What if we were all content with our lives? If everything was just enough, right now, it was enough.
No following trends, no upgrades, no keeping up, no hearing that we need more, should want more, have to have more. No fear of inadequacy, no avoidance, no making up for our past or anxiety about the future.
What if a dusty old bottle of something hard and earnest human company were the only prerequisites for our entertainment?
If this were the collective reality, they wouldn’t be able to control us. We’d be so powerful they’d have to sit back and watch as we created the most vibrant communities. They’d try to tell us we’re not good enough and that we need this kind of product and that kind of lifestyle, but we’d just laugh.
We’d calmly tell them our self worth is not measured by corporate ladders or house size or social standing, but in our creative pursuits, our compassion, our willingness to express ourselves without fear and in our courage to be openly fallible out in the world. We’d wear our self-doubt like we wear our fashion and we’d show off our problems like we show off our Rolexes. Only the real would be visible and the empty and hollow would fade into oblivion like a dying ember. We’d be walking beacons of truth and sincerity, and they wouldn’t like it one bit.
We’d sit at our creaky old kitchen tables and they’d tell us we should get the newest one of these, it’s on sale, and we’d say, but a new table doesn’t have the names of our friends etched into the bottom of it. A new one doesn’t have the first coffee stain we made on it. And we’d comfortably sit at that old table with our insecurities laid bare and the messiness of our lives draped around us like a warm quilt, and everyone we know would meet us halfway across that table with their own beautiful messy quilts and together we’d drink what we find in the cupboard and eat vegetables from the garden and talk about who’s going to chop the logs and make the fire and most days we’d all smell of woodsmoke and pine and herbs.
They’d keep telling us that more is the answer and we’d say, what I’ve got is just enough. And with those six simple words, we’d probably take back the whole world.
When something is so perfect and beautiful that it’s actually achingly painful. Like reaching the top of a mountain and what you see before you is so astounding it resembles more a divine celestial realm than any comprehensible earthly physical place and your limited human brain needs a moment to process because you’re certain this must be the end of one existence and the beginning of another.
What is that? Awe? Whatever it is, it wakes me up. It shakes me out of autopilot and reminds me not to sleep through my life. It gives my emotional self centre stage and my logical self can’t do a damn thing about it. It triggers that inexplicable sense of awareness that makes my eyes open wider, makes my mind quieter and my body still and present. It washes me over with such gratitude that it feels like being alive right there in that moment is a gift beyond imagination and everything else is just a bonus.
Some things are so easy to feel awe-filled over: a mountain range, a masterpiece, a milestone. But what about the way the light spills into the room at sunrise or the way it feels when you dive beneath a breaking wave? I don’t want to wait for the big things to feel a deep sense of wonder and gratitude, I want to be so blissfully happy over such ordinary things that a perfectly ripe tomato makes me squeal with joy. I want to live my whole life in a state of awe so I can be sure I’m never asleep. So that if I’m lucky enough to be old and thoroughly worn-out, I can look back and know I was awake for all of it, not just for the big stuff, for the loudest and shiniest of events, but for the quietest and most unremarkable; the smell of freshly picked basil, wagging dog tails, smiles from strangers and candlelit conversations.
I want to be so awake that the light shines out of the whites of my eyes and life’s dark holes can’t pull me down into their depths. I want to feel light when there’s heaviness and peace when there’s chaos, contentment when there’s turbulence and excitement when there’s apathy. Because no matter how much darkness there’s been and will inevitably be again, there’s simply too much light not to be in awe of every single day and OH MY GOD I don’t wanna miss a minute.
Old friends are like sipping hot tea on the sofa with the blanket wrapped around you and the dog curled up at your feet.
Like wandering through a creaky old bookstore and stopping in the quietest most private corner and knowing you could live right there in that little nook forever because somehow it feels like home.
They’re like a familiar song instantly transporting you to your past and your heart literally swells and then breaks at the very same time because you’ll never be able to physically go back there, to rewind and relive those shared moments that were so bursting at the seams with youthful, carefree, joyful perfection.
But then you realise that while you’ll never be able to repeat those perfect moments, you’re constantly making new ones, and these moments too will become the moments that are remembered longingly, and life is really just a string of these memories we look back on and discover that while we were busy looking back on all of the already-lived moments, we were living and creating different ones at the same time.
Maybe the magic is in learning how to be so present and aware inside the moments as they happen that time stands still enough for you to grab it and hold it tightly in your hands, hearing its every sound, seeing its every detail as clear as a crystal glistening in the brightness of a midday sky.
And as we turn our heads always looking at what’s behind us searching desperately for those perfect moments that once were, those objects in the mirror that are closer than they appear, I reckon they’ll never be as close or as real or as perfect as the moments right in front of us.