Over-Thinking My Future

I really struggle with focusing on the now.

I think a lot about my future. Wait, that previous statement doesn’t even seem to cover it; what I mean is, I think entirely too much about it. The idea of what’s next in life just consumes me. There’s a stream of questions in my head that just can’t seem to be shut off. Here, listen in: What will I do with my degree? Where will I be three, five, ten years from now? Where will I live then? Will I be happy when (never “if”, it seems) I get married? What about twenty years after that – will I still be happy? Will having kids make me happy? Should I have kids? Should I have them when I’m 29, or when I’m 34? Will I still be working then?

It just goes on and on. And quite honestly, it’s ridiculous. I will never know who, what, or where I’ll be sometime in the future until I actually get there. No amount of worrying or over-contemplating will change my life. If anything, it will just make me more stressed. It will cloud my head with unnecessary thoughts that will freak me out when some aspect of my life is not completed “on time.” And it will stop me from living right now.

So this is what I want to focus on: I want to think about today, and tomorrow. And that’s it. Yes, I can plan my vacation next week, or who will bring what to my new apartment in the fall. But in terms of who I’ll be in seven years, no. I’m not allowed to think that far ahead. (please pray for me on this account… I know this will be very difficult for me to do!)

Star Light, Star Bright…

I haven’t written in a while. For the past few days I’ve been consumed with finishing my online psychology class (which I found very interesting and got an A in – yay!) and once that was over I didn’t want to spend much time reading something on a computer screen, since my eyes still haven’t completely forgiven me for reading my five-hundred-page textbook digitally. But now here I am, with lots to think about and say.

My brother and sister have both become obsessed with the song “Airplane” by B.o.B. and Hayley Williams of Paramore (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kn6-c223DUU). Initially I only liked the refrain, and even that I thought was kind of stupid. But the more I listen to it, the more I like it, and there’s one line that made me stop and think.

“What would you wish for, if you had one chance?”

Normally I think of wishes in sets of threes, probably because I always think of how genies (like the one in Aladdin) give their lucky recipients three chances to make all their dreams come true. And in thinking about that, I’ve always known what one of the wishes would be, if I got the opportunity: I’d want to fix my eyesight and have 20/20 vision for the rest of my life.

As a little bit of background, I’ve worn glasses since I was five, and I’ve only met two people who have worse vision than I do. My prescription is around -12.00 for each eye, which means that I really can’t see when I take my glasses off. The big E on the chart in the doctor’s office isn’t blurry; no, to me it’s just not there entirely. Vision is really important to me, and I won’t settle for anything less than, well, perfect with respect to it. I have to see crystal clearly, and I hate having smudges on my glasses. Doctors are always surprised that wearing these ridiculously strong glasses all day every day doesn’t give me headaches. Mix all this in with the fact that my eyes are my favorite part of my body, regardless of the fact that they don’t work right, and, well, you have the basis my wish.

But say I only got one wish, one chance to drastically improve my life. Would I spend it on that? Would I still just want to fix my eyesight?

I feel like that would almost be a waste.

But at the same time, I don’t know what else I’d spend it on. The only thing I really truly want right now is the security of always being happy. And I’m not talking about eradicating sadness and never feeling it again, because I think sadness is essential sometimes so that you can really know what happiness is. What I mean is, I don’t want happiness to ever be a problem for me. I always want to look at the bright side of things. I want to be able to find it, especially in my marriage if and when I do decide to get married. I want to be able to go to my husband and feel the happiness and love between us, from our first day of marriage to the end of our lives. I want to always embrace life and see the goodness around me. I want to always be able to smile.

But how would you wish for this? And wouldn’t it be “cheating” in life, almost, to guarantee it?

Happiness is not something I want to gamble with, but at the same time, I don’t think there’s any other way to live. There is no way to secure your own happiness. But that doesn’t mean I can’t be happy.

I see happiness as a choice. To me, it’s all in the perspective I have in life. I have the power to control my own happiness. Sure, other people can contribute; but it’s ultimately up to me to decide whether I want to see a situation as positive or negative. Also, I can choose to be all of the things I said above. I can smile, I can laugh, I can love. I can be this bright, happy, optimistic person forever, as long as I don’t lose sight of how to be happy.

I am absolutely terrified of growing up and becoming miserable. That’s why I wish there was some security on happiness. But the truth is, there isn’t. Happiness (and life, really) is what you make of it. And while it may not always be easy, I’m going to do my best to always see the glass as half full.

I’m rather glad genies don’t exist, and that I don’t have the power to actually make a wish. I know life will end up playing out just fine – it’s probably better that I can’t cosmically mess with it. If I’d gotten everything I’d ever wanted, I wouldn’t be where I am now. And I am so happy here that I don’t think my hypothetical life could even compare. So for now if I need to I’ll just wish on airplanes – since they aren’t really shooting stars, I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference anyway.

Happiness is

wanted, needed, and deserved.

smiling before bed.

a phone call from a friend.

finding your favorite color.

early-morning gym trips.

making a chocolate and strawberry pizza.

an excited greeting from a husky.

trust.

dancing like crazy with your closest friends.

a choice.

getting an e-mail from your (favorite) teacher thanking you for taking his class.

a fun Internet game with catchy music.

making someone else smile.

my drug of choice.

talking til three in the morning… and then saying, “See you tomorrow!”

jumping in puddles.

hugs.

singing in the car.

discovering new music.

an addiction.

teaching yourself something.

a human right.

being in the arms of the one you love.

God.

realizing that your separate goals are all actually intertwined… and attainable.

life.

Yet Another Random Post

The past two days have been amazing, mostly because I’ve been doing things with myself.

Yesterday three of my closest friends and I got together to plan the road trip we’re going to take next month. We’ll be driving semi-cross-country to spend time with one of our other good friends… I can’t wait! It’ll be a journey for the memory books, complete with lots of sugar, good music, a limited amount of sleep, and of course fantastic company. I’m also going to do my best to take pictures and write while we’re on the road… while I know some of the trip will be pretty, a lot of it will just be empty desert – not terribly exciting, but I will try to find a tumbleweed and take a picture of it while I’m there!

In addition to planning, we ate a ridiculous amount of delicious breakfast food (and cheezy bread!), laughed uncontrollably for at least half of our “meeting” time, and created some new only-us-isms that are too amazing to try to explain. You should probably laugh right now.

Afterwards, I went to a Shakespearean play with my family, then spent the night at my friend Lauren’s house. She and I (along with our friend Jessica) stayed up to the wee hours of the morning doing the usual (see list of activities above), and then after sleeping til noon, Lauren and I watched Sex in the City for a few hours until I had to come home so I could babysit my neighbors.

A word on the show mentioned above: I really didn’t know much about it and had never seen it before approximately one o’clock this afternoon. And it isn’t that it’s particularly good, because, well, it isn’t – it’s more that it’s so incredibly ridiculous that it’s impossible to look away. It was fun making comments to each other about how stupid the women’s logic is during some parts of the show. I mean, it’s just fun to watch as long as you (obviously) don’t take it too seriously.

I’ve also been going to the gym more, which really makes me happy. I feel really good after I work out!  I think that this summer’s really starting to take shape. I’m reading a lot, I’m learning about myself and God, I’m catching up on TV shows and vegging a bit, I’m exercising… I’m putting effort into feeling really good about myself and it’s working, and I’m really proud of that.

One other quick little thing: I love it when you know a person so well that you can (and do) talk to them about anything. Lauren and I have started discussing what we believe, and it’s really cool to be able to have these conversations with her. We’re in relatively the same place in our lives with this topic, so it’s like we’re struggling together. Having this is really comforting for some reason.

I’m hoping to write something creative soon, not just random “What I Did Today” thoughts, so look forward to that in the future. Thanks for reading for now!

Today’s Tidbits

Today just feels like it’s so full of potential. And I’m so excited about it.

I put up one of my white boards in my room. Now I can make lists whenever I want to – yay!

I also painted my nails this morning. I got the polish when I was down at the beach – it’s this deep purple-y color that changes to green when looked at in different light. Since painting them I keep looking at them, rotating my hands back and forth to see my nails change color… it’s so cool! I don’t know if I’ll lose interest in them before the polish wears off.

Yesterday I started watching three TV shows: Lost, Doctor Who, and How I Met Your Mother. So far I like all three. Not love, yet, but I think that’ll take time. I’ve seen six episodes of How I Met Your Mother – I watched a few this morning after taking a psychology quiz for class. It’s not the greatest show I’ve ever seen, but I do like it mostly because of Marshall and Lily. The show starts with them getting engaged, and they’re such an adorable couple. They’ve been together for nine years, and you can tell they really love each other. (yes, I realize this is a TV show… but it’s still so wonderful and cute!) It gives me hope for couples and happiness and the future, so I’ll keep watching. Everyone else is funny, but not as amazing as they are. As to the other two shows, I need to see more before I can comment properly!

Now I’ve got to get up from my big comfy saucer chair (oh, how I miss you when I’m at school!) and clean, which I actually feel motivated to do. I feel like great things are coming – things I’m going to need to think a lot about – and I want lots of space for them when they do.

nopattern

A few days ago I found a new artist that I think is worthy of sharing. His name is Chuck Anderson and he does AMAZING things with infusing vibrant colors in black-and-white photos. Nothing that he does is super-complicated, but it really brings the pictures to life. His work really reminds me of the Apple commercial with Coldplay’s Viva La Vida, where colors just burst from the black. Wouldn’t that be cool, to have random colors leap and dance around you? This is how I visualize songs sometimes. It’s so wonderful and bright and full of life.

Check out Anderson’s work at http://www.nopattern.com/nopattern/ and the awesome Coldplay commercial at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3mYc1m3lsM. Anderson also has a Windows 7 theme (called “Surreal Territory”) and a theme for Google Chrome as well, which are really cool. I’d love to be able to learn to color (literally) like he does!