Have you ever felt like your life was on fast forward, hurrying to get to the next thing, next day? Like there’s something missing, something you’re so close to grabbing within your palms? Like you’re almost, but not quite there?
What is that thing? Is it success or money? A job you love? A person you’ve been longing for? Is it the life you’ve always wanted, just slightly out of grasp?
Are you going after something at all, or is this just a relentless pursuit of more?
The other day I was walking with one of the little babies I nanny, just trying to breathe and take in the surroundings instead of being distracted by the thoughts in my head. This family lives up in the hills of Bay Park, which is this area above Fiesta Island, a mini island that’s perfect for dog-walking, setting up campfires, strolling around with friends and just being in nature. Anyways, they live on the (almost) top of the hill and when I walk through the neighborhood there’s a beautiful view of the entire city of San Diego. So I walked a little slower, trying to be intentional and take it all in.
And as we were walking, I started thinking about the way we are as humans, the way I am, even when I try so hard to fight against this part of myself. I’m always rushing. And not in the sense of hurrying through things without care, but I’m always so eager for what’s coming next. I can’t wait to finish what I’m doing so that I can move to the next project, so that I can start on the next thing.
I want to get through with writing one piece so that I can share it on social media. I want to finish a book so that I can start working on another. I want to get through today so I can begin tomorrow. I want to go and go and go…and for what?
What am I rushing so hard to get to?
I had to stop and think about that for a moment. If I’m being honest with myself, I’m not quite sure. Is it the weekend? Well, sure, I feel like we all get excited for the weekends. But that’s not my driving force. Is it a vacation? Well, I mean, who doesn’t love laying by the beach or exploring a new city? Is it getting to the life I’ve always wanted? I mean, in some ways, yes, but I’m also not quite sure what this ‘dream life’ entails—is it a husband, a family, a successful career, a millionaire lifestyle with no worries—or could it possibly be right where I’m at in this very moment? (Woah, game changer.)
When I stopped to think about what I was so desperately chasing, I had to be honest with myself: I was caught up in the rush, in the pursuit instead of the actual end goal.
Perhaps it’s not that I’ve been striving to get somewhere, but that I’ve taught myself to always look for the next thing, so much so, that I’ve forgotten how to actually exist and appreciate the current moment.
And wow, that statement makes me feel redundant because I know I’ve written on this topic so many times before. But isn’t it crazy that we’re all still struggling and coming back around to this simple idea?
No matter how many times we try to tell ourselves to slow down, be intentional, and live in the moment we still stray from these truths. We still get caught up in all that we don’t have, in all that we want.
As I walked forward, I pondered this idea. Perhaps we’ve been conditioned to search for the best—for ourselves, our loved ones, our lives. And this isn’t wrong; it’s good to want the best and to fight for it. But what about loving where we are? What about enjoying what we have while still pursuing what we want? What about celebrating our lives in the interim?
What if we changed our perspective? What if instead of trying to get somewhere ‘eventually’ we tried to manifest that thing we wanted right now? What if it wasn’t about trying to get somewhere, but making that ‘somewhere’ happen in the moment?
What if instead of stressing over not having a boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse/significant other, we celebrated our singleness while looking with excitement to an eventual, future connection? What if instead of wishing to have a great career, we threw ourselves wholeheartedly into the job we have, knowing that we can potentially find something better in the future? What if instead of thinking about the place we’ll eventually move, the happiness we’ll eventually have, we put steps towards that dream right now?
What if we stopped looking and rushing towards this future place and let right where we are be our dream life, dream plan? Would that change the way we lived—would we love deeper, work harder, be happier?