I hate being still. I suck at meditating. I hate rest days from the gym. I hate days off. I’m weird, I know. Is it a strength? Yes. Totally. I own that. However, it’s also a major weakness. I am constantly striving. I am constantly looking at what’s next.
Two years ago, I was engaged and had the next 10 years practically planned out. One year ago, I was in a wonderful, whirlwind relationship and had at least the next year planned out, with thoughts about the following five. And now? I haven’t the slightest clue what’s next or where life is taking me. You guessed it: I hate it. I don’t do uncertainty well.
The first part of my 20’s were spent planning life around someone else. How exhilarating and utterly frightening it is to be in a position now, in my mid-20’s, where the next step is completely up to me. Side note: I refuse to accept that I am in my late 20’s. Maybe I’ll come to terms with that on my 29th birthday. For now, at 26, I’m in my mid-20’s and you can’t tell me otherwise. Anyways, I am now at this season where I can literally go anywhere or do anything I want and not really have to consider others. Initially when I realized this, the planning began! I was in a hurry to figure out my next step. I wanted to know what was coming up on this path of mine. Unfortunately for me, this path is a little foggier than the ones in the past. Foggy paths are a tad more frightening when navigating solo.
The new year brought a ton of healing for me and helped propel me into this new season of embracing this messy life I am currently trying not to screw up. It’s been a beautiful thing to arrive in a place in which I am getting comfy with who I am. After arriving here, I smiled, set my baggage down, placed my hands on my hips, and asked myself, “alright, where to next, kid?” I felt like I had to have the next step planned out. No enjoyment of the present season, no stillness. I was ready to find the next destination, next career move, next partner. I have been anything but still.
Oh, but then I crash. I find myself in a puddle of tears, exhausted, figuring out why I still feel empty in some places. Constantly striving can mean never being satisfied if there is no time to enjoy the current season. Constantly asking “what’s next” can lead to a perpetual dissatisfaction with life, regardless of the circumstances.
I’m the type of person that kicks all of this into high gear when I’m in a season of pain. So, I go into turbo mode and move myself right along. There are moments of beauty as I move into that new time in life, but I’m always left with wounds that never properly heal. The slightest offense can burst these wounds open and expose me to all kinds of hurt. I have a dear friend that has been such a voice of reason during this time in my life, and she asked me once, “do you think you ever truly grieved your mom?” Whoa. Given the fact that Mom’s been gone for over 6 years, my initial reaction was, duh. After putting some thought into it, I realized I hadn’t. I hadn’t healed some of the hurt. I had jumped right back into my life and routine as best I could at that time and here I am, six years later, going, “why the hell am I still hurting?!” Oh, and I point fingers and say, “Did you do this to me?!” Yeah, I’m a hoot to be around.
I do it with relationships too. I don’t grieve the end, I just immediately jump to what’s next. Following the end of an engagement, I didn’t grieve the loss and instead jumped right into the next relationship, leaving me with some big, gaping wounds that were all kinds of exposed. Every little offense felt like someone pressing on these wounds, opening them further and prolonging the healing process.
I used to think stillness was something that would hinder my progress. I felt as though being still meant settling for where I was at. I’m finding that stillness can bring healing. Stillness can give you a moment to take a deep breath and soak in the fact that you have made it here. It can give you time to just stand in your hurt, because I truly feel there is a beautiful strength that comes from stopping for brief moments to sit in the hurt we have. We also have to find stillness in our successes. Often times, the taste of success on the tip of our tongue leaves us yearning for more, so we immediately hit the ground running, looking for the next challenge to conquer. Finding stillness in our successes can lead to a deep satisfaction and appreciation for our journey.
Being still is hard. I don’t do it well. That being said, there’s an immense amount of healing I have started to find in the still moments, during which I’m appreciating every little moment that led me here. Here is a beautiful place to be. Allow your mind and heart to find the immense comfort that the present can provide. So, take a chill pill, pour a cup of hot coffee (or tea, if you’re weird), get yourself your favorite blanket, and find stillness.
“‘What day is it?’ asked Pooh.
‘It’s today,’ squeaked Piglet.
‘My favorite day,’ said Pooh.”