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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


2 comments:

  1. This is beautifully written. I actually read it last night before bed and again this morning. There is definitely something about summer (and really, life in general) that is just so magical. And WAY too often I only see that magic in retrospect, when I'm being nostalgic. I've been working on living in the present this year, too. It can be so difficult, but when I'm able to focus on the present moment instead of constantly worrying about the future, it's so much easier to be grateful and happy. It makes me look at everything with a fresh, clear perspective. Thank you for posting this - it's such a great reminder.

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  2. So beautiful. I am almost 39 and I STILL have that sensation about summer. Sometimes it backfires, though, in that it creates expectations that summer will feel very different when the reality is that much of it is the same (mostly work). But yes: we need to be relentlessly present, in order not to miss this, this season, this life. xox

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