Life Lessons

Love in the Present Moment

Throughout my life there have been periods where I can’t make much sense of anything. I go to therapy, I read books and articles, but I still feel this sense of being lost and surrounded by this big cloud of uncertainty.

I start second guessing who I am and where I’m headed and just feel very distant from purpose. I get up, go to work, come home without really understanding what it’s all for.

After stumbling around for months, I’ll find my way back to words. While they have not shown up on this blog for some time, I have been eeking out scribbles in my journal…mostly questions like, “Am I on the right path?” “Is it time for a change?” “How can I carry on?”

I have been thinking so much about the future lately and whether I’m really setting myself up for the kind of life I can fully inhabit and enjoy. In my desire to create some perfect plan (or exit strategy), I miss the moments that are happening now.

As much as I still would like to know where I’m headed, I’m learning to enjoy the small everyday things until the fog clears. Enjoying a cup of fancy tea that I bought in NYC on a work trip. Laying on the couch with my boyfriend and running my fingers through his hair. Reading old love letters and poems that have been sitting in boxes for years.

I found this in an email that I wrote to my boyfriend almost 3 years ago (back when emails dared to be so vulnerable)…

We are here for a time and then we die, so we might as well try at something we really love while we’re here. We might as well push ourselves and chip away at achieving exactly what we set out to do. To experience flights of power and profound disappointment. To live at the height of our potential and not shy away from all that we are and desire.  

Perhaps I will never figure anything out, but I will keep trying and I can love while I’m here.

 

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Finding Balance

Life these days is filled with meetings, prepackaged foods, and not enough sleep. Somehow I’ve lost my balance. My laundry is overflowing and my car needs a tune up. I have unanswered emails and unfinished blog posts. My mind has reached its maximum capacity for to-dos and what-ifs.

I am hovering at a tipping point and ready to turn over.

Maybe I can learn to to say “no.”

Maybe I can replace weekend plans with nothing in particular.

Maybe I can focus on spending time rather than saving it.

Maybe I can reset the scales, thing by thing, second by second.

Slowly but surely I will find my way back.

(Slowly but surely I will find my way).

What Matters Most

“The best portion of your life will be the small, nameless moments you spend smiling with someone who matters to you.”

This quote popped up on my screen yesterday and I found myself nodding in agreement.

2014 was a year filled with change and much of the time I felt unsettled. I spent so much time searching for the security I once had that I forgot to pay attention to those small, nameless moments.

As I enter 2015 with a few more things than I had last year – a new job, a great group of friends in this still new city, I was suddenly reminded of what I had been taking for granted all that time.

I forgot about the daily phone calls from my mom telling me everything was going to be okay.

I forgot about the nights my boyfriend took me out for drinks to celebrate some small success that hardly mattered to the outside world.

I forgot about the hopeful messages and comments left right here on this blog as I was struggling to find my place.

I forgot to say thank you. Even if we haven’t met face-to-face, you being here means a lot. It has kept me going, it has made me smile, and it matters.

Having Enough

When we experience this kind of closeness with life, it is astonishing to think how much of the time we’re sleepwalking through it. 

When I get really quiet inside, I realize I have everything I need. A roof over my head, hot water running through the pipes, someone to sleep next to. Sometimes I think I am the luckiest girl in the world. Not because my wildest dreams are coming true; I am lucky because I have enough.

During the holidays it’s easy to get caught in the whirlwind of more. We shop til’ we drop, plan elaborate meals, and race from place to place, never feeling like we have enough time to check everything off our lists. In the midst of our hurrying, we lose sight of what makes this season special. These winter months are a rare occasion in which we have permission to slow down. When we can detach from all the thoughts and to-dos and what-ifs and hit the refresh button, to make room for the new.

We make space for…life to sweep in, for life to happen.

There is no greater feeling than to be swept up in it – whatever that may be – a joke, a blue sky, a conversation, a second slice of pie – to be in that. When we experience this kind of closeness with life, it is astonishing to think how much of the time we’re sleepwalking through it, going through the motions without the gravity of consciousness. There is no greater feeling than to be pulled into this kind of gravity.

This holiday season let’s remember that beyond presents, long commutes and family drama, lies this opportunity to fall into the moment exactly as it comes. It may not be perfect or wrapped in a bow, but it is ours and it is real, and it is more than enough.

P.S. For more thoughts on simplifying the season, click here.