Talking about the future can be such a beautiful yet dangerous thing- something I’m guilty of. I have this timeline embedded in my mind of things like when I want to start my career, get engaged, get married, be a mom, amongst so many other milestones/accomplishments. I think of all of this so often that sometimes I catch myself in the middle of these thoughts and have to remind myself that I need to stop. I know we all do it. It's necessary to feel as though one day we'll know all the answers to life's questions. It's necessary to be optimistic and hope that one day all this ‘stuff’ will make sense.
Side note: Isn’t it crazy that something as simple as ‘stuff’ can be used to describe the bits and pieces of something as large as life?
Anyways, I have to catch myself in the middle of these thoughts and remind myself to stop because life can change in an instant. Life can change so drastically that no amount of planning will soften the fall – no matter how hard or often we plan for a picture perfect ending. Falls are never incorporated into these ideal timelines and that’s the crazy nice thing about them. You see, when you dream, you don’t fall. You fly high ‘til you get to the top where it starts feeling scary again. Sometimes I am so content with life, dreaming of all the milestones that I have yet to conquer, but then I hear tragic stories of loss and realize that I should stop worrying about the future and just focus on the present. I know we all say that the most important thing to do is to focus on the present but how many of us truly practice that? The minute anything positive happens in our lives we begin to think of all the things that can go wrong. Once we achieve a milestone we begin wishing for the next big thing. I know we as humans are built that way, but isn’t it sad to think that there may never come a time when we are not nostalgically longing for the past or yearning for the ‘perfect’ future? When we’ll just be completely and utterly satisfied with the present? We complain about how simple childhood was, how great first year of university was, how sleeping in late was so much more fun than this dream job we so desperately wanted just a few weeks ago. The present is never good enough, and the past was so much more beautiful than we gave it credit.
This year, I vowed to myself that I would stop complaining about the little things. Clearly it is easier said than done, and I’m nowhere near that. I forget to be grateful for the fact that my parents, brother, boyfriend, and pup are all here and healthy. I forget to be grateful for the fact that my friends and I are graduating and diving into new opportunities. I forget to be grateful for the fact that I was able to go to school and get an education. I forget to be grateful for the fact that I have a roof over my head and food in my fridge. I forget to appreciate all that my father has done to get my brother and I through school. I forget how lucky I am that I have the most supportive and present mother rooting for me. We all forget these aspects of life that are so incredibly beautiful yet let the negatives of life move our emotions so deeply. I know I will always focus on the negatives, and I know you will too. Wouldn’t it be beautiful to be free of time, and to live loud for the now? It won’t happen overnight, but lets try this together.
One of my super amazing friends sent me "To a Mouse” by Robert Burns after reading my blog post. The poem may be a hard read for some but does a great job of showcasing my thoughts perfectly. Thanks Sheriza!
A 24 year old Canadian living (& teaching) in Shenzhen, China.