I woke up to quite a terrifying feeling today, terrifying, nerve wrecking, disappointing, yet quite exciting at the same time….
This is it
It is definitely a feeling that I have had before but this morning it hit me a lot harder than it has in the past. It kept ringing in my head, I could feel it all around my body, it was staring back at me in the mirror, this is it, this is my life. This moment, today, right now, this is the accumulation of all my previous thoughts, aversions, desires, intentions and actions. All plans, successes, failures, coincidences, accidents and mistakes. All my goals, dreams, hopes and ambitions have led me to this one moment in time, today, right here…right now.
When I grow up…
It is scary because as a child you have this deeply rooted belief that one day, one faithful day in the glorious future you will be all grown up. One day you will have achieved all of your childhood ambitions, your dreams, your aspirations. You believe that one day everything will be perfect, you will be happy, you believe that one day you will have arrived (“look, I done did it mama!”).
When you are young you are so keen to be an adult, because, from the stories we have heard and the things we are taught, that is where it is at. Adulthood is the holy grail of life. And because of this belief, you continuously postpone your satisfaction and gratification with your life by saying what starts off as:
“As soon as I finish high school…”
Which evolves to
“When I finally get that degree…”
Which slowly becomes
“When I eventually get that promotion…”
Which becomes a car, a house, marriage, kids etc etc
The lifelong to-do list
Slowly but surely, over time and unbeknown to you, your life is reduced to a series of petty goals and objectives, a dynamic list that just gets items checked off over time. Don’t get me wrong, setting up goals and direction in life is great and highly recommended. But swiftly accomplishing one item and quickly moving onto the next one, placing your happiness and joy deep into the future, where you believe your ‘real, well-deserved life’ awaits you. Simply going through the motions, this is where the problem lies.
One day and hopefully before your last day, you need to realize that this is your life and you should not let your hope in the future detract you from your attention and awareness of the present. It is a bit weird to think of it so directly because most of the time we hardly stop to smell the roses, most of the time we avoid acknowledging when the shit has actually hit the fan. This might be a reminder for some, this might be a wake-up call for others, regardless of which group you fall into, guys …this is it.
Whether you are:
– 5 years old, without a care in the world, eating colourful cereal in your pyjamas, watching power rangers in your T.V room at 06:00 in the morning.
– 7 years old, crying in the comforting arms of your mother in the car, on your way to your first day in primary school.
– 15 years old, kissing your new girlfriend goodbye, so you can study for that dreaded high school math test.
– 19 years old, half-way through your first year in university, studying what you thought was your passion.
– 23 years old, one year into your first full-time job. Which started off really great, but you have slowly grown to detest over time (bwap bwap bwaaap).
– 25 years old, calling in sick to work for the second day in a row as you mourn the end of your long term relationship with your soulmate, your partner, the person who you were truly convinced was the woman of your dreams.
– 28 years old, about to take the plunge into marriage, with the (actual) woman of your dreams, that you met at a friend’s party 2 years before.
– 32 years old, with 2 kids, 3 cars and a fresh new mortgage bond.
– 40 years old, looking into changing jobs again in the midst of your second mid-life crisis.
– 55 years old, attending the wedding of your last born child (tear drop, tear drop).
– 64 years old, playing with your grandchildren in your holiday home during the Christmas break, finally on the verge of retirement.
No matter how old you are, no matter what you are currently doing, no matter where you are coming from and no matter where you are going, you need to understand that this is your life, this is all there ever was, this is all there ever will be. Yes, I will admit that it is hard to view life from this perspective in the midst of all the issues, plans and daily activities that we continuously embroil ourselves in. And as harsh as it may seem, I have come to believe that we as human beings, in an evolutionary act of self-preservation, unconsciously keep our minds and lives busy in order to distract us from the stark present-day reality that this actually is our life, this is it, this is who you are, this is where you are and this is what you are doing. We use life to distract us from life…oh the irony.
- Don’t postpone your happiness, because it can only really be experienced in the present.
- Don’t delude yourself, because this moment right now is your actual life.
- Don’t take today for granted because you have high hopes for tomorrow.
- Remember that this life can only ever be lived in the now.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is it.
Welcome to your life.