I so often catch myself fixated on the end results. The finish line. Where I want to be. I completely forget to take in my day to day activities – my day to day experiences. It is so easy to want the bigger picture, that I miss out on all the little things that are going to make the bigger picture happen.
I think also, when I get caught on making the bigger picture, I lose track on doing things that will ultimately get me there. I find myself doing this with everything I take on, not just career or job related but in all the obstacles or things I pursue. Going to treatment for my eating disorder I was ready to be cured already. I didn’t want to actually face the demons that got me there in the first place. With surfing or cycling or any sport I take on, I’m ready to be the best and a champ, not necessarily taking all the necessary steps to really train and build up the stamina. In any job, I’m ready to be the best employee and prompted to the higher position, not always taking the time to listen to if that is really want I want for my life. When I start an art project, for example in sewing, I find myself frustrated if it takes longer than I anticipate. Rather than really enjoying the creative process. The thought and skills it takes to make and sew. I’ll have a collage idea float in my head for months on end as I try and pick apart how I can really make it perfect a masterpiece. Looking back this makes me think of one of my favorite collages I ever made. It took me 3 years to finish. It was my girl collage, I found this cut out of a silhouette girl at a Starbucks trash bin and decided it was the perfect canvas for me to create a collage on. I wanted it to be self-reflection piece. I would start it, then life would happen and I would stop for a while then I would pick it back up again. I started it in 2010 and I finally completed it in 2013. Which a lot happened in that time. Break ups, traveling the world, winning scholarships, getting really sick and being hospitalized, death in family, graduating college, many different types of employment. It’s interesting that something that was suppose to be a self-reflection piece took me as long as it did. Probably, because I was going through a lot of transitions and something I still hate doing is reflecting on how things really affect me. Because I tend to focus on where I believe I want to be in life, instead of reflecting on where I’m currently at.
Another thing, I catch myself doing is being impulsive and in a hurry. My dad even when I was very little would tell me how I burned the candle at both ends of the stick. As well as, my mom always told me how I was in a hurry to grow up. It is as if I’m always on the chase for the next thing to fulfill my life. I was at one point in my life the type of person that as soon as shit was about to hit the fan I ran and left. I never wanted to be the one to work through the bull shit. Whether that was relationship, friendships, employment, anything I believed would have conflict. I had friends who would constantly ask me what job was I at now or what project was I working on then? They always knew it was going to be something different. Once I saw myself in this web of constantly running I wanted to break it. I ended up choosing the wrong incidents to do so though. I got myself into an abusive relationship where I stayed WAY longer than I should have because of wanted to work through the bullshit. Again, not taking in the current moment and reflecting on what was really happening at that moment. I also find myself working in extremes, this way isn’t working so let me do the complete opposite. Instead of just assessing what is working or not working, and also realizing each situation is very different and can have different outcomes. It isn’t one or the other.
Life is about the balance. Knowing when to hold on to something, when to let it go. Like my dad always told me, “you need to stop and take time to smell the flowers.” To grow everyday. To allow things to happen, to go with the flow. Or like Gandhi said “The future depends on what we do in the present.” That life isn’t about the end results it’s about the journey along the way. When one is on their death bed, what moments are they going to remember? I already have moments where I look back in my life and I realize I wasn’t truly living. I was either caught up in my eating disorder so I couldn’t really allow myself to enjoy things, I was stressed and anxious for the future. I was fixated on how I messed everything up. so therefore, everything was all my fault. The best thing about life and the journey is you can change it at any moment. One can decide that it isn’t how you want to live your life anymore and change it. Granted, this isn’t as easy as turning a light switch on or off, it takes practice and mindfulness to harness and catch oneself when they get caught in a web. But it is something, and I have started seeing this in my own life. If I really take things day by day and really have that moment to stop, breathe and live in any given moment, things can change. I stop myself from spinning and getting caught in all these what if webs, or I should have, could have.
Another one of my favorite quotes about living in the present is from John Lennon song “Darling Boy’ “life is what happens while you’re busy making other plans.” This resonates for me a lot. I like having plans because I feel like it is something I’m striving for something I’m working towards. However, I again get so caught in the bigger picture, I forget to take in the everyday simple things. So again, it’s about the balance. The balance of really enjoying life and all it has to offer. Stopping in ones tracks, or thoughts and reflecting and allowing oneself to truly live.