Another night. Another Internet vortex that sucked me in around 9:30 and three hours later I have no idea where the time went. It seems to be the refrain of my life, especially as I think about pushing the 30 milestone in a few months which I’m certain will feel like a few minutes by the time it rolls around. But here’s what I do know about the last three hours: I scrolled endlessly through other people’s lives, stalked a few current crushes on Facebook, and nursed a few struggling conversations on those lovely ‘ol gay apps. I will say, I simultaneously gave a listen to the new Elvis Perkins LP. Proud of that little side move at least.
I/we/the world spend so much time these days simply looking at life. I look at other people’s moments, I talk to dudes about having moments – be it a date, sex, a coffee, I reflect on my past moments. But did I stop actually living in moments? Did I stop having moments? I recently saw a show which featured several 2-minute plays, all reflecting different current themes. One simply consisted of one of the actors stating, “I’m going to make a sandwich.” She then sat at a table with two slices of bread, slathered on some peanut butter and jelly, cut it in half, and sat there and ate the sandwich. That was it. Gazed around the audience from time to time, made eye contact between bites, moved around in her seat for a bit. That was it. She was nothing but present. Nothing but focused on what she was doing in that very moment. In what played as a sort of hilarious “is she gonna break?” moment, I sat there surprisingly in awe and sadness as I realized, “I don’t remember the last time I ever lived life that fully.” All she was doing was making and eating a sandwich, and yet I couldn’t help but think of how content and at peace she must have felt. And how much that’s all I want for my own life. Living presently. (With peanut butter.)
Lately I’ve found myself getting so oddly depressed from the trivial, day-to-day shit we as humans are expected to engage in regularly. I walked the aisles of a grocery store the other day and just looked at everyone loading up for the week, preparing to go home, plan some dinners for the week, make some lunches to take to work, grab their to-go breakfast bars for the work commute…and then come back in a week to do it all again. It’s cliche, but UGHHHHH the rat race of it all. It’s like we’re all adding fuel to the millisecond that is our lifetime, to somehow make it even shorter if possible. Yes – I realize we all have to eat. But lately I find myself so overwhelmed by mortality, that any future-thinking move just sends me into a tailspin. See also: retirement planning. I want to live comfortably, but I hate the idea of planning for life to end. I’m sure there is some of my own baggage buried deep in the bowels of that tailspin, but I can’t help but see everything we do as actions to plan for moments, rather than ever living in them. Think, then, of that lunch you shopped and planned for days before you ate it. Chances are, as you now eat it, you’re sitting at a desk checking emails, scrolling the news of the day, or swiping every direction possible all over your iPhone. No present moments were actually used in the making of this moment.
I want to (re)learn to be present. I want to (re)create a space in my mind that is aware, receptive, open, curious…a space that connects with every step/bite/shit/lather/glance/yawn/convo/tear/move I make. I want to live in moments, and not just plan for them. I want to be at peace with myself, which I believe is the mind’s most effective way of connecting, trusting, and feeling each millisecond we have. I don’t want to observe; I want to be. Now pass me the jar of Jif.