Hey internet. It is a beautimous day here in where-I-live and the tourists are flowing regularly through the visitor’s centre. It’s move-in weekend for both of the colleges up here, so we’ve had a regular flow of people moving their kids in and wanting to know how to get to Bed Bath and Beyond and Tarjay and Weggies to buy bed sheets and computer cords and stuff.
If I may wax poetic for a moment (and I may, because it’s my blog and I do what I want) I feel weird about student move-in this year. Not like, I-really-miss-being-in-college-and-wish-I-was-moving-in-myself weird, but more of a I-feel-very-disconnected-from-this-entire-process weird. Which is in itself weird, because last year when the students came back, I was so upset that I moped around for a week and had long conversations with anyone who would listen that I hated everything and wanted to move back to my college town.
Weird weird weird.
You know when you write a word too many times and it just starts to look like it’s not a real word anymore?
Yet I digress.
Life is like that. One day you’re pretty sure you are going to be a princess when you grow up, or that you’re meant to be with the person you’re dating for the rest of forever, or that you can’t graduate from college and become a real person being the idea makes you physically ill. In the moment, your emotions are too big and spiky and powerful to disconnect from them.
So you ride it out. And you deal with the fallout, and take the day moment by minute by millisecond.
The next day, or week, or year, miraculously, things change. You’re pretty sure that you actually want to be a doctor, not a princess, and yeah, thinking back on it, your last boyfriend was a total ass, and weirdly enough, you are really glad you don’t go to college anymore.
If you’re going through that right now, it won’t last, I promise.
Ride it out, my friends.
Ugh, internet. I had to drag myself to yoga last night. Mom kept coming into the office and pointedly asking me if I was going to get ready to go and Dad threw his yoga clothes on and I was just sitting there on my ass watching Doctor Who (classic, 4th Doctor Tom Baker, season 12, The Androids of Tara) and I so did not want to go. It was a kicking and screaming situation.
You know what I’ve realized about myself during this whole crazy 40 days situation? I’m really lazy about exercise. Not in a I-don’t-exercise-or-do-physical-activities-or-go-out kind of way, but more in a if-it’s-mildly-inconvienent-I’m-not-interested kind of way. If I’m going to be in the studio because I’m teaching a class before or after, I’m in, but if I have to wake up in the morning and get there? Not a fat chance in hell, bucko.
The same principle was starting to drip over into my life pretty badly. In October/ November/ December of last year, I was seriously lacking in motivation to do anything. Go outside? It’s gross out. Work out? I’m single, who cares? Clean my room? Brush my hair? Meh.
Recently, though, I’ve been seeing a major upswing in my life, and I think (no offense to the 40 days program) it’s this blog. Because this is blog post 53, and I haven’t skipped one day yet. I got over making excuses. I finally committed to playing a big show with my friend that’s happening this week. I’ve been chasing job leads (and succeeded in scoring a few!!) and having the blog to point to as proof of both my writing prowess and my commitment to routine has absolutely been helping. I cleaned my room today, properly, with, like, a sponge, in the first time in (this is gross) several months.
However, without the 40 days program, I don’t think I would have realized that any of this was really happening to me. Per as usual, I would have chalked it up to life being random and awesome, without being able to see how these little changes and “lucky” events have been happening with increasing magnitude and regularity, and how they’re adding up, and how they’re a direct result of a concrete change I made in my life.
A 40 day-er commented during a meeting that one of her friends decided to walk to work everyday, and in a conversation, remarked that he’d only made the decision to do it once, and that was that. I think, in a way, this blog has been very much like that. I made the decision to write everyday, and I’ve been doing it. I haven’t done something every day for this many days in a row maybe ever before (with the obvious exceptions of, say, brushing my teeth and eating), and it feels really good. I think the best part is that with a daily commitment I have to schedule around, I’m realizing I have much more time in my day than I think I have, and I’m cutting wayyy back on T.V. and internet time and spending more free time playing music and writing and doing yoga.
I don’t think I’m ready for another big, everyday commitment right now, but I’m glad I figured this out about myself. Maybe I’ll even go to yoga in the morning this week. Baby steps.
I was on Pinterest last night- I knowww, but it’s a guilty pleasure and I love it – and I found this really awesome quote that I wanted to share with y’all.
Let go or you’ll be dragged. – Zen proverb
This quote was accompanied with a goofy picture of a man hanging from a hot air balloon which I shan’t be including here because it’s dumb-looking. Oh, Pinterest. Haven of good quotes stuck onto terrible Instagram photos.
But I digress.
I find both this quote and this concept really powerful for two distinctly different reasons. Firstly, the consequences of hanging on to the past. In yoga, we talk about this a lot. Letting things go. Living in the moment. Realizing that time only exists as a current moment that is linked to a series of current moments. It’s a little abstract sometimes, but nonetheless important. I love this concept so much that I got the phrase here now tattooed on my ribcage, as a reminder to myself to let things go.
The second reason I love this quote is that we forget that the future can be just a dangerous to cling to as the past. However, we can be pulled and dragged in many different directions, and if you aren’t ready for it, being dragged forward can be just as caustic as being dragged back.
In yoga, we often seek positive changes in our lives. There’s obviously nothing wrong with that, but it’s often easy to focus so much on positive change that we forget what is good about ourselves as we are. In light of that realization, I asked my yoga students in class on Sunday to go home and write a list of five things they really like about themselves, just so they realized that change doesn’t mean throwing yourself out and starting over. Here’s my list:
1. I’m self-confident.
2. I’m gregarious.
3. I’m strong.
4. I operate well under pressure.
5. I push people to be the best version of themselves.
Now, I know this list will shift and change and develop over time, because life isn’t stagnant. However, now I’ve got a baseline to return to. Instead of saying, I need to change everything, I can say, I feel like I’d be happier with myself if I changed some things, but I like a lot of things about myself as I am right now, too.
That’s my two cents, anyways.
What’s your list, internet?
This is what I consider to be a fairly compelling story prompting you to send future you a letter right now.
As you may have gathered from the fact that I started a blog to force myself to write more, I consider myself to be somewhat of a fair hand with a story. I’m now a college graduate with a dual degree in Art and English (and a French minor, thank you very much). I’m actually in limbo right now waiting to hear back from the few creative writing grad school programs I applied to.
I received a letter from my thirteen-year-old self one afternoon while I was filling out the basic information on a graduate school application. It was part of a school project I had done in middle school and completely forgotten about. In the envelope was a page of writing from a story I had started, along with the letter, which urged me in bold letters to KEEP ON WRITING, no matter what else I was doing.
I can say with complete honesty that it was one of the most self-satisfying moments of my life thus far. How many other people can say that they are still pursuing the dreams they had when they were children? Instead of wanting to be a princess or an astronaut, I wanted to be an author. I wanted to be an author so badly that I once broke down crying in the bookstore because I didn’t want my books to be out of reach on the top shelf.
The funny thing is, though, is for a while in the middle, I completely forgot that I was devoted to writing as a kid. Well, not forgot, exactly, but I sort of put it on the back burner and tried to be an artist for a while. Gallery shows, creative thesis involving crayons and female sexuality (yikes), graphic design, video game art, you name it.
I changed my mind and decided to pursue writing before I got that letter from myself, but what if I hadn’t? Would it have changed my mind? Inspired me? At least given me a chuckle in the middle of an otherwise un-noteworthy day?
Since receiving that letter, however, my confidence in my career goals has skyrocketed. If for no other reason, it was totally worth it.
That could be you, internet. Go here right now and write yourself a note. It’ll take five minutes. Youtube can wait.
You could change your future right now. Will you?