Here and now.
Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now.
That’s all there is.
I always used to have a plan. Some goal or objective to work towards. Starting as a kid I always looked forward to getting older, being the big kid on the playground, moving up to coach pitch, finally getting to middle school. Getting to play on the volleyball and basketball teams and attend the school dances in 7th grade, rule the school in 8th, and finally be a freshman in high school. Always working towards making the varsity volleyball and softball teams, graduating with good grades, being in honor society and the student body president, going to university, earning a degree, starting a club sport, working towards something… There has always been some goal, some objective, just something…
After graduating from Boise State in the spring of 2014, I honestly had no clue what to do with my life. Do I find my future career? Marry the next boy I’m serious about? Travel? Buy a house? Have kids? Peruse wakeboarding? Get a masters? Move somewhere tropical? Now it’s almost 2016 and for the past year or so I’ve honestly felt pretty lost. I haven’t had a plan, and sure, a lot of the time I’ve felt like I have the world at my feet and can do anything I set my mind to, but I’ve also experienced a lot of uncertainty and I don’t know who I am, or what I want, or where I’m going. And it’s scary. I’ve felt like I’m just floating along, with no real direction. Unfortunately I think that some of these negative emotions come from following someone with the “perfect life” on social media. Seeing the couple who are madly in love. Or that epic person you don’t even know that is out traveling the world, or your high school classmates with the cutest kids in the universe, or your friends having a blast together in their snapchat story. The grass is always greener on the other side right? It’s hard to feel content when you want to be so many places at once. And let’s be real, I’m probably at fault more than anyone. Always posting happy things, photos from around the world, quotes to inspire you, adventures of a lifetime. I’m so grateful for the life that I live and for everything I have been able to do, and see, and learn. I want to share these things and have a positive influence on the people around me. But, in reality, no ones life is perfect. I don’t post photos of myself being exhausted after another 80 hour work week, or laying on the bathroom floor ill, or of me being homesick as ever while traveling in a foreign country, or of me feeling lost and scared and alone. I don’t post the bad because I want to stay focused on the good and appreciate every moment I’m given… But it’s important to realize that no one is perfect, even if it may seem like it in their online profile.
So, recently, while I’ve been traveling (and right now still using social media 🙈) I’m finding the importance in disconnecting with the online world and in being content with who I am and where I am in the present moment. There’s something incredible about not checking my phone for a few days and only connecting with the people I’m next to, face to face. I struggle sometimes and I find myself searching for greener grass… But traveling has helped me immensely to just enjoy the here and now. When the plane lands in the country of my choosing and I hear strange sounds and smell unfamiliar smells, can’t speak the local language and feel lost, nervous, anxious, and small …. I also feel very empowered. I’m here, the time is now, and nothing else matters. It’s a feeling that seriously can’t be described.
In the past month I’ve trekked through the Andes, obtaining blisters, sunburns, and bug bites. I’ve hiked up crazy mountains and explored bits of the jungle. I got to climb 1776 stairs up to Machu Picchu, and view the incredible village that was built on top of the mountain! (Really though, how the hell did they do that?) I’ve gotten to relax in hot springs and on the beach. I’ve taken more cold showers than I want to remember (never again will I take for granted a hot shower haha). I’ve eaten foreign foods, guinea pig isn’t super satisfying, but alpaca is pretty good! I’ve had one too many pisco sours and strange warm drinks I thought were tea (accidentally drunk with Aimee, whoops). I’ve watched numerous gorgeous sunsets, and listened to the waves crash on the shore. I have gotten to visit villages that are mind blowing because I have so much (really rather useless stuff) and these people have so little, but are still so happy. I’ve watched little kids jump up and down in excitement after pushing a tire off of a hill. I’ve sat and listened to an elderly man playing his harmonica on the side of the road. I’ve been on countless busses, unable to understand where I’m supposed to get off. I’ve gone sand boarding (love feeling a board under my feet), surfing, diving, and desert mountain biking. I’ve seen some of the worlds greatest wonders, and realized that it’s not about the places that you see, but it’s the feeling that you get when you see them.
I would have to say that the greatest feeling of all is the feeling that I am exactly where I am supposed to be. I’ve had a few moments where I feel like I am where I am for a reason that is bigger than I will ever understand. Whether it’s running out of money and having the exact change for a sandwich that I really want because I haven’t eaten all day, or for the taxi that I need to get to the next town. Or when I’m sitting on the rooftop of my hostel alone on my birthday at 3:30am and find the candles “24” sitting in this cabinet (seriously? What the hell?). I am exactly where I am supposed to be! I am here. The time is now. And that is all that matters. It’s so important to follow your gut, go with your instincts, and react to the present moment as if you had chosen it. Go with the current, because if you go against it, you will surely drown. Everything works out exactly how it’s supposed to, and life is beautiful.
Find the beauty. Accept what is. Be happy with who you are. Live in the present and enjoy each moment you are given. Life is a gift, and we are all so blessed to be alive. Don’t sweat the small stuff, I guarantee someone else has it worse than you. Appreciate all you have, love those close to you, and smile every chance you get. Life is what you make it, and if you want it to be beautiful, it surely will be.
Where are you? Here. What time is it? Now.
Be present. Be happy. Be grateful. And most importantly…