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Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Living in the Moment

So much to say right now...first of all, I've been extremely sick for the past week and especially for the past two days, and today I started feeling like a human again. And it feels amazing. There's nothing like having a bad cold to make you realize how awesome things like breathing and not sleeping propped up in a full sitting position are. By the way, can we please reallocate some of the resources being used for, say, the war on terror, to finding a cure for the common cold??? Thanks.

Maybe it's the fact that my mind is no longer clouded by three types of cold medicine as it has been for days on end, but I just had the most introspective bus ride EVER and I'm going to share all my philosophical findings with you right here right now. YES. Get ready. It's my 30th post and I'm going all out, getting deep on you. What, you didn't think there was a deep side to me? You thought that all I do is party and then complain about how I don't want to party anymore but then go party again the next night?

Well you're wrong. I also read (chapter books!) from time to time, and I just read A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart Tolle is this German New Age writer/philosopher/spiritual guide and he's definitely introduced me to a new way of thinking. I'm not going to write a book review because I recently realized how much I hate writing book reviews, especially for a certain website that has an asshat for an editor. That said, I recommend this book.

The main takeaway from A New Earth in my opinion is learning to be present in the moment you are living in now. Dwelling on the past or longing for the future ensures that you will never be satisfied with your life. Also, learning not to immediately judge a situation as "good" or "bad" and simply taking it in and dealing with whatever comes your way. It's a pretty basic concept really, but it has honestly changed how I live.

For example: on Friday I drove to work, which I usually don't do because I work near the Giant's stadium and there is a game basically every day, meaning the parking garages in the area charge exorbitant prices because they can, and everyone loses. Anyhow, the first garage I attempted to park in recently made the stellar business decision not to accept credit cards, so I couldn't park there and had to drive to another garage. As I was pulling out, I failed to notice the car driving down the alley I was turning into, and panicked. At the last minute I saw the other car and tried to break but instead accelerated, lurching into it.

Here is what the old Jessica would have done, and I know this because I've reacted this way in every other accident I've been involved in: burst into tears. Partially because I was upset, partially to gain sympathy from the other party (I'm subconsciously calculating and I can't help it). But this time was different. I think I said "FUCK!" and then I sat there for a second. I told myself, "yeah, that just happened, it was your fault, and now you need to deal with it". And I did.

Yeah, it sucked, but me being melodramatic would have actually only made it suck more. The same concept applied today when the shady insurance-recommended mechanic informed me that my bumper will cost $1300 to fix because some foam spring something behind the bumper and some type of light were damaged also (I DON'T SPEAK CAR). I'm actually fully aware that I'm probably getting screwed but guess what? I've accepted it. This is what is happening and I can judge the situation as "bad", or I can just see it as something that simply "is".

Focusing on the present moment also changes the way I view what is "real". I feel like I've tried so hard to ensure that people and situations in my life are "real": a "real" man, a "real" job, "real" friends...the exception being my hair color, which as my sister will smugly affirm, I have spent large amounts of time and money to get it as far from "real" as possible. What the fuck is "real" though? If we live by Eckhart Tolle's beliefs, every moment is real, because the present moment is all that matters.

I like to think about this is in regards to romance. How many times have you told yourself that something you thought you had with someone wasn't "real" because it didn't work out the way you wanted it to? Maybe it was real...if you felt it in that moment, it was real in that moment. Even if the other person didn't feel the same as you, if in that moment you believed that they did then maybe it was. In your pathetic, desperate mind only, yes, but still.

The more I write, the more I can see how this line of thinking could easily lead to delusion. All I know is that yes, I want to live in the moment. But I don't want to forget the past. But I don't want to dwell on it either. And I do care about the future. But I don't want to miss out on what is in front of me because I'm so focused on it. WHAT DO I WANT???

I want to be able to capture the moment of my choice and come back to it, just for a second, when I feel like I'm forgetting it. You know those moments that just make you feel an insane amount of happiness and freedom and excitement? How do you hold on to them? There is only one thing that has ever been able to transport me back to a certain moment, and that is music. The thing is, that only works if a specific song was playing in the moment I want to remember.

Sometimes I can't tell if my life is completely awesome or completely pathetic. The last couple days I've been alone on my couch surrounded by a mountain of kleenex, so the consensus was most definitely pathetic. But today I feel better, and I still have a new job that I love, and killer friends, and two more days until the weekend, and I'm leaning towards awesome. I guess it doesn't matter either way, since I'm no longer judging situations. Really though, if you've read to this point I have to both commend and thank you. I have no closing argument, so I'll end with a link to the song that I have been playing obsessively for the past week. It's AWESOME.

Paper Romance-Groove Armada



1 comment:

  1. hey, think i saw you on like townsend or maybe king, between 3rd and 4th street last wed? i was doing another drivers route in the area that day. hope your enjoying your weekend Jess. and hey, no more Kleenex nights! 415-756-6686 Max