The “thing” isn’t coming, it’s here. Right now. In your face; like the rain that washes over me and soaks me in bliss and awe, while I listen to thunder crashing around me on the top of the mountain, barefoot.
I didn’t “get caught” in a rainforest thunderstorm, I put myself there. I saw the storm coming in over the mountain; the dark clouds noticeably moving toward me. I noticed the commotion of the birds in response to the oncoming commotion of the sky. I am called to embrace the experience, and make my way up the mountain. It starts pouring (adding boldness for lack of a more intense description), a kind of pouring I’ve only experienced in the rainforests of Costa Rica. I am instantly soaked to my core – including my phone- so I rush back to my casita and put down my phone, take off my useless slippery flip flops, and enthusiastically make my way up the mountain barefoot and euphoric. I stand at the top of the mountain side, as one of the trees, letting the rain overcome me and the thunder mesmerize. So connected and simultaneously in awe of nature – so indescribably alive.
It’s a feeling I used to only feel momentarily on crazy adventures, or at times of intense distress or rarely in quiet, serene moments. Back when I used to equate my life to something I was getting to, something I was waiting for. So much waiting. So much wasting.
I looked at the present moment as a nuisance, a means to an end, or an evil thing I had to suffer through to get to this hoped for desired future where I would get to enjoy life – I’d get to live. What’s funny, in a way that isn’t really “funny” at all, is that I was in the norm. What I was doing was not only socially acceptable – it was promoted. If people don’t subscribe to the belief that “life starts at retirement” why would they work so hard to get there? Why would we try to get the outcomes if not for being told they matter, and in fact, to believe they matter more than your enjoyment of living now.
When my life outlook was shaken with first hand knowledge of what it looks like to not get that life that you are working for, and second hand knowledge of what it looks like to lose your life before you supposedly get there, it changed me. For the better. I cannot hold the future the same way I used to now, which means I hold the present with much more care.
This is where my motto comes from; live now and live fierce. It’s a desperate plea I wish for everyone in this life, and it’s an internal drive I never let slip too far from my mind or heart.
Living your life merely for the future is incredibly sad to me; I cannot help but feel like it means they are giving up their life, that they will someday look back and wish they hadn’t waited. That they could have been living the whole way here. And what a dance their lives would be if they were dancing the whole way. Not sitting it out – waiting. There’s no protection or prize for the wallflower. The song will end when it does. You aren’t changing that, you’re just missing the dance.
This isn’t to say I don’t believe in planning or future goals; I just cannot justify putting your needs and wants on a longterm hold for that far off time. I believe you can live your best life while reaching for an even better version of it. Without dissatisfaction, without rejecting the present moment, without having to give up presence for productivity.
If you aren’t dancing yet, what are you waiting for?
The answer doesn’t really matter. The issue is the waiting. If you see it, do something about it now. It’s the best decision you will ever make in your life. In fact, it is the decision that will be the start of your life. I’m not even asking you to give up the “thing” you are waiting for. All I’m asking is that you dance on your way there.
Let’s dance our hearts out until we have to take our final bow, and we’ll do so with much more grace, ease, and content. No need to grasp it or struggle, as we’ve been embracing it this whole time. I imagine having a smile as I bow to life – like the one plastered on my face when I was allowing the thunderstorm to overcome me. So genuinely alive and in awe of life.