Is it cliche to say to yourself, “You are exactly where you are supposed to be”? Maybe it is if you don’t mean it, or maybe if you’re just saying it to go along with the crowd because you’ve heard other people say it and it sounds cool.
I have been “on the move” inside my head for years now, well before I left for Croatia in August 2015. By on the move, I mean, I am never 100% satisfied with what I have. I tend to look into the future with dreams and hopes in all categories of my life: career, living, relationships, and whatever else my life involves. I think about where it will all be (or wont be) in the future instead of focusing on the now. I am always looking for the best next thing, which yes, to me is a blessing that I am never willing to settle but also a bit of a curse.
Besides studying abroad in 2009, I do not think I have ever planned a trip or vacation even 6 months in advance. I can’t seem to commit to something like that. What if I bought my ticket out of LAX eight months from now and I decide to move to Memphis for a new job in two! If you haven’t noticed, all my trips are unplanned and have most of the time been f*cking phenomenal. Not to mention, I’ve done most of them alone. What may sound scary and weird to you is awesome to me.
I learned that I could travel alone, by traveling with others. Studying abroad was a big practice for that as after the program, we traveled together on our own without the class, hopping island to island in Greece, extending our stays and not knowing when we were leaving. As we were doing it all together, I knew then, that I could easily do that alone. As scary as it may sound and seem, it’s really not that hard and it is as expensive and lavish as you want it to be. I tend to always go on the budget side, however, a splurge every so often is needed and appreciated.
Back to being in the right place, at the right time, in this moment. Today on my bike ride home from Pilates, the class was full when I arrived, it was 6 am, and I had signed up, so someone was working out on my machine and just keeping their little mouth shut. I had a terrible workout – she ended up putting me in the “privates” room, so I was all alone listening to her ques. Which, “ok get ready for jack-knife” and I’m all like oh yeah… that… (no clue). I was pissed but hey, I was also late, I didn’t get pushed to my max in the workout but that was my fault. I wasn’t working as hard because no one was watching and pushing me like the teacher usually does. When it was not laid out exactly how I imagined it to be, all I could think about was how I wanted to go home back to bed.
My dad taught me at a very young age, to live my life in the present, day by day, hour by hour, minute by MINUTE if possible. Great advice. I’m sure you’ve heard it before. If you haven’t, read that first sentence again. And then again. The future is so uncertain, you may think you know what’s going to happen or may want a certain thing to go a certain way, but in reality, it’s not going to go according to plan. Learning to be in that malfunctioned moment as well as the ones that do happen to go your way, is where the test of your true character really shines.
Recently, I have been planning a few trips, as far in advance as 6 months, and you know what? I have no idea what my plan is, today it is to stay in Santa Barbara, but in the back of my mind, I am still on the run, still wanting to quit and move to New Zealand, South America, or Australia, heck, maybe Hawaii. (See what I mean?!? wtf is that? I’m all over). My mind changes like the weather in Albuquerque, NM on any given day – one minute hot and sunny, the next cloudy, windy and storming.
Today on my bike, after having that weak workout that I only got 5 hours of sleep for,(which coincidentally, if I didn’t go, there’s not a chance I would have had the following thought that morning) It was not even 7:00 am yet but I was riding my bike, the streets were empty the sky blue and air crisp, and it just came to me, that right now, I am in the right place at exactly the right moment. It was like a slap of happiness, realizing that something like that workout, shouldn’t mess up my entire day or even my next 10 minutes thinking about it. It was in the past and done with. I shouldn’t even waste one more minute thinking about it. Then my mind went broader. I was happy in Santa Barbara and living the life I had. I have it so good right now! Why then, am I looking for something else? Somewhere else to move, always job searching. I don’t even know what the something else is that I am looking for. All I know is that I want it.
Always wanting to be somewhere else, has been conflicting with my now happiness. I am looking for happiness later, always later, always comparing myself to others. I know everyone says that we are all on “different” paths, but really, we all are on the same path. We all just make different turns along the way, ending up in different places but we all pretty much get to all the same places eventually. When we see someone else there first, in a spot we want to be, yet we are nowhere near, it makes us question ourselves, and if we are doing it “right”. You are doing it right, just keep going.
Seeing other people and especially friends getting married, having kids, buying a house, having nice things, traveling the world, owning a business; makes us want to do it too. It makes us feel like we are behind or aren’t doing something we are supposed to be doing. I’m learning to just do me. Just be me. Carve my own path, and the rest will come. What I am supposed to have and do in my life I will have and do, and I will not force it just because I want to have what “she” has. Other people are always going to have something you want. The beauty in that is, you probably also have something that someone else wants too.
Leave here with this advice that my Dad gave me when I was 11 years old: Live your life in the moment, day by day, hour by hour, even minute by minute, if possible.
As difficult as it may be, and as I notice myself not always following that, I am always conscious of it. I actively try to live my life day by day and always in the moment. It truly is a small pro tip to a happy life. Try it. I double dog dare ya.