Moving on

January 2, 2013 at 11:11 am (Uncategorized)

“Moving on” is a concept I have been thinking about a lot recently with the transition in my life, and this morning especially as I work to fill out job applications and clear out my iPhone. My phone needs clearly out because for the past little while I have been constantly coming right up to the space capacity (that’s what happens to phones you’ve had for 2 1/2 years) and it’s slowing down considerably/freezing randomly somewhat often anyway. To that end I have resolved to get rid of most of the pics/video on my phone. I am loathe to do so because most of them hold great memories for me, but fortunately I think I will be able to stick them all in my dropbox so that I don’t lose them. The only issue is that I’m not sure if I’ll be able to get the video off my phone. That would be OK since I’ll be clearing out like 70 photos anyway but those hog up a ton of space and it would be nice to put them onto my computer instead.

I feel like I’m one of those people that has a really hard time moving on. I save almost everything. Not in a hoarding sort of sense, but like pictures and trinkets and notes and letters. I had a girlfriend who deleted everything in her email inbox, always. That always baffled me. I have emails from the day I opened my account years ago–getting rid of emails (even though I have no use for them anymore) is foreign to me unless they’re junk.

But outside of emails, I have a hard time getting rid of little things that I keep because they tend to have such emotional resonance. A key chain or postcard is like a little time machine that instantly sends me back to wherever I was when I got it, and I tend to cherish those moments. I don’t suppose there’s anything all that wrong with it, but I feel like I have a hard time letting go of bigger things because I don’t always practice letting go of the little things.

In Buddhism, it’s all about letting go. Existence is transitory, life and experiences come and go because that is their nature; it’s the nature of all things. Your emotional state is here now but will leave soon. I find myself too often grasping, holding on to what I want to keep but what I cannot–whether that be happiness, or relationships, or a moment in time. I’m not saying I’m wrong to have keepsakes, but I think being more discriminating in what I keep is probably the wiser choice for me.

If I’m living in the past, then I can’t fully be here right now in the present. It’s a process, and one I am slowly learning. A lot of times when talking about a performance or a sporting event people will tell you to stay in the moment, but staying in the moment is a goal to strive for in every moment. Where you are, be there. I think that technology both helps and hinders us in that goal–I can be in the moment, connecting with anyone anywhere in the world, but I can also ignore what is right in front of me for what is sometimes the false closeness of social networks. When you’re on your phone be on your phone, but don’t be with friends or family but not truly being there because you’re doing whatever else. I think it’s a fine line and a somewhat difficult concept to grasp, but is important for our daily life and interactions.

One of the largest challenges in my mind is that we often wish life were different, or we were different. I often feel inadequate, and so I think about what life would be like if I were happier, or more fit, or if I could only get hired today instead of what feels like an endless job search. Those are all good goals to have, in my mind, but the person I wish to be here can never be if I don’t work on myself in the present. It’s about working out, and being with friends and finding activities that keep away the darker thoughts. It’s about working and enjoying the ability to be at home while I look for a job instead of struggling to survive, and taking each moment as it comes. It isn’t about not planning, because if you are in the moment thinking ahead then be there doing that. It is about being authentic, and kind to yourself. I know I am my harshest critic–my inner self is so quick to find fault with me. But rationally I know I need to cultivate an inner self that is my biggest supporter, someone who is fair and cheers me on; who when I make a mistake allows me to take a deep breath and correct it instead of lambasting me.

All of that is easier said than done, clearly. The number of days where I take my own advice is probably fewer than the days I do. I think, though, that admitting it is the first step, and then one must take concrete action to fix it. I am tired of not being happy with myself. I am tired of feeling inadequate. I am tired of not being the person I want to be. So I’m trying to exercise a little more–a little bit every day. If I don’t do as much as I wanted to, I’m trying to not beat myself up, because that leads to self doubt and then you stop completely. I am trying to write everyday–to get my thoughts down, to improve my writing, and simply for my mental health–and I’m trying not to worry if it’s good or bad or if it’s worth reading or repetitive on the same topics. I’m trying to keep on working on job applications, even when I feel like no one will ever give me a shot. It’s a numbers game, and I am filling out a bunch so eventually an opportunity will come my way and I’ll seize it. I’m trying to surround myself with people who care and love me, and who I feel the same about, so that we can be mutually supportive of one another. That can be hard when I feel somewhat isolated back in Camas, but that just means it’s time for me to take the initiative and meet new people.

So this is sort of my new years resolution, but it’s really a resolution for the next moment, and then the moment after that, and so on and so forth until it becomes habit for me. And when I don’t succeed, I won’t get upset. I’ll just be here for the next moment.

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