I’ve come to the realization that I live far too much in the past. Being nervous about talking to people I went to high school with because we weren’t exactly friends, thinking that an attachment to an ex existed because it always felt like unfinished business between the two of us…I think that’s a major cause for a ton of my mistakes lately.
They say that living too much in the past can be a contributor to depression, just like living too much in the future can enhance any anxiety issues. Living in the present, in the now, is the healthiest way to live. As much as I want to try and do that, I catch myself reverting to the past time and time again.
I have made progress though. It finally hit me this weekend how much I focus on things that have happened in the past without being in the moment and enjoying the good things that have been happening to me lately. This was a polite kind of slap to the face how I need to be more present and do things for myself.
I’ve been lamenting my current life situation and generally just throwing myself a pity party. I’m tired of it. Truthfully, I’ve got it pretty good at the moment. I have no obligations or responsibilities due other people, and all I really have to worry about right now is playing financial catch-up from the past few years. I am literally surrounded by supportive people everywhere I turn, and I feel at peace.
This is a good time. A good season. I can focus and work on things in the now without having to worry too much about how it’ll effect my future. I can learn to live a simpler, more rewarding life. I can continue the mental and emotional growth that started in Germany, even though I really want to be stubborn and insist change needs to happen while living where my heart wants to go. All of this truly is a mindset, at the risk of sounding too cheesy or dippy.
Living in the present is my goal. It’s been my goal for a while, but it needs to be made more of priority. As always, making my goals public force me to actually work on them because it gives me something to prove. Maybe that’s a fault of mine, but at least it gets things done.
I tend to do a lot of my deep thinking while in the shower. In fact, I was just mulling over the main topic this whole post is about and rushed out of the shower and started typing as fast as possible so I wouldn’t forget anything. I don’t know what it is about showers..maybe it’s the white noise, maybe it’s the fact that you are just alone with your thoughts and nothing to distract you. Whatever it is, I need some sort of waterproof notepad to write everything down. Much easier than rushing to the computer and failing to completely wash the conditioner out of your hair. Anyway, I digress…
I’ve always been one to think about all the different outcomes for my decisions. I know it’s not healthy to live in the past or just look toward the future, but stay with me for a moment. Most of the time, I can clearly see where my decisions would have taken me if I had decided on a different path. If I hadn’t dropped out of college the first time, I probably would be a teacher somewhere. If I had graduated after my second university attempt, I’d be a manager of some hotel, running events and losing my mind. If I had stayed married, I’d be in a pit of depression so deep I don’t even know if I would be functioning. If I hadn’t moved back to Texas after dropping out of college, the marriage wouldn’t have happened in the first point. If I never moved to Germany and stayed in Tyler like I was temporarily tempted to, I’d be bored out of my mind in Texas right now.
What I’ve come to realize, especially in the last few months or so when thinking about all of these different possible outcomes, is that I’m thankful for the decisions I have made, the paths I have gone down. I’ve always been a firm believer of things in life happening for a reason, and while I don’t dwell on the “what if” question, I do think it’s a good thing to think about occasionally if for no other reason than to see how much you’ve changed from the decisions you did make. The key in all of this is to not let the “what if”s paralyze you.
This also comes into play when thinking about plans for the future. I have a skeleton plan laid out- spend some time in Alaska, write a book on adoption, and travel- but I don’t plan for many specifics anymore. Whenever I have in the past, I’ve just been disappointed when things don’t work out exactly according to plan. So while I still think it’s important to have some idea of an end goal, deadlines and specifics can just make you feel like you’ve failed if things don’t work out the way you want.
Moments in life serve some sort of purpose. Every experience can have a lesson if you try to stay aware of that. The most important thing I’ve learned recently is to enjoy the moment I’m in.