All I Know is Now
Recently, I've found myself experiencing moments of sadness because time moves so quickly. I feel like I've always been acutely aware of how quickly time passes, but nothing gives an added perspective to this like seeing how fast a newborn changes and grows.
Personally, I find it very difficult to live in the moment. I'm always thinking about what's next, worried about what may or may not happen or thinking about how to prepare for the next thing. Having a newborn and seeing how fast he grows is teaching me a lesson in living in the moment. To me, there would be nothing more devastating than opening my eyes a year from now and realizing I missed his life.
As children, we are taught to think in this planning way. Adults always asked us, "What do you want to be when you grow up? Where do you want to go to college? What are you going to major in? What are your plans for the summer?" What I'm realizing is, as a child, I did not feel like it was acceptable to not have a well thought out answer to those questions. I always needed to know what my next 5 to 10 moves were in order to feel like others perceived me as successful.
In my current season of self-discovery, I'm realizing that I need to be comfortable with saying "I don't know what life looks like a week/month/year from now. I'm figuring it out." That's hard to admit and even more difficult to say out loud. Life is meant to be a messy journey of discovery. If my life is just a constant obsession with my destination, I'm completely missing the journey.
Truthfully, it's scary to not know what's next and to speak openly about it. I think there are ugly elements of perfectionism and fear as to why this topic makes me so uncomfortable. Society tells me that at this point in my life, I'm supposed to have it all figured out. The fact that I don't have it figured out doesn't make me a failure, it makes me human. Opening up means that I'm tired of pretending I'm perfect. No one is perfect and we should stop judging others like we are.
What I want to know is who made the rules? When did it become unacceptable to be a human? Why do we have to stop dreaming, discovering and re-inventing ourselves? At what age is it no longer acceptable to believe you can do anything? When did happiness become a luxury and perfectionism a necessity?
I want to turn these cultural norms upside-down. If you have a 5 year plan that you're actually happy about, major props to you. But if you don't, I'm even more proud of you. That means you're comfortable living in a place of discomfort in order to continually discover, shape and mold who you are and what you're about. I have many lessons to learn from you because right now, all I know is now.