker for self-help books so I snatched it up.
As I dogeared and highlighted so many paragraphs, this one phrase stood out to me the most: “Realize[ing] that your entire life journey ultimately consists of the step you are taking at this moment. There is always this one step, and so you give it your fullest attention…What the future holds for you depends on your conscious state of now.”
This is a hard concept for me to follow, but I appreciate it’s truth. I am searching my soul, hoping that I’ll get to the root of my anxiety, eventually becoming comfortable with being alone, with myself and my thoughts, and ultimately trusting that my own personal decisions are sound.
My future is bright is as bright as my attitude in is now, in the present moment. The future won’t be the future when it gets here – it will be the present. Just like this moment, was yesterday’s future, yesterday when I spend the day in a funk, drank too much wine and then resolved that tomorrow will be better. Maybe if I’d taken a moment to question my negative feelings and stay present with them, I’d have gotten to the bottom of the issue instead of the bottom of the wine bottle.
I am learning, accepting and more than ever trying to hold myself accountable for my thoughts and attitude. I have only this moment to make a my present life a happy one.