The Road

Trip Start May 16, 2013
Trip End May 31, 2013

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Flag of Italy  , Tuscany,
Monday, May 20, 2013

Blog post:The Road

Something unexpected happened to me this past year.I didn’t notice it at the time, but shortly after I turned 25 my perspective began to change and pretty dramatically. What happened? Two things. I became more interested in whether my day-to-day life was satisfying me. And I found that, without any effort on my part, I had just stopped caring what others thought of my choices. Not in a nasty, “screw you” kind of way; in an accepting, respectful “everyone is entitled to their opinion and choices” kind of way. Live and let live. No more attempts to try to persuade others to see anything my way. Instant relief....

Is this a natural progression of simple maturity. I'm sure others may have experienced this. In any event, it feels really good. Im revamping my daily life to do more of what satisfies my basic needs. I’m a student at heart. I have a deep intellectual curiosity.

We spend most of our lives preparing for events and pushing to achieve goals. We fill our daily life with things that strain us, stress us out and tax our physical and mental health in exchange for the happiness and satisfaction we hope to feel when a goal is achieved. I did that for years. And I probably still do this But you know what? The excitement and satisfaction with a goal achieved can be short-lived. I’d celebrate an achievement, and then start gearing up for the next in a never-ending stream of goals, constantly looking to the future. It was in this past year that I realized events and goals are not “life.” They are the flowers on the road, but they are not the road itself. I became so much more interested in the road. And that has been soooo satisfying.

In Eastern philosophy they teach to live in the “now.” In Western culture, we are taught to live always for future goals, keeping our eye on the prize, the end results. And there is a place for that. How would we get a degree or a new job if we just floated through life, looking at the flowers?But … what if we focused instead on moment-to-moment fulfillment? Isn’t the future simply more of what we live now? Have you ever seen someone have a happy ending to an unhappy journey where the happiness lasted? You can't plant dandelions and expect roses to appear.

This is probably what life is really about. Living moment to moment. Being present in the here and now. I'm not saying live on the edge and irresponsibly but live for "now". Don't just set a goal and go for it. Look at the road you're taking, the stops you make; even the short detours. We shouldn't be so focused on the end result that we are unable to see how we got there. We should enjoy the road(s) that we take in life because the future is more of what we live now.
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