September 18, 2012 § 3 Comments
I have many reasons for traveling. One of them is to learn to resist the urge to plan my future. I want to accustom myself to surprise and spontaneity. I want to live in the present.
It’s been unbelievably difficult for me to do this.
Every day I think about where else I might like to travel (Portugal? Turkey? Morocco? Greecel?), other kinds of volunteer posts I might enjoy, when I might stop traveling and come home, whether or not I’ll come home for Christmas, where I want to live one day, what kind of job I want to find…
I can’t avoid my future. I turn it over in my mind constantly. I have to. This isn’t a vacation for me. This is real life. It’s my life. I’m undertaking all kinds of work so I can see what truly makes me happy and what doesn’t.
I wonder why I allow myself to become so hung up on the past or the future. I often feel like I can’t help myself. Then again, I don’t think it’s entirely my fault.
I had an epiphany a couple of days ago. A common thread runs through my volunteer experiences during these past two months.
If you run a farm, you have to think forward. Bracing oneself for the coming seasons is the crux of a successful enterprise. Considering the mistakes one made in previous seasons is equally vital. The same rings true for those who live in the mountains, regardless whether or not they run a proper farm.
Speculation and reflection are the norms in both of these scenarios. It’s too easy to neglect the present in favor of what came before or what came next. It’s challenging to enjoy life as is.
Even if the environments I’ve encountered in my travels reinforce my old habits to some degree, this shouldn’t stop me from emerging from my comfort zone for at least a little while.
I can’t change who I am completely. I’ll always worry. I’ll always ruminate on the past. I’ll always seek control over a given situation. But I could stand to enjoy the present a little more, as well as BE more present.