It occurred to me today that I’ve been talking about meeting a man in New York City who I can bring home to Maine, make babies, live on the ocean, and start a life with for over two years. On a recent ten-day trip to Maine I started to get homesick. It’s the kind of homesick you feel when you’re already in the place you want to be but you’re anticipating soon not being there anymore so you begin to feel preemptive pains of missing it. It’s a perfect example of living life in the future instead of being here now. It’s a perfect example of living life the way I often do.
I have recently started scanning real estate listings in Maine late at night when I have no business being awake, let alone at my desk on the computer. On a recent flight I spent over an hour and a half looking longingly out the window with my forehead pressed against the glass daydreaming about what it will be like on the day that I move into my beautiful home in Maine with my beautiful man. When I mentioned this to my mom on a walk, she reminded me to enjoy the desiring part. She wisely told me that something she’s learned in her time on this planet is that the desiring is often times the best part. It wasn’t meant to be depressing, like “enjoy that fantasy honey ‘cause let me tell ya, the real thing usually sucks.” Instead, it was meant as an encouragement to be here now.
It’s somewhat oxymoronic, really, that one way to fully enjoy the moment is to fully enjoy the dreaming up of something that may or may not happen in the future, but it seems to work for me. If I’ve learned anything from being a student of the metaphysical it’s that feeling good is the most important thing if you want to continue to feel good. Feeling good now means attracting more things that will allow you to continue to feel good in the future. This sort of focus on the present moment seems to be the healthiest way of creating the future without losing what’s happening right now by being stuck planning tomorrow.
Yesterday I was on another walk, this time with my mom on the phone rather than hoofing it by my side. (I get some of my best insights while articulating things to my mom when walking.) I was talking about Maine. I was explaining this magnetic pull I feel to my home state. I get such a visceral reaction to Maine as symbolizing and feeling like home to me that I often cry when I explain the phenomenon to people. Not like big sobbing crying or anything (I’m not a hysterical nutcase) but I just get a little weepy from time to time.
So there I was, feeling the longing for the home that the state of Maine represents to me, and it occurred to me that to some degree, I’m waiting for something to happen to cue me to start my life. I’m waiting to meet my guy or for some divine sign or for lightening to strike or something. Whenever I do one of those exercises where I imagine what my ideal life looks like, it always includes being outside by the ocean, breathing in the fresh air, having space, and a strong sense of home. It is almost always set in Maine.
The truth is I adore my life in New York City. I have the most amazing community of creative entrepreneurs, artists, business partners, friends, and loved ones. I adore the cultural opportunities, the food, the stimulation, the wild wackiness, and the energy. And the truth is I’ve begun to ask myself what exactly I’m doing here. I can run my business from absolutely anywhere in the world. New York is fairly inconvenient as far as daily life goes. I’ve managed to contain my entire business and personal life in a studio apartment for five years and, though I’m proud of myself for this, someday I would like to have more than one room to my name.
Yesterday, in response to me explaining my yearning for “home” in the form of living in Maine, my dear friend reminded me not to go grocery shopping when I’m hungry. She has a point. Don’t’ make any sudden movements. Don’t go selling your apartment after one hot, smelly week in New York when you’re feeling restless. Home is within me, exactly where I am.
On the other hand, I write this tonight to remind myself to not wait for someone or something to happen to me to create my life the way I want it. I write this to bring awareness to how often we postpone our joy, happiness, pleasure, and desires because we’re waiting for the right moment or for someone to give us permission or for the stars to align. It’s kind of silly to peruse New York City for a man who will eventually move to Maine with me. It doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, really (and people who I mention it to often remind me of that). And it also doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to continue to walk up and down city streets all day when my heart is longing to breathe sea air.
So tonight I’m giving myself permission to not make any decisions. I’m giving myself permission to flirt with the idea of selling my apartment and maybe living both places for a while. I’m enjoying the desire in the present moment as I simultaneously enjoy the heck out of this balmy New York City Sunday night. I’m being here now as I dream up what’s next and commit to living my life now. I don’t know if this really counts as being in the moment, but it sure feels good to me.
What is it that you truly desire?
Have you ever felt like you were waiting for someone or something outside yourself before you gave yourself permission to go for your dream?
How do you practice being in the moment?
Do you think you can be present right now while fantasizing about something happening in the future, or are the two mutually exclusive?