My conversations with friends have lately been along quite similar lines. Talking about the future, looking at our pasts, seeing where we’ve come from, wondering where we’re headed. All of this makes me so much more aware that despite my best efforts, I really have no idea where I will be in a year. Plans for further education (yes, even further), musings about relationships, worries about finances…all of this is ultimately beyond what I am capable of controlling. Of course, we do have a say about how our life turns out, to a certain degree. But in the end, more is out of our hands than in it. Two years ago I was freshly graduated from college with no future plans. Now I am halfway through my grad school program, living on the west coast, far away from (most of) the people I love. Of course, much is still the same—the same financial worries (will those ever leave? My heart and reason tell me “no”), the same wondering about relationships (I am a girl, after all), the same planning for my dream job. But through all of this, I am always reminded that it is best to take it one day at a time. Even on the most dull of days, where all I do is wake up, make coffee, do homework, go to class, and go back to sleep (which sounds like most days to me, as of late), I try to remember to just take each day on its own. Of course, my hopes and imagination get carried away and I get restless. But the fact of the matter is, it’s in the dullness of daily tasks where life happens. So many times I have looked back on my life and noticed how much has changed…and I didn’t even notice. Life goes on by itself, regardless of our impatience with it. So, rather than spending my free time imagining how I wish my life was, I need to be thankful for where my life is. Epicurus is the sage whispering in my ear the gentle reminder, “Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.” Life, change, movement—this is all happening while we go about our business. It is only when we look back that we can see how we’ve changed.
“Be patient towards all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers…live the questions.” —Ranier Maria Rilke