I recently got to thinking about my habits and the way I've been living my life. What is the lesson here? What is it trying to teach me? As I analyse the past decade of my growing up, I realised that I was never properly happy or genuinely content with myself at any given point of my life. And because of my unhappiness, this internal sense of discontentment that started from young, unknowingly gave rise to my severe addiction of always living in an idealised future where everything in my life righted itself and I'm happy.
I would believe everything that I told myself and everything my mind was capable of conjuring up. The problem was clear. I was living in the future in my own head, and living in the ugliness of my past without wanting to let go of the baggage and all the emotional labels that came with it. What-happened, who-did-what, what-I-went-through, why-me...
For a long time, I couldn't grasp the concept of living in the present. I couldn't comprehend what being present to the life you have meant. However, that all changed this year when something inside my head just clicked after witnessing an interview on CNN and writing a post on it.
It took me a while to get to this point where I realised what I'm doing to myself is paralysing, if not self-destructive. In an attempt to change the way I perceived things, I asked myself what was the reason it took me so long and at twenty something years old to realise this?
After thinking long and hard, the answer that welled up from the back of my head, was that it was my coping mechanism for escaping the present reality of my life that I found so unfulfilling. The more unhappy I was in the week, the more I focused my energy into wanting to bridge the past with the self-imagined everything-will-be-great future.
Apart from that, my tendency of living in the past and the future also translated itself into the habit of me living in the lives of others. Regardless if it was within the high school classroom, the university campus or during my travels around the world, I started noticing in the recent years that I was always living in the excitement, the image, the body, the privilege, the blogs and the life of others. It was always another time, another country, another city, another achievement, another person's life.
There was a time where seeing and reading about the lives of others, living in their light through the internet or social media was capable of making me feel so inadequate about myself. I found myself pondering one day as to why have I made this about the outside world and how did I ended up giving it so much power over my very own life?
Today I had a thought,. I asked myself if living like this was truly worth it and if it gotten me anywhere. The answer was no. I'm at a turning point where I'm starting to wake up to the voice in me that is constantly reminding me to stop whatever it is that I was doing to myself. Stop living in the past, stop living in the future, stop living in the lives of others.
As I write this down, I'm going to try my best to live the present from now on and see how things go. I'm not saying that those bad habits that have become the pathology of my being will not resurface itself down the road, but merely reminding myself that I truly owe it to me, to make an effort to be present in the life I have and start living it in the best way I know how.