Friday, September 19, 2014

Staying in the Right Now

Most of my life I've been a pessimist, looking forward into the worst possible outcome for my future. I was so certain that life would always be hard, that if there was a loss that could be experienced it would happen to me. I lived from a place of constantly looking for and planning for the worst. It was a survival skill and because of it, I'm pretty good at spotting issues and problem-solving. It's what made me a good business student.

All that looking ahead though, it kept me stuck. My dreams for the future were more like nightmares. In all of it, I couldn't dream for a positive, healthy future. At least not realistically. My dreams were more like surreal fantasies, nothing that I could work towards or own. Constantly living in the what could be, instead of the what is meant that instead of enjoying the sunset, I was fretting about having to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again. Several years ago, I started to dream - healthy positive, these could be possible dreams. They stayed as dreams, flickering in and out of my life over the past several years. Even though my dreams were positive ones, my response to them was still cynical. Too many days, these good dreams seemed to be mocking me, taunting me with what could be if only I would pull my head out and work for them. It left me beaten down, unwilling to voice my dreams or allow them a voice.

Now I'm learning what it looks like to own my right now place, instead of using my dreams as a cudgel to beat myself bloody. My right now, it's messy. It's not as productive as I want it to be. I don't feel as disciplined as I need to be. My fear is still making more of my choices for me than I'm comfortable with. I could go on, listing ways that my right now isn't enough. Because really that's what this is about. It's comparison rearing her ugly head. Only I'm not comparing with someone else, I'm comparing with my own expectations for myself.

I've been reminding myself over and over that my getting to those dreams, living those dreams takes me living in my right now. The choices that I make now. The tools that I learn to use now. The character that I build now. These are some of the things necessary for my dreams. If someone were to hand me everything I ever wanted, with no strings attached today, I still wouldn't be able to be the person that I dream about. I wouldn't be able to accomplish the goals that I have. My life wouldn't have the depth of what I hope to offer. This future me, she needs my present self's lessons and growth and mistakes. This future life can only, is only built on the growing that I'm doing between here and there.

That means that today, I showed up. I sat down to write, even though it meant fleeing my messy apartment and the chores that tempt me. Away from the taunting that my time would be better spent being a "better" wife and housekeeper. That's my right now. My right now is pushing through the resistance, the reluctance to dig deep. My right now looks like owning my raw beauty, the power of my heart spilled into words.

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