Don’t Live Anywhere But The Present.

I’m a classic over-thinker. Nightly, I revisit conversations that went poorly, times I didn’t speak up, moments I was too scared to act. I comb through my past relationships searching for the lessons in my pain. I obsess over the lies I was told and how I learned the truth. I’m naturally obsessive so residing in this place is easy and comfortable for me. 

I’m also stuck in the future. I’m so far away sometimes that I’m envisioning the inevitable destruction of our world by AI or our own doing by destroying the climate. I’m also doing this unhealthy habit of taking lessons from my past and trying to shove the puzzle piece somewhere into the future as I’m constantly on the look out for situations that will hurt me again. I’m distracted, I’m disconnected.

I am tired. I’m hovering above the world in a thought cloud, disconnected from everyday life and what is directly in front of me. Or I’m deep below the surface, forming opinions on memories and people who have come and gone in my life. I’m not here. I’m not connected. I need to land somewhere safe. I need to land in the present. I need to come up for air and breathe.

But there something that I’m avoiding and I think it might be important. So, how do I come back to earth? Where do I go to plug back into my life. How can I set up camp here and now and stop wondering off in any direction.

By sitting still. By sitting here with myself and figuring this out.

I’m a tenacious person. When I have an idea that I think will work, I go for it. But I’m also week minded and lack consistency, something I’m working on. Committing is not easy for me. Seeing something through to completion is not natural. I’ll do a job until its about 40% complete and then I’ll tell myself to wait for the inspiration to finish it later. But since I have been this person for so long, I know, the inspiration comes in the form of self deprecation and I normal don’t complete another project until I have hated myself enough to try to finish it. However I’d really like  I tell to stop using the weapon of my fallibility and mistakes as a means to motivate myself. I’d like to stop holding the metaphorical gun to my head and scaring myself into doing completing anything.

I think about my house. Every room is still somewhat unpainted. Trims. touchups, the entire front step on my fireplace is unpainted because the carpet is so close to it and somehow my anxious brain thinks thats a huge problem that cannot be overcome. My dining room is the wrong color and so is my bathroom. I need to finish painting my house.

But I can’t because when I come to the present and realize the reality of my mental state and our economic state and the state of our progress, I am not proud of myself. I should be though! This is the lie I tell myself, that I should be farther along than I am.

What if I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be though? This chapter of my life is still going and I can’t guess the ending of this based on the endings of the past chapters. And there is no way to read  ahead, I can only imagine what’s ahead for me, and my naturally pessimistic mind thinks it’s inevitably fatal. And it is, but it’s all this in between time that I’m struggling with. What do I do now? How do I start working towards the things I want in this life? How do I build a strong future?

Why do I ask myself this? Well here is why. There is no guarantee for the future. Right now I’m 26, and I feel like I know nothing about how to live. How could someone who was raised in a morally conservative home suddenly not know how to live? If I’m able to boil it down it’s because I realize that there is no reason for my being, but I have the power to give my existence a meaning. So how do I do that? By giving myself some sort of responsibility for the world, but I already have lots of responsibilities. I have a marriage, two children, a house/mortgage, cars, a garden, pets, a career, and a dream. I also have close friendships, an extended family, and my own personal traumas to work though. That’s enough for one person and yet I feel something missing. I look at that and think why do I want any more than what I have, I can’t even say I’m succeeding more than 40% in any of those areas. On top of all this, I’m still responsible for keeping myself alive, an annoying daily maintenance.

I’m still learning. I’m still trying everyday to explore every aspect of my life. and I’m still miserably failing on the day to day. Part of that failure though is probably because I’m not fully here. I know I can do better and I should. Next comes the time to figure out how. because I could ask someone. I could talk to friends and ask for advice but then I would be doing what other people have suggested to me. I could go back to therapy, but there isn’t even money for that right now. Besides, I was born as the person who needs to do things myself.

I think an important aspect of all of this is I am starting to see that my mind, body and spirit are not connected. My mind is a nasty bitch, she is. She’s loud, she’s judgmental, she’s critical and she’s a punisher. She punishes my body. As soon as I start to feel good about myself, the way I look, the way I hold myself in the world, my mind destroys it. The second I feel confident I’m flooded with every bad thing I have ever done. I binge, I loose the will to be healthy, and my mind will critique myself with the failure until I’m so beat up I loose the will to live. So even if I feel pretty, I still feel like I’m ugly on the inside. Not worthy of existence. And I know this isn’t true because whenever my mind decides to remove the ball-gag from my spiritual self, I know that I am kind, and compassionate and love people and love myself. I don’t know if I am good, I don’t know I feel the motivation to do good and healthy things, but that is a thought-stream I’m still exploring.

I’m not connected to the present because I’m not connected on the inside. I’m letting my mind run the show right now and I know life requires a delicate balance of power between the three of us.

So my goal is to start landing in the present more often. I know part of the way I can do that is by connecting with my children. The most beautiful thing about a child is the purity of their love. But something about that pure love is too powerful for my broken self. I shy away from their bright shining light because it emphasizes so much I’m hiding from inside of me. I know I’m not alone in that feeling. I see it other parents I know. We are hiding from so much of ourselves that we hide from our children. We don’t want to destroy all that goodness with all our badness. Do children require wholeness? Can I still be a good parent and be this broken? Am I the only one asking myself this? 

When I muster up the courage to connect, I realize, the stuff I’m hiding from isn’t all that scary to begin with, most of the time. Whatever gets highlighted in me in a necessary issue to be fixed, though the work be hard and toilsome. Still, I get annoyed with my son sometimes, needing to soothe his fears about ghosts and monsters, but I think it’s more annoying that I’m the exact same way. We both cry about about the shadows in the night. My own problems are the ghosts and I am the monster. But just like his little voice squeaks “Oh!” as soon as the light comes on and he realizes there was nothing there to begin with, I know its the same thing for me. If my mind, body and spirit could all just show up here at the same time, we’d see that there is nothing there to be afraid of. I cannot fear myself any longer, I cannot fear my wellness and wholeness, and I cannot keep putting it off.

I’m here for it.
I’m along for the journey.
I have to know where this life goes.

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