Maybe it’s the early morning brain. With thoughts swirling around that I don’t seem to have much control of. Maybe it’s winter firmly planting its dreary grey feet down into this part of the world, shielding off those massively strong rays of 8am sun that I’ve grown accustomed to. I remember I used to be able to tell just about when it was sometime between 7.30 – 8 because of the way the sunlight would fall through the partially blinded window of my room, throwing a patch of light against the wall, the cabinet leaning against it, and the wooden toys on top of the cabinet. Pretty sure there is a photo of it somewhere that I took one morning, enamoured with that light. Yet another thing that I’ve been wanting to do but simply haven’t come round to doing so.
So many things in life that would be ‘good to do’ at one point but… perhaps not right this moment. And in the end, all those things that we put off, really don’t ever get done do they?
It always feels that at any one time there are 20 other things that I would consider doing alongside the one thing that I am currently doing. Delving deeper into current interests (of which there seem to be an ever increasing list of them!), recalling something that I wanted to do but never got around to doing and feeling the slight twang of guilt as I put if off further again… I suppose it’s the plague of the human mind that is constantly weighing the pros and cons of any action. After all my Konmari-ing and attempts at decluttering my life and figuring out what’s important to me right this moment , as someone trying hard to live life with no regrets, some things I chose not to do at a point in time sometimes come calling out at me unfortunately at odd hours like 7am, making it difficult to go back to sleep. Things we chose not to do, paths we chose not to forge ahead deeper with at a point in time… how will we know whether we should continue on or not?
In the end it all comes down to the same point I suppose. What are my priorities for this point in time? What do I want to dig my nose in deeper to for this moment? There can only be a certain focus on a certain number of things given our limited resources of time, energy, money, health. In the end, as I’ve come to realise with the same amounts of surprise at every turn, we, as people, are always constantly changing. As much as it surprises us to learn. Looking back at something that had captivated my mind for a number of weeks (yeah, I’m thinking back now with just a hint of embarrassment to that month of March 2016 when I was utterly engrossed in Flame of Recca manga after not having read any since my teenage years and for some reason or other, was thrown back into that superbly fascinating world and for that period of time, was so keen on banging out my own fantastic ToFuu piece of fan fiction 😉 – of which, I only completed the first chapter…I think), I’m amazed at how something that seemed to be so important at that time, has diminished in importance and priority so much in my life in just the span of a few months. In a way it seems to be a reminder that as for so many things, it’s the process, rather than the product that matters so dearly. There have been times when I was so keen on submitting travel essay pieces and spent many hours typing away in my room, thinking it was all sounding half decent, only to have many months pass before hearing back from the editor and by that time, other things have happened and I haven’t gotten around to making those suggested edits to those pieces. But as life goes on, new priorities come along. It just never fails to amaze me, how one thing that could have been so consuming at one point in time, just becomes something of a glimmering past memory or a point a little lower down on the list of things ‘Good to do but maybe not right now’.
And then it dawns on me that woah, isn’t that rather scary? How something we could had once devoted so much of our waking hours and thoughts to furthering or realising has now been reduced to something not quite on our priority list anymore. How are we to know that what we’re working on right now, won’t someday be reduced to that as well? In the end, the thought that is most comforting, that comes to mind, is something that Elizabeth Gilbert said in her interview with Marie Forleo. Though she was talking about the creative process, it just feels that it can be extrapolated to just about anything in life that we attempt. That we have to be able to create something, treat it as if it is the most important treasure in the world while doing it, but once it’s out there and the project it over, be able to let it go.
“…as you’re approaching it, you have to approach it as though nothing matters more than this. and then sometimes minutes later… you have to be willing to throw it away.” And even though many people speak about their creative projects as their ‘babies’, she says that in the end, those projects are creating us and “if anything, I have been its baby because…everything that I have been and become in my life, it was because of the creative things that I made…It was making me.”
This last statement is probably the one recurrent thought that has accompanied me, comforted me, inspired me throughout a lot of the past few months. Even with learning Chado which I love so much and want to improve as quickly as possible (typical Asian style of course ;p), I keep having to remind myself that at even with this current pace that I’m learning at, it’s teaching me so much about myself and about life. And in the end, it’s always through this process of learning that we gain, rather than once we’re at the end point/goal which, let’s face it, never really arrives does it?
Because it’s a Way, never a goal.