We’re not just older and wiser the one time at the one certain point.
It’s not just our “adult” selves wishing we could go back and tell our teenage selves it will all turn out okay.
It’s every cycle of life, proving over and over again to you – by the fact that you’re still alive – that everything will be okay. Even the worst hardest most fucking awful shit you’ve ever been through didn’t kill you.
And yet, even though we have so much proof of this, it’s the hardest truth to fully believe when things are shitty.
It’s all only temporary, the good things and the bad things. So revel in all of the goodness and just chill the fuck out about whatever you perceive to be bad. Because nothing lasts forever. We’re all proof of that.
I feel angsty about a lot of things in my life, but I wouldn’t want to go back to anything. Every year I’ve grown older has been my favorite age. And somehow, even though I really do fear death and don’t like the idea of “getting old” I believe that each year I’ll still feel that way – each year will still be my favorite one.
And I know I’ll regard this trudging through the mucky shit time as a real turning point.
Maybe it fucking won’t be, but it sure feels better to think of it that way. What the hell else am I going to do? Wake up every day and think, “Well here’s another day. All for nothing.” That’s debbie downer lame-o.
If everything is going well, it’s very easy to reflect on your life….to appreciate the past, to feel peaceful about the future, and to be able to be content in the present.
But if everything is in the shitter – positive reflection and perspective are pretty fucking hard to come by.
Same for having gratitude for the bountiful future you know is coming your way. Or being at home in your body in the present.
On one hand, things being in the toilet is one of the best ways to be in the present – it’s just that it probably doesn’t feel very good.
“Being in the present” during hard times is more about survival.
I have to live in the present because if I start thinking futuristically I’ll have a panic attack.
So I’ll just take things one day at a time. Maybe two or three if I’m trying to make a list for the grocery store.
And it’s a constant battle for balance between keeping your gratitude in check because jesus fucking christ, how bad are things, really?
Yet also yearning for your future goals to come to fruition.
I know that my future self will miss this little house I live in. I’ll laugh at how cheap my rent was. I’ll remember the sometimes painfully simple days fondly.
And in the name of what my future self knows, I’ll soak it all in today. And tomorrow. And the next day.
Jena Schwartz Yes, yes, yes. “I have to live in the present because if I start thinking futuristically I’ll have a panic attack.” That — that is why I “practice mindfulness,” which sounds a lot loftier and more peacefully than it really is. As a way of staying here, surviving hard stuff, and coming by that precious perspective that otherwise can go out the window. I loved this.
Sam – “Every year I’ve grown older has been my favorite age”–that is powerful stuff. Thank you for this piece.
Cami – This is my favorite: “So I’ll just take things one day at a time. Maybe two or three if I’m trying to make a list for the grocery store.”
Joell – “Even the worst hardest most fucking awful shit you’ve ever been through didn’t kill you.” Ain’t that the truth. I need that tattooed somewhere on my body. I SO needed this reminder today.
Daniel – this is a fine write that helped me see the impermanence of things e.g.: “It’s all only temporary, the good things and the bad things. So revel in all of the goodness and just chill the fuck out about whatever you perceive to be bad. Because nothing lasts forever. We’re all proof of that”…..you really come out as an optimist, Katie….taking life on it’s own (often chilling) terms….good for you!
Cindy – wow! I think you articulated well the struggle of life, keeping perspective, and remembering. It is so easy to get sucked into the current drama, but this demonstrates as well the ability to SEE when you’re in the drama and retain at least some perspective.
“Yet also yearning for your future goals to come to fruition.” where it starts, continues, leads….