Lately I have been asked about my story. About the decisions and about the journey. It’s a funny thing, reflection – is the reflection about reflecting on the experience, or on how I thought I would feel when I “got there”.. It’s the getting there piece that has me turned around as I sit down at my computer to write.
There are so many versions, so much potential, so many rationalizations and expectations. I often say that I have made every decision with clear eyes and a clear heart since I was 25 years old.. Before 25, I lived my life much differently, with much less courage and a lot more insecurity. Not to say that insecurity and self judgement don’t find its way back in to my consciousness, but rather its presence isn’t the guest of honor or master of ceremonies.
There is that old adage, wherever you go there you are. I always heard it and nodded to myself – “for sure, totally!”. That seemed kind of obvious as far as I was concerned and also endless. There are so many places to go, so many things I need to experience to find and refine myself. I remember thinking how neat and tidy things would be once I “did me” for 5 – 7 years. Maybe it would be lonely, maybe it would be challenging, but I was resilient and at peace with my progressive and non conformist attitude. There was a settling around the short term sacrifice for what I had faith would be long term happiness.
As I reflect back 9 years later, now at 34 years old, years of practice, heartbreak, successes and failures behind me I feel like I finally have realized that there is no strategy. I can’t help sometimes but sit with humility over the idea that I could somehow freeze life around me while I took the time to grow up. I have no regrets, for every choice I have made over the past decade have been mine and for that I am grateful and feel extremely privileged for the opportunity.
But the circumstance and container in which I now navigate this “newer me” is so different from 2006/7 and I find myself on occasion on shaky ground within myself. There’s no getting around technology has made a major impact on the way we relate to each other interpersonally and I am feeling the shift now that I am including more people and experiences into my life. Its such a shockingly different time, the way we engage with one another, communicate and I am finding it challenging trying to connect with people, cultivate relationships and intimacy in this new age of instant gratification.
Maybe it’s because our generation were the guinea pigs of this new revolution, therefore the most sensationalized by it, the most reactive to its pervasive and ironic “connectedness”. Maybe I am just overly sensitive and nostalgic for a simpler time when the glossy life and relationship wasn’t promoted and imprinted on my consciousness as something that actually exists and it something to aspire towards. Or maybe I’ve just finally understood that the happiness and short term satisfaction sought through external means is sometimes a reflection of the fear of the mundanity of achieving it, and aversion to the vulnerability and stillness of contentment.
What I have learned is this.. There is no future that waits for the present to catch up to it. There is no person who validates the truth of your own core happiness, and through which you will then be happy. There is only the direct experience of the moment and the choice of how to shape it, how to own and how to love it exactly as it is…When this is the method, happiness is spontaneously known