For a very long time I used to be preoccupied with my past. I wondered a lot about why certain things, family stuff mostly, had happened to me. Why me? Now it’s different. Now I’m telling myself stories about my future, about what I want it to look like. Feels better. Yet I am still lacking something: The ability to find lasting joy in the present moment.
About a year and a half ago I posted a bucket list. I imagined what I would do if I only had six months to live. Four things instantly sprung to my mind and in a very strange string of events I did all of them, within six months. It was a pretty tumultuous experience at times, but very worthwhile. I can now write another bucket list, free of old baggage, this time looking forward.
The other day I watched a YouTube video on being ordinary. Or rather, why we tend to believe we have to be extra-ordinary to be considered successful, worthy, or achieved. I’ve long felt that all this talk about how to find your purpose, your calling, your passion is creating a new kind of anxiety. The anxiety of not ever finding out what we are here for. It puts the pressure on. When it might be way more helpful to take it off. And just relax into ourselves.
I never thought of Elizabeth Gilbert as an inspirational speaker. Yes, I read her book “Eat, Pray, Love” and liked it. And yes, I also watched the movie and thought it was a fine thing to enjoy with a cup of tea and then get on with my life. But the whole hype about her, how she had become famous and all that had somehow bypassed me. Until this morning. When one of things she said hit straight home with me.