Today I had a revelation. For so long I had been waiting to achieve the next level of enlightenment. I don’t know when I bought into such a Scientology way of life, but apparently somewhere along the line John Travolta wormed his way into my brain and I was under this strange impression that once I reached a certain point of maturity and experience that everything would fall into place, and I would achieve serenity. Obviously, this is not true, although that was not obvious to me for the last 23 years of my life.
I read somewhere that there are only two days that you can’t get anything done- yesterday and tomorrow. I know that sounds like one of those annoying motivational pictures my mother posts on facebook, along with things like “I hope when I die my kids turn me into a tree like in this cool video! Ha!” Even so, I think that it’s true, today is the only day I can do what I want to do. I try to remember that, but inevitably I tell myself that everything I need to get done I will get done tomorrow.
I’ve spent the last seven months of my life working at a job that caused me incredible amounts of stress. I knew it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life, it was just to pay the bills so that I could live in Los Angeles and become a television writer. But I let it consume me. Now, I have a new job at a place I’ll call “Fancy Starbucks”, working for a woman named Katrina who is a dear friend of mine. We got to know each other because I used to come into her coffee shop and complain about the stress of my old job. My new job is much less stressful and takes a huge burden off of me both financially and emotionally. But new challenges present themselves. I have rediscovered monotony, and am continually finding myself making new excuses as to why I haven’t been writing, or going out, or doing anything other than sleeping and working.
Today was different. Because today I realized that I can be as happy and serene and fulfilled as I have ever wanted to be today if I really made the most of it. And if I was present. I’m saying yes when people ask me to do things that I’d rather sleep instead of doing. I’m showing up and being present. I’m turning all of my bad feelings over to God. And now I’m starting to appreciate things.
For example, A homeless man came into my work and asked for a sample of coffee. My coworker generously gave him a cup of coffee. The man thanked him by going outside, pulling the flowers out of the flowerpot in front of the store, and dropping them on the counter. He then proceeded to go outside and rip out more flowers, when my coworker had to go outside and ask him to stop. This was beautiful to me.
I saw a billboard with a drawing of a whale on it that said “Whatever you’ve done, I don’t care. I forgive you.” I’m sure that doesn’t apply to things like mass murder or genocide, or else that is a very forgiving whale. This whale meant a lot to me.
I got a $76 ticket for talking on my phone while driving today. While this normally would have upset me, today I just chalked it up to fate and resolved not to talk on the phone anymore while driving unless using a hands free device in accordance with California law. Also, it helps that the cop was a dreamy Latino on a motorcycle.
Each day is a separate entity, and each day I have the opportunity of getting a daily reprieve for my alcoholic brain. I can’t prepare for tomorrow by thinking and planning and worrying about it. The best way to set my future self up for success is by making the most of today. And if I do that, then maybe I’ll be able to find a few moments of serenity. Just for today.