In the western world, it takes guts to live in the moment (a certain level of financial security, too, I would argue, though that conversation is for another time).
We live in a society that is built around the future. A society of five-year plans and 401Ks and the putting away of funds for the arrival of unborn children who are many moons away from conception.
To an extent, I believe that’s all well and good. Taking responsibility for one’s own life does require planning. Yet, there is such a thing as planning to such an extreme that it becomes debilitating. Anxiety is rooted in unnecessary and unhealthy worrying about the future, and we live in a society where anxiety is running rampant.
Mindfulness is all the rage right now. Some might say it’s a passing fad, and perhaps it is. That said, I do believe in the concept of mindfulness. I’m in a good place right now, and I attribute that to mindfulness. I’ve been working to relentlessly follow my intuition, to do what feels right for me regardless of what others might think of it (if I want to lay on my bed for three hours and do nothing, and I have the time to lay on my bed for three hours and do nothing, I’m going to do it); I do yoga everyday, and I only commit to people and activities if I genuinely want to and/or believe it is in my best interest.
Subbing is going well for me. I’ve had a couple streaks where I haven’t gotten work, which admittedly have been stressful, but for the most part, I’m going into schools every Tuesday through Friday. I’ve been mostly switching off between two different schools, and I’m developing good relationships with staff and students at both. They are conveniently located close enough to my house that I can easily walk to one of them, and I hop on a nearby bus line to get to the other. I occasionally go to other schools, but I’ve been enjoying the consistency of switching off between the two schools I frequent. When I first started subbing, I was really worried that going to different schools everyday would be unnecessarily stressful; while I do love switching things up in theory, I function best in consistent environments. Building relationships with these two schools, then, has been so perfect. I still get to enjoy switching things up regularly, but I’m doing so in two settings that I’ve grown comfortable in. On days that I don’t get subbing, I remind myself that I always have VIPKID to fall back on. I still do VIPKID on Monday mornings, and I tutor a third grader in reading Monday afternoons.
I’ve been actively working to live in the present. I love my jobs, and I love diving more into teaching. It’s what I want to do with my life, and I’m very happy work-wise. Loving my social life has been a bit tougher. I have a roommate who I don’t spend time with–we don’t have much in common. Additionally, in recent months, I decided it was in my best interest to pull away from a couple of the friendships I have in DC, due to an overwhelming feeling that those friendships were doing more harm than good. Toxic relationships are not healthy, plain and simple. So, I spend a lot of time by mysef…which is tough sometimes, especially since I’ve found, as I’ve come into myself more, that I’m way more social than I ever used to think. That said, I always would rather spend time alone than with people I don’t entirely click with or who are emotionally draining. As a natural introvert, I’m a pro at being alone–but there are certainly moments where I wish I had more friends here. However, I also know this period of my life isn’t forever, and I’m trying my best to embrace where I’m at now….to enjoy how far I’ve come in the last couple years.
Overall, life is good. It’s not always easy, but it’s good. I feel good about myself and the future. I have an idea of what I’d like for the future–for 2018 and beyond–but you won’t see me with any definitive roadmap. That’s easier said than done, of course–though I’ve found it comes easier with time and practice. Yet, at 24 especially, I have no desire or real need for any precise timeline of how my life is supposed to go.