As a writer, I spend a lot of time inside my own head, writing down things that come to my mind. I write about what happened to me in the past, what I’m thinking and feeling right now, and what I want, what I imagine for the future. Delving into the past, I revisit certain moments from different angles, remember things according to different senses, think about what makes that memory so vivid to me whilst other memories are hazy. What is it that makes some people remember something whilst other people don’t? It is my thought that maybe we’re not meant to remember everything, or maybe that some things are just buried deeper than other things. Sometimes it takes photos to remind us of some moment or happy things that you’ve lived. Sometimes our parents or relatives are a treasure chest of memories that we’ve forgotten. The past is a labyrinth, and though so much of it is painful, so much of it is worth remembering. For me, delving into the past is important because my experiences, and the experiences of other people I’ve met, are sometimes the source of inspiration for writing and creativity.
The past few years, I’ve learnt to value living in the present moment, even if it can be a struggle sometimes. People are so invested in the future, or so invested in what happened yesterday and what they feel about it. When sometimes, we have to teach ourselves to live in the present, to breathe and notice all the little things, to feel alive and here. It is hard when our brains constantly flit forwards somewhere, thinking about tomorrow or all-the-things-you-have-to-do. I’m always in a panic about the things I haven’t done yet, or the things that seem to be taking forever to complete and sort out. I made a business plan, and it still hasn’t entirely sorted itself out yet. I guess the past few months have been very odd and I haven’t completely felt that committed to much. I know this is going to change, because with NaNoWriMo and a commission, and the jewellery business up and running, I feel as though things are finally going to be busy and I’ll be absorbed enough in projects to have a productive end of the year. Maybe meditation is the answer – breathing and living in the present, mindfulness. Just take a moment to just be – to look out of the window or make a cup of tea and be aware of the process, rather than thinking about whatever it is you’re worrying about. Or take a moment to go for a walk, breathe in the fresh air, notice everything around you. It is something I need to learn to do more of.
I’m always thinking about the future, mostly because I have to be one step ahead if I want to be a freelancer. Part of it is that I’m worrying about money, but then, money can be managed. Mostly, it is just this fear – you know, the fear that you’re not good enough, that perhaps you shouldn’t be doing this writing thing. I don’t think this is a bad thing if you keep on top of it, and don’t let it paralyse you. I think I have let it paralyse me a little bit in the past five months. Its slowly breaking open again, and I feel like I can breathe a little bit easier. Maybe it helps that I’m plunging into something that will require a lot of effort and willpower in the next month. I do feel a little like I’m mad for doing something like this, but challenges always fire me up, and I haven’t had enough of a challenge since I finished my Open University course in June. If you have a challenge, then make sure you break it up into manageable chunks. I’m aiming for roughly 2000 words a day, but then, some days I might do more than that. The average is 1677 or something like that. 50,000 is manageable if you break it up and have a plan, or at least a bit of a plan. I’m still making my plans, and I’m a little concerned that I’ll be making it up a bit as I go along. Which is fine, so long as I don’t have massive plot holes and a non existent story.
This is my concluding post for 31 Days of Happy Things – and whilst not completely ‘Happy’ – my point is that the past can be useful and we can look back and remember the good things, whilst it is important to live in the present and appreciate all the little things that make life worth living. Don’t plan too much for the future, but make sure you have goals and dreams and don’t be afraid to take a chance. Living in the present will help you recognise things that will help you achieve your dreams and goals. Sometimes the past helps us in the present, by reminding us who we are, and how much we’ve been through, and how strong that makes us. Happiness is a mixture of all these things.
- Things to be Happy About
- The Happiness Project
- 1,000 Happy Things
- The Tourist
- Terribleminds (Chuck Wendig – beware, strong and creative language!)
- Listography (create your own ‘listography’ account)
- Happy Things
- Action for Happiness
- My Happy Things
- 1000 Awesome Things
Forever is composed of nows. ~ Emily Dickinson