September 25, 2020

Stop Looking Over the Fence for your Better Self—& Live your Life Now.

When we’re living through a transition time, everything feels rather insecure and, at times, uncomfortable.

Well, isn’t that just life? True, but it’s a different kind. It’s the feeling that we’re not living our best lives (yet) and constantly look into the future to discover “what’s next.”

In this phase of our life, despite the plans we’re working on, everything feels rather loose and we don’t even know whether we’re truly happy or not. We just make the best of each day, and sometimes that’s just buying veggies at the market on a Friday morning.

If right now the alternative would have been sitting at an office desk the whole day with legal files, a computer screen, and bad coffee—yet not bad money, and all the security we think we could need—we’d still say “no”—wouldn’t we?

It’s a popular conversation I have with myself every now and then.

Most days, I’m embracing the now half-assed, looking over the fence for other, probably better moments. Living in the now—I just can’t do it lately. I constantly have to remind myself what it means. I’m having “the eye on the prize” ( whatever that is), while I forget that I’m living now, this very moment. 

“Stop looking outside for scraps of pleasure or fulfillment, for validation, security, or love—you have a treasure within that is infinitely greater than anything the world can offer.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Living in transition time means you behave like a guest. You are a guest in your own life; you’re not living it, not owning it. Therefore you aren’t yourself completely. Something is missing. You’re trying to feel at home in somebody else’s place, but you haven’t arrived home yet. There’s hesitation, a certain restriction to be yourself—not having the freedom to walk around in your underwear straight out bed, water the plants, and feed the cats outside. 

You know home will be somewhere in the future. Home will be your safe and cozy cocoon where you will be completely free. You won’t restrict yourself any longer, won’t hesitate anymore, won’t hold back to live your life with trust and confidence once you have created this space for yourself.

You won’t shrink, because you will be home. You will allow yourself to trust your decisions and to move with the current of this life once you have created this cozy cocoon for yourself. That’s how it will be. 

It’s just a phase; it will pass by. At least I’m having a plan—kind of—and I’m not alone; I’m together with my partner. We’re doing this together, as the conversation continues. 

Sometimes, I wake up and think, “How the hell did I get here? What am I doing exactly in this temporary place, this temporary phase, where I am only a guest? My 45-year-old self on a Spanish island on the countryside, living in a basic, tiny place on other people’s land, with badly functioning solar panels, where I know only a few people, and where, at moments, the walls are closing in on me.”

When that happens I know it’s time. I grab my bicycle and go for a ride. Have a coffee somewhere and just enjoy this little moment with myself. Often the low spirits quickly disappear. I remember that I’d better not be so hard on myself to think that I should live in a beautiful, spacious, and well-organized house to feel worthy. 

We, my partner and I, made other choices. We wanted to live a life more free, without having to work each day, without working on other people’s dreams—but on our own. We live a simple life, and mostly I love this way of life.

Mostly I know what my dreams are, but it’s damn hard work, considering the many conversations I have with myself, the doubt, the fear, the discomfort. The conversation is on repeat almost every couple of days. It never says: “Okay, you’re amazing and I love you, and now cut the crap and just live the life you want for yourself.” 

I want the voice that says: “I’m proud of you whatever you’re doing. You don’t have to prove anything to anybody. Do you hear me? To anybody. Believe in yourself. You are worthy. Life isn’t a journey with a destination. Life is a dance, and just dance with it, damn it.” Alan Watts knew. Move with the dance called life and shake it!

“We are only here a moment. There is nothing we need to chase any longer, nor is there anything we need to run from. Now we can simply walk the paths of our lives. The fullness of our lives comes not in their static achievements, but in their constant transformations.” ~ Marya Hornbacher

I can be that voice. Especially when I realize I’m not alone. This year, specifically, almost everyone must learn how to live with uncertainty and to not resist the drastic changes it brings. It’s the state of the sick world we’re living in. Nothing is forever; nothing stays the same. So we’d better dance with it, make the changes our friend. Like, I’d rather befriend my transition time, instead of fight it. See the bigger picture of it all:

“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.” ~ Frida Kahlo

Coming from a place and phase of comfort, as I did what family, friends, and society expected from me, into this, what I call, transition time—it’s shedding new layers.

We watch the news or inflict change on ourselves in big and small ways, and then wonder why we don’t feel ourselves. We go through our days, weeks, lives absorbing change and carrying on like we’re not affected. But we are. We are constantly evolving and moving and confronting. And it’s only after the change wears off and we’ve fully absorbed the shock, that we start to feel normal. Find our footing. Settle in. Feel ourselves again. Only we’re not ourselves, we’re better, more grown-up versions of ourselves who have just shed a new layer.” ~ Lauren Martin


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