Life is an exercise in exploration. I’ve said it before and I will undoubtedly say it again. I feel like the more I say it, the more I truly believe it. For a long time, I didn’t believe the old adage that life is more about the journey than the destination, but now I see a glimmer of truth in the clichéd statement. For if you don’t appreciate the journey, there are precious few moments that will be satisfying. When you really get down to it, most of life consists of getting there. Where “there” is will be different for everyone, as will the process for getting to it. But what we all have in common is the potential to really change our focus from the results-driven fallback of society to a more inwardly-focused satisfaction with the very course that life takes.
I’m sure my ideas are nothing new. Since the time of ancient philosophers and poets, there has been much emphasis on the difference between finding life satisfaction in only the events that show that one has “arrived” versus the paths taken to reach a given destination. But to me, actually believing that taking a long time to reach a goal, any goal from getting a coffee in the morning to getting a diploma, is a new concept. For so long, as I’ve often mentioned, I was so results-driven that I would entirely disregard the growth that I experienced along the way. When I look back, however, on my life, the moments in which I can truly say I have grow were those in which I explored something new (or even something old) with the eyes of a child and really experienced life.
When I enjoy the journey, I enjoy life. Most of my time is spent somewhat in limbo at the moment. I still struggle quite frequently with the notion of it being ok to simply be. One of my strongest memories of my childhood has to do with my inability to sleep well. Much to the chagrin of my parents, I was always very vocal about my lack of slumber. In an effort to calm me down, my mom would say that if I couldn’t sleep, I should just lie in bed. When I replied that I could do no such thing, she would say: “Well, just BE.” I would howl that I couldn’t just BE. What a preposterous idea, I would think to myself. How is it possible to just lie there and do nothing? How was that supposed to give me the rest that I needed to go out and play the next day? To me, this was a matter of absolute importance.
I can honestly say there are moments, glimpses of time, in which I can now just be. Obviously, I can’t always just be. Last night, for instance, I could not just be. With the restlessness of a bee in pollinating season, I was flitting from activity to activity, trying to satisfy my inner need for control over my situation, my desire to be busy. But I’m happy to say that is not always the case anymore. Today I am ok with just being. I’m quite content with the fact that I’ve been sitting in a café for several hours, doing not much but thinking about what I feel like writing today. Chatting with the other regulars. Being on my own, as I mentioned in my last post. Today, I am not lonely. I am being.