I went to a yoga class recently (hi, yoga, it’s been a few years) and in the class the instructor was talking about how we all are exactly where we are supposed to be right now. She said something eloquent about how the present moment, not the past or the future, is the most important. It got me thinking a lot about how lately, I’ve been feeling this yearning for the future to get here already or for the ability to change the past, and I’ve been allowing that to make me unhappy where I am right now.
I’m in my last week of nursing school, and a year ago I thought I would be so happy in this moment, to have made it to the end of this program. Instead, I’m feeling a myriad of emotions – from still feeling “behind” in life, frustrated at my lack of income and ability to do things like take international trips like some of my classmates are doing, wishing to be able to just slow down and enjoy regular weekends with my boyfriend when life has been so chaotic lately… the list goes on.
I know most people will tell me that I am not “behind” in life at all – that spending an extra 1.5 years getting a degree that equips me to do a job I am actually excited about does not make me “behind” at 23 years old – but it doesn’t stop me from feeling that way. I can’t help but think that if I had figured things out a little earlier, by now, I’d have saved enough money to take a trip to places that I’ve always wanted to go. That by now, I wouldn’t be using birthday money to put gas in my car, or that I wouldn’t be in such debt to my family for everything that they have done for me.
It’s one thing to know that this all happened this way for a reason and that this season of life is probably teaching me some really cool things, but it’s another to accept that and just be here. To know that these moments have been building my character and will make me appreciate so much more later down the road. To know these things and to feel them and be grateful for them doesn’t always go hand in hand.
I don’t think that this time in my life is the only time I’m going to struggle to stay present. I almost think that this is an ongoing struggle no matter where you are – sometimes it’s just easier than other times. And right now is one of those times where I am everywhere but here. I also don’t think that all of these ‘in between’ feelings are going anywhere anytime soon, and that’s okay. Going to yoga has been a great reminder to me that wishing for change in the past or yearning for things to come in the future is only going to do one thing: make me unhappy with where I am now.
I’d like to spend more of my time focused on the present than anywhere else. Some things that help me to do that:
- working out or going to yoga
- spending time outside, even if it’s just for a short walk
- trying new food or coffee
- closing my eyes and taking deep breaths for a few seconds
If you have any suggestions of reminders to stay content in the present moment – I’d love to hear them! ❤
P.S. Happy to be back in the blogosphere. It’s been awhile 🙂