The messages I feel strongest about tend to fall into two categories: one, lessons that are tucked away in some place where I feel like I own them; and two, lessons I know to be true but have a tendency to forget. I have moments with the second kind when I think to myself, “my goodness! If only I could remember all the things I have learned, there would be a lot less to trip over!” This message contains a lesson of the second kind: never disqualify today from your journey. Today always counts. Every time I re-encounter this lesson, I am in a new place that I disapprove of. Today, I am in a place of questions.
Questions are supposed to be liberating possibilities. They are supposed to let us out of our boxes to go exploring all that could be. But it can be exhausting to have so much open space in front of you. At the end of the day, I like to have answers and once I have one, I don’t like to second guess myself. I dislike the sensation of going backwards. To not have the answer is not quite so bad as having had one, and then not having it anymore. You can imagine then how I feel about a place where my current plan is to abandon my previous plans! It sounds exciting and romantic when it’s about a 40 year old woman who is deciding to reinvent her life and discover all that she can be. But as a 24 year old college student, it sounds merely like the a-typical, indecisive predicament of immaturity.
I don’t consider myself to be a planner, just like I don’t consider myself to be logical or organized. But right now I am very much acting like I want my life to be planned, logical, and organized. I want As that lead to Bs and no strange Qs or Rs in between them. I disagree with putting things in boxes, but here I am, stuffing it, pounding it, jumping on it until it gets inside that little box. I don’t want loose pieces. I want to be that person who when I’m faced with questions, I have intelligent answers.
“Don’t ever wish to be anywhere other than where you are,” is something I say. I say that the beauty is in the journey, and we should embrace and appreciate whatever phase of it we are in. But we don’t do well with needing to be somewhere and not being there yet. We don’t live well with the half baked and half built. Sometimes we respond with striving and become frustrated at ourselves for not being further along. Other times we settle for where we are until this is all there is. But today isn’t the fullness. Neither is it disqualified from being a part of it. Today is important. But today is incomplete.
How does one learn to appreciate a place that is uncomfortable instead of merely seeking to escape it? If I can only be at rest in a place that is complete, then I will spend my life anxious and waiting to arrive. So I pause in my rush to find the answers for tomorrow, and I look instead to see why today is a place worth being.