Now Is All You Have


From all the time I spend over-analyzing (an arbitrary act I can’t be the only one guilty of) I realize that I’m able to routinely trace all of my issues back to the same core problem: I don’t know how to be uncomfortable. I don’t know how to be able to feel the good things without being completely deterred from the experience by the inevitably bad. It’s something I have to outgrow because it’s certainly not something that is resolvable. It’s just… life. And I think we live in a world that’s all but curated that mindset for us.

I have the issue of seeing parts of my life as just precursors of time to facilitate getting to where I want to be next. And the sickening reality of that is, given enough of those days, your entire life becomes a waiting game. Now, I’ve been able to resolve a lot of that nagging, lingering need to escape, but of course, it creeps up on me now and again. So I can’t help but be interested in it.

Because it comes from the idea that there will be a happily ever after. You get through the pain and then you bask in having been healed and reconciled and changed and made once again whole and new. But there is no swift motion of starting in darkness and moving toward the light indefinitely. There’s a lot of in and out. There’s a lot of grey area. There are days you’re so far back you can’t believe you let yourself get there and then there are days you forget you were ever miserable to begin with. Getting stunted by this– being fearful of moving forward and more fearful of going back– is the only guaranteed way that it will ruin you.

Because it’s a succession of “nows” that will add up, lifting us from awareness of one experience to another, that will be all we have in the end. So what we see in the experience is what we have to appreciate before we’re lifted away from the monotonous routine, because the alternative is that we cease to exist. We’re done. And we let things pass because the discomfort made us feel like we were backtracking away from that “light” state we’re perpetually moving toward. We made a bad life out of a few bad experiences because we weren’t able to check off the list of things we had in our minds as prerequisites for feeling content, dare I even say… happy? But happiness isn’t a contrived mental process that you allow yourself in when things are thought to be right. It’s an experience, it is an emotion, and all you have is right now to experience it.

And I see such patterns of thinking facilitated largely by our society. Not only that there will be a happily ever after that we are all entitled to after we’ve suffered enough, but that joy is in planning for tomorrow. To be very, well, millennial about it, (God I can’t believe I’m using this as an example) it’s like the Tumblr posts and Pinterest boards that are all images of what we want, hope for and are inspired by. And it’s lovely to look at those beautiful things and decide you want them. But how many of us actually get up and get them– even something as simple as a pretty coffee and book to read by a windowsill? Not many. We get up to complain about not having the lives we dream of and carry on, day after day, rinse and repeat.

Now is all we have, my friends. You have to choose now. You have to live in the heartbreaking reality that is what you see and perceive in this moment… the mess, the beautiful schisms that make for wars and love and peacemaking and harmony and change. The rawness of being so low some days that all you can muster up as your purpose is just to keep breathing– and then realize that’s all there is either way. Maybe it is about diving into the deep end and letting now be more than just enough. Realizing that things are only ever as boring and mundane as we let them be. That there are mysteries and experiences and fascinatingly foreign parts of life that we won’t see until we take a step out on the wild side, the side of us that isn’t concerned about tomorrow. 

image – Danielle Moler