Not Being Able To See

In A Song for Summer by Eva Ibbotson, there is a scene, where the protagonist, Ellen is being interviewed by the principal of the boarding school where she has applied to be a housemother. At one point, he asks her what she fears. And she replies, “Not being able to see.”

Being blind isn’t what she meant. She meant being limited by something (prejudice, love) to be able to gain a clear perspective on a situation. Basically, she meant that she was afraid of being ruled by own emotions, her own fixed ideologies.

I’m sure that many of us struggle with this. There has been a time period in my life when I was so consumed by what was supposed to be, that I failed to see what actually was. For as long as I can remember, I’ve had problems with perfection. It was particularly bad during this period. I had such a clear vision of a Plan, that I couldn’t (wouldn’t) accommodate any curve balls. Admitting to myself that I tried something and failed isn’t easy for me. It’s not about other people; I don’t accept my own failures with an open mind. And this is the reason why I could only see my so-called “failures” instead of what I had actually achieved.

Today when I look back at that time, I realise that the situation wasn’t so bad. It wasn’t like my life was doomed if just one single thing went wrong. My plans weren’t that off-the-track that I couldn’t redeem. I know now, that I could have avoided a lot of pain, tears, irrational fears, had I been able to see.

Today has been one of those days. You know, when nothing seems to be going right. When your judgement is addled by mood swings. When your own view becomes so myopic  that everything seems a disaster. I was agonizing for half a day about what was going wrong with absolutely everything. For the major part of the day, I could only see the flaws.

And then I stopped. I decided to let life happen, in its own way.

It’s so easy to become lost in the perfect picture of the future. I’ve mentioned before that I make a conscious effort at trying to be in the present. It still doesn’t come that naturally. But I try.

I fear it too; not being able to see. Because I know what that kind of narrow-minded worry can do to me. Instead, I try to let out the steam; cool off, call up my mother and rant about people and things that she barely knows. But I try not to let that anxiety sit in my heart. It’s better to be annoying to others for a little while than harm yourself with worry. People who are close always understand.

I’m here. Now.

Hello! You must be aware that I’m participating in Blogtember blogging challenge hosted by Story of my life blog. Today is Day #2.

Wednesday, September 4: If you could take three months off from your current life and do anything in the world, what would you do?

Hmm…difficult question. There’s a lot I would like to do and try and learn in life. Oooh! I already have visions of myself travelling around the world, meeting new people, sitting in a cafe somewhere drinking some exotic tea and writing in my notebook.

As I’ve mentioned before, I get travel-sick(the opposite of home-sick) pretty soon.

 I could be scuba diving somewhere…

Photo via Florida Memory (Flickr)

Or, I could be floating up in some balloon. (Wishful sigh!)

Photo via Pics Visit (Pinterest)

Or (and this is the most likely), I could be curled up with a good book on some beautiful beach.

Beach book

Photo via Pinterest

Sounds like a perfect picture, doesn’t it?

But I wonder why so many people have these dreams of taking time off their lives. You hear it so often.

“If only my job/school/life wasn’t so busy, I would do this.” Or

 “If only I could just leave everything for a while I would…”

Or some other version of  “If only…”

What is it about our current lives that makes us want to run away. Sure, everyone needs a break. Everyone needs a holiday sometimes. But specifically, what is it about our present that makes us want to live in the past, the future or a parallel world. Why does “if only…” play such a major role?

I would be the first one to admit that I’ve spent a considerable amount of time dwelling over the past or in most cases, daydreaming about the future. There have been a number of days where life feels stagnant and unmoving, and I wait eagerly for something to happen. Or sometimes it sweeps by so fast that I have to catch my breath and hope for life to slow down. There’s always the anticipation for something good happening, tomorrow.

And, waiting for tomorrow with eagerness is perfectly fine. The trouble arises when Tomorrow starts overshadowing Today.

If only (and this is a different kind of “if only”) we could stop wanting to wait for something to happen. If only we could be in the Now completely. How good it would be if we were to immerse ourselves in the current moment and enjoy it with all our hearts.

Yes, I do enjoy holidays. Yes, I want to try a hundred different things while I’m at it. But when I’m here, in my present life, I want to welcome each day as it comes. I want to be able to savour each little event. I want to be able to enjoy every single cup of tea that I have. I want to be up to my neck in work and enjoy every moment of it. I want to listen to every song as if I’m hearing it for the first time.

present

I’m here. Today. Right now. And it’s a perfectly wonderful moment to be in.