Don’t forget to live before you die

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Are you someone who lives for the future, anxiously going through each day waiting for something better? I know I am.

Today in a moment of boredom I found myself on a real estate website looking at photos of homes and trying to imagine making these spaces my own. I was imagining the day that I would have a stable job and the financial means to become a home owner and finally have the freedom to make a space 100% my own. But would owning a home really make me happier? Would it really be that fulfilling? Because now that I think about it, by the time I finally do own my own home I’ll probably be too focused on the next step or the next goal to appreciate the excitement that comes with owning my first home.

Another example of this is my education. In high school I couldn’t wait to finish university. In university I couldn’t wait to start my first adult job. When I secured my first adult job I couldn’t wait to go back to school to get my master’s degree. Now, before I’ve even officially started grad school I already have a countdown on my cell phone telling me that there are roughly 665 days until I will graduate. It’s like I’m never truly living in the moment because I’m living for the future; but when the future arrives in the present I never embrace it because I’ve already moved on to a new goal. The present is never enough.

While I think it is extremely important to have goals and be motivated in life, I also think that it’s not entirely possible to be happy in the present if you live only for the future. On the other hand, one of the reasons that I think I am so future-oriented is because I am so unhappy in the present that I need to give myself a reason to believe that things will get better. So in this sense, living for the future is a form of escapism.

While escapism can be a much-needed break from reality, it’s not the best long-term solution to a problem. In fact, avoidance is something that I’ve worked on extensively with my therapist so it’s a bit disheartening to realize that I’ve been subconsciously avoiding life despite all of the work that I’ve done to avoid avoidance. *sigh* With that being said, being aware of a problem is the first step in resolving the issue so now that I’ve realized that I’m using my goals for the future as an escape from the present I might be able to notice myself doing it. Conversely, I might be more aware of the things that I’m dissatisfied in the present which will allow me to make changes and hopefully be happier in the present; therefore, eliminating the need to always live in the future.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having dreams and aspirations; just remember not to forget to embrace what you have in the present.

xo
Ayla

 

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4 thoughts on “Don’t forget to live before you die

  1. depressionistheenemy says:

    This is a great post! My problem tends to lean more towards looking to the past too much, but I think the same basic principle applies. Have you ever tried meditation? With a lot of practise I have found it really helpful in its ability to place me in the present moment.

    • Discoverecovery says:

      I have tried meditation many times before but I just can’t seem to get to the relaxed state that everyone races about! Any tips or resources for beginners?

      • depressionistheenemy says:

        Not that I would claim myself to be an expert, but what helped me was to ensure that I took deep breaths while doing so -it’s more difficult to be anxious if you are taking deep breaths!

        Also you might find it helpful to use a Youtube video at first with a narrator to guide you on what to do. For instance, I sometimes use this one:

        It took me a few weeks to even begin to feel the affects – and I struggled to do it daily. But I got a few moments where I felt genuinely at peace – until the panic rose up in my chest again. I can now do it without too much issue because I dedicated myself to doing it a few times a week.

        Also if you find the narration off-putting, there are plenty of videos online that just have soothing sounds of the natural world and/or music to help you out. I simply suggest the narration videos first as they tell you how to start to get into a meditative state of mind.

        I really hope this helps. If you decide to try it out again, just don’t expect an instantaneous response! It will come in time.

        Feel free to ask any more questions if you wish 🙂

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