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.