Thursday, July 11, 2013
What a Summer: Relentlessly Being in the Present
What a summer. That's a common phrase. Summer is the stuff dreams are made of. As a child, you spend nine grueling months of the year doing things like homework and studying, but all the while, you're dreaming of summer -- sweet, cheerful, lazy summer. Even as I approach the end of my twenties, I find that sentiment remains.
It's hard to know if it's caused by a sheer rush of vitamin D, or if it's linked to that childhood wonder. Carefree pool days, no homework, no bedtimes.
Popsicles. Watermelon. Sand.
This summer hasn't been the most magical. I finally realized why this week. There have been so many changes, so many shifts in perception, that I haven't been able to keep up. I haven't been able to process how I'm feeling or why. Usually I'm self-aware, able to assign words to any particular mindset. This time, I knew how I felt, but my understanding of why couldn't keep up. Big life questions and anxiety took over.
I mentioned earlier this year that I'd discovered my purpose. As haughty as that sounds, to presume to know why I've been put here on earth, I think it could be true. I've spent the time since chasing those new goals, relentlessly.
I've learned something about that word, relentlessly. I've learned that to make anything good come to you, you have to be, well, relentless. You have to seek counsel, do internet searches, put yourself out there over and over until you find a fit. It's exhausting. It feels like fighting.
But then there's a moment when everything becomes clear. Your fight was worth all the effort. Everything makes sense. It always comes. Maybe not when you want it, but eventually, it's always there.
I haven't had that moment yet, but I did come close.
What I need to do is learn to trust in the moment at which everything becomes clear. I am horrible at this. I need to, as I've said before, learn to enjoy the process. To relax all of the results-oriented, I have to plan my entire future right now nonsense. I need to be in the present.
I need to be in the present with the sweet, cheerful popsicles and the watermelon and the sand.
painting by Paul Ferney