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Reflect Out Loud

"The unexamined life is not worth living." – Socrates

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life

Movement

Everything is moving. Always.

I’ve arrived at this interesting realization that no matter what I do or don’t do there is a greater force operating on me that wouldn’t allow me (even if I wanted) to just be still. To not have to move forward with time.

It appears that life goes on no matter what.

It doesn’t matter what I do or don’t do because life will go on.

Of course it matters in the sense that depending on what I do or don’t do the quality of my experience will vary. Like if I choose to sell all my posessions and go live on the beach as a bum or if I choose to work a corporate job in New York City the quality of my experiences will surely be different. But removing this aspect of quality aside, what I’ve noticed is that even if choose to do nothing – meaning, I sit in a corner and I simply allow time to make choices for me then I will enevitably keep moving.

The best way for me to describe this is comparing it to the game of Sims. Have you ever played it?

Well. In the game, if you don’t actively make choices for your sims they will go on auto pilot doing their own actions. You must actively take control and direct their actions to control them. Sometimes my Sim might want to cook but I think it should go learn the piano instead. So I must actively cancel out their choice and direct them towards the piano. If I don’t actively make them do what I want they’ll just auto pilot their way through time.

In some ways I feel like reality is like this. I am here. I exist. I notice there is a force acting on me that keeps moving me forward even if I don’t want to. I have choice. Or at least I think I do. (But this is also a subject to further discuss later). Through choice I can have some control over the quality of my experiences.

But the point that I’m really making is that it doesn’t fucking matter what I ultimately do because it appears that reality is embedded with a formula that figures itself out.

In other words, even if I don’t know what to do in this moment, it doesn’t matter because the formula of time is going to figure it out for me. Time is going to push me forward whether I know what to do next or not. There is something operating within reality that is already deciding what’s going to be next even if I don’t know what’s next.

How much influence and power do I really have over my future? Over my destiny?

What the fuck is destiny anyway?

I can tell you what I want.

I want to feel good about myself. I want to own a home by the beach. I want to have a million dollars in my bank account. I want to be in love with you and have you be in love with me. I want to travel the world. I want there to be peace within me and in the world for those who choose it.

Is it going to happen? I don’t fucking know. But I want it to. I want to do my part in making it happen. But it’s not all me.

Also… getting to that moment is a journey. And it’s a silly ass fucking journey. Because you do alllllll this shit to get there only to have it all slip away.

We work so hard to build treasures and in the end we just die. In the end it all fades. And nothing lasts forever. Time takes it all away.

What bullshit.

So I guess the real way to live is not as so to acquire but perhaps to simply experience. Perhaps to simply enjoy the temporary ride.

 

Wack.

 

Okay. I’m being cynical.

But it’s kind of annoying to build it all to lose it all. Don’t you think?

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Climbing

What a dance its been to find balance. To manage being okay with where I am compared to where I want to be.

I don’t want to miss the journey in an attempt to get somewhere in the future. 

I’ve been looking back at how much of life I’ve already missed in wanting to escape to some future moment. All the fun I could have had if only I wasn’t trying to wish my way out of the present moment.

I went to a bonfire at the beach last night. While in conversation it was said to me, “Be happy where you are.” 

That is the secret. To be happy now while we journey, while we climb.

*image credit to google images

Preferences

Some moments are better than others.

I prefer when we’re driving in the car on a sunny day blasting our favorite music on our way to an adventure.

But it’s in the mundane moments when I’m forced to entertain tasks that I rather not be doing that I find true appreciation for my favored moments.

It’s through the cold that I find appreciation for the warmth. 
It’s through the dark night that I find appreciation for the day light. 

The secret is in being okay with what is. To stop longing for more than what is. 

Sure, I rather not have to stand in a long line at the supermarket at a moment when my bladder is full and my stomach is empty making me feel crabby. 

Sure, I rather not have to sit in a dentist chair, mouth wide open while sharp metal objects poke at my teeth. 

Sure, I rather not have to read 50 pages of a boring chapter in an overpriced textbook the professor chose to assign. 

Sure, I rather not have to clean the tomato sauce I accidentally spilled all over the floor also shattering the mason jar it was held in into pieces.

These unsavory moments are also part of life. 

Fighting them, wanting to escape, only adds to the uneasy feeling of yearning to be in those moments where it feels like  “Ahhhh. Yes. This is it.”

But this is life. And it is both up, down, dark, light, exciting, mundane, and everything in between. 
 
 

Moments

There are moments in life that are more favorable than others.

Moments where I slowly open my eyes and unravel to my own rhythm. No rush to be anywhere. Do anything in particular.

There are those moments where I’m laughing. I’m with you. Life feels expansive. Filled with possibilities. The sun hugs my skin. I’m warmed. I can stay here forever. Mesmerized by the wide spread view of the ocean. I stare at it; you stare at me.

There are those moments when I smell the bold morning coffee brewing from my tiny kitchen. My bed is perfectly made. Everything’s in order. The living room is pierced by natural day light casting shadows of the small plant that happily sits in the corner.

My breath is calm. My thoughts are clear. Gratitude pulsates through my body.

Time elapses.

I’m energized. I’m pumped. Dubstep is playing through my headphones. Feet are moving. Body sweating. I’m happy. Excited. Feeling unstoppable.

And then there are those moments.

Those fucking moments…

Waiting for ticket 876 at the DMV to be called when the last number was 531 while looking down at my phone anxiously longing for a text message that never appears.

Sigh.

And how lucky is it that this period of limbo also happens to coincide with forgetting my wallet in the lyft so when 837 is finally called I’m left scrambling through my purse for a phantom.

Heart sinks. Stomach churns. The room grows dim. Anger runs through my veins sending irrational signals to my body that it needs to destroy something.

My hippie, positive self-soothing talk chimes in reminding me to calm the fuck down and keep it together.

So I call the lyft driver for the damn wallet. “I’ll be there in 40 minutes.”
40 minutes turns into two hours and twenty three minutes.

I’m hungry. I’m pissed.

But I’ve got the wallet, the text, and number 1032.

 

 

 

 

 

*image credit to @Peaceful_barb as noted in image

Happy

I usually don’t write when I’m happy, (usually).

But the amount of joy I’m feeling right now is too big not to share.

I am so happy it scares me.

It scares me because there’s a doubt that creeps up and says “This is all too good to be true. This isn’t real life. This can’t possibly be real. I can’t possibly be truly happy. Any moment now some disaster is going to come. Something bad is going to happen. I’ll get sick. Or I’ll lose everything. He’ll leave. I’ll be miserable again. Always searching. Always looking but never arriving.”

I don’t want to believe those thoughts. But I also want to be a REALIST. Sickness DOES happen. People do LEAVE/DIE. Things do BREAK/END/CHANGE. Everything is always fucking changing and you can’t hold on to forever. That’s a fucking fact.

No sooner does the most beautiful sunset hypnotize your eyes as you hug the person you love underneath “the electric sky” surrounded by your favorite humans and your favorite music in an instant of perfection are you then back at your fucking desk at work crunching numbers and eventually unraveling to your death.

Does that sound gloomy? I don’t care. It’s fact. And whether we like it or not we gotta face it.

So…

Given the fact that shit’s constantly changing I am trying to prepare myself emotionally and mentally to deal with it so that when shit does hit the fan I’m ready with that pancho, umbrella and quarantine bubble.

 

What does that mean?

It means I’m trying to figure out a way to live life in such a way that I can ENJOY, EMBRACE, SAVOR, LOVE, EXPERIENCE every moment fully but also without the anxiety, fear, and worry that comes from my attachment to form.

I also want to believe that happiness is truly possible for me and that I CAN create a life I love and that I CAN love myself and have a beautiful, smooth, safe LIFE ride despite the bullshit, pain, and challenges that come my way.

With all that being said.

I am happy right now. And I want to see this dream I have in my head come true. And I want to be at peace.

Peace with myself. With you. The universe. and the world.

“To infinity and beyond.”

 

Mad extreme. I know.

Coming Together

Little by little things are coming together.

Although there are parts that are still taking their sweet ass time to fall into place.

So I learn patience.

I learn not to give up just because things get hard. I learn that there is reward in baby steps. I learn to keep curious about what comes next.

I’m trying to work out the master plan right now.

Which has been kind of annoying because for the longest time I feel like I’m constantly on the go, go, go – do, do, do. And it’s like when can I just sit here, be a potato, and do nothing??

I’m a lot like my mom, though. Can’t sit still for very long. I gotta be on the move. Getting shit done or else I feel like I’m wasting time. I’m addicted to productivity.

I like being this way. I just need to chill out a tad. Let go of all this pressure to be, do, get, have all the time.

Which brings me to a thought I had earlier…

So I bought a new mattress and bed frame for my new apartment. I placed the mattress in the corner, adorned it in bedsheets and pillows for the evening and set aside the frame for me to build the next day.  Then it dawned on me, maybe I don’t even need the bed frame at all.

I thought to myself, “Why can’t I just keep the mattress on the floor as is? It actually doesn’t look too bad and I’d save money on the bed frame.”

Then a responding thought surfaced. “Wouldn’t it be embarrassing if I had someone over my house and they saw that I only slept on a mattress? I should probably just keep the bed frame.”

Thoughts like these piss me off when I become aware of them.

Because in me there is this belief that I need MORE (because the mattresss alone isn’t good enough) in order to feel like I’m doing things “right.” So that people could see that I have it “together.” And that my bed is “proper” and that everything is in order so please approve of me, love me, and maybe even envy me.

 

WHAT THE FUCK.

 

These are my thoughts, guys.

These are the types of thoughts that play through my head.

May it be displayed for all to see.

But may it also be known that I am attempting to transcend the bullshit. So I can come to a place where I really and truly do things for ME without feeling like I need to do them in order to keep up with society and what’s expected of me.

May I find TRUE happiness. May I learn to be true to myself without shame.

May I be able to be fully human and embrace all of me – farts, pimples, weird pinky toe nail, and mattress without frame…

 

(Though I’m keeping the frame… lol… for now).

 

Existential Crisis

So let me tell you about my existential crisis.

I’ve been tossing and turning the “Why am I here, what is the actual point of all this” question in my head for longer than I could remember. I’ve explored theories, entertained fantasies, looked to reason, theology, spiritual texts,  philosophy, science, but nothing really satisfied my query.

Existential bullshit aside, I’m also carrying around the weight of the reality I am currently in.

I am at a point where I am trying to figure out what truly matters to me.
Which is such an annoying task because I’m always changing! If I could only stick to one goddam idea and emotion, that’d be grand. But I’m constantly being pulled in different directions by my moods, desires, feelings, thoughts, and ideas.

One day I wake up feeling confident about a particular decision, set on doing particular things, while the next day I don’t want that same thing at all. My mood is completely different. My desires completely shift. 180.  Example: I am considering moving to Texas or Florida, even though I JUST moved to California (but more on that some other time).

I am currently giving myself a reality check.
Taking inventory.
Like: You’re 30 years old, you’re making this amount of money, you’re working this type of job, you’re waking up this time in the day, you’re eating these types of food, you’re talking to these types of people, you’re spending these many dollars, you’re doing x y z, a b c…. and if you keep going in this direction you’re likely going to be experiencing these particular results  in your future (whatever they may be).

I wish some genius could take stock of everything I’ve done and am doing, enter it into some kind of excel formula and come up with my future trajectory.

Which is what I’m trying to do now… with my average intelligence… and without an excel formula.

Other factors of reality that are hitting me in the face.
I’m aging.
It sucks.
My body isn’t as energized as it used to be.
I can tell my skin is different. My face is more mature. My hair texture is different.

I know on a fundamental level the best thing I can do is to accept myself as I age. The best thing I can do is be kind to myself. To be able to gracefully let go of what was and embrace what is. I know the best thing I can do is to make peace with the new identity I am growing into while having the maturity to release the attachment to the old image of me.

Yada. Yada. Yada.

I know. I get it. Anything outside of unconditional self-regard, self-love, self-acceptance is a recipe for suffering…

BUT – I’m still gonna complain about it. I’m still going to acknowledge how shitty it is. I’m still going to say I would rather not lose my health, beauty, strength, energy, memory, etc. A girl’s gotta vent, ya know?

Anyway…I don’t intend for this post to be about me complaining. You can hear me complain some other time…

My intention is more to share on my struggle towards understanding the real meaning and purpose of life. But given that I don’t have an actual answer yet, and maybe never will, I am trying to create purpose through living a life that feels meaningful to me. I’m trying to figure out right now, in this pivotal point in my life, what is actually going to fulfill me so that I wake up excited to be alive, rather than dreading what I do in the body that I do it in.

There are a lot of details that go into creating a meaningful, fulfilling life – and I am currently trying to figure out what those details exactly look like for me, while also accounting for the fact that I constantly change my mind/feelings/moods.

So in other words, how can I create a life that is fulfilling, meaningful and flexible.

Something like that….

Turns out I didn’t really talk too much about the existential crisis in itself… which often trumps all the day to day “What am I going to do with my life” type questions and goes deeper to ask “What even is life, and why was it given to me and what am I really supposed to be doing with it, if there is even such a thing as ‘supposed’ to, and if there’s not, how do I know that to be true — and who the hell am I anyway, and why does it matter or not matter?”

….

Sometimes I wish I could just be a normal person who didn’t even care or who didn’t even wonder.

 

 

Passenger

I am only a passenger in this ride called life.

I was sitting here thinking about where I see myself in 6 years.

I imagined the wear and tear of time painted across my face. The mature look in my eyes. The wrinkles on my forehead more pronounced.

As I conjured up an image of my future self in my mind’s eye I wondered — am I making a conscious effort to really enjoy my experience here in this life?

This means… not allowing stress to get the best of me. This means doing more of what truly makes me happy. Eating foods that I enjoy. Going on more walks. Engaging in local activities. Having intellectual conversations with people who “get” me. Traveling. Being truly myself without fear of rejection. Enjoying the feeling of being comfortable in my own skin.  Being comfortable with expressing my own opinions. Trusting my intuition. Telling more people I love them. Connecting with
positive people. Listening to more music. Going to more shows.  Taking care of my body.
Treating myself with kindness, love, and unconditional positive regard.

YAAAAS to all the above and more!

One of my biggest stressors right now is my job.  Boy does that place know how to run me thin. I can either change jobs or change how I approach my job (I’mma do both).

As I sit here thinking about it I realize that I can’t let myself get sucked into external pressure or self imposed pressure. This is my life. I have the power to dictate its flavor.

I no longer want to let small things bother me.
I no longer want to spend time judging myself negatively.

The decree is in… I’m fabulous. The end.

I want to take ownership of my experience.
Not let worry, fear, or stress consume me.

I want to trust that at every moment I’ll know exactly what to do.

Fuck the bullshit.

I want to enjoy the ride.

Because when the time comes when life flashes before my eyes I wanna see some awesome shit. I wanna see a film that is PACKED with laughter, fun, adventure, coffee, love, friendship, health, music, and all the great memories I’ve consciously created along this passage.

Ya with me?

Change The Facts

Realizing it is half the battle.

At one point or another you stand before yourself facing the reality you’re currently in. You see that what you’re doing is not working. You notice that the choices  you’ve been making and the habits you’ve formed are not compatible with the version of life you want to experience.

You’ve been saying yes when you mean no.
You’ve been overly nice.
You’ve been giving more than you’ve been receiving.
You’ve been laughing at jokes you don’t even find funny, only to keep the peace and eliminate how awkward it would be if  you were to dare to hurt anyone’s feelings.
You’ve been playing small. Asking what everyone else thinks before asking yourself what you think.
You’ve been scared to voice your opinion. To stand alone if no one else agrees.
You’ve been downplaying your value. Not trusting your own self for fear of getting it wrong, as if it’s possible to get EVERYTHING right ALL THE TIME. 

Coming to realize yourself in your patterns is the first step. Good job. You know now. You’re aware now. 

But here is where it gets tricky.
“What the fuck do I do about this new found knowledge of who I am, who I’ve been, where I am and more important where the heck am I going and who do I need to be to get there?” 

I’ll tell you what you’re gonna have to do. You’re going to look at the FACTS and then you’re going to CHANGE THE FACTS.

Fact is: I say yes when I mean no. New fact is: I say no when I mean no.
Fact is: I am overly nice. New fact is: I’m kind, not stupid.
Fact is: I give more than I receive. New fact is: I’m fair – take it or leave it.
Fact is: I hide what I really feel. New fact is: I tell it like it is.
Fact is: I’m afraid to speak my opinion. New fact is: I speak and stand behind my opinions without fear, even if it means standing alone.
Fact is: I don’t trust myself. New fact is: I trust myself.

See, knowing that there is something about yourself or your life that isn’t quite in resonance is only step one. Without step 2, which is to turn the current facts into new facts by LITERALLY and PHYSICALLY causing a REAL change in both thought and behavior you’re only left with realizations. And simply realizing it is not enough. There needs to be an added element of FUCK THIS SHIT, I’M UPGRADING MY THOUGHTS AND MY BEHAVIORS TO MATCH THE EXPERIENCE OF LIFE I TRULY WANT. 

Will it be easy? Fuck no.
Will there be challenges. Heck yeah. 

But let me tell you dear friend, it is better to fight for the life you do want then to live in defeat stuck in a miserable reality you hate. 

What have you been realizing lately? What are the facts? And tell me, what are the new facts? Get clear on it and get to work. I’ll be fighting for the same over here on my end. Let’s make it happen. 

Victory be upon us.

Grace.

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