I’ve lived a very mobile life. One where I’ve gotten quite adept at disposing of objects, packing one bag and relocating to a new home, city, country or continent. I used to be precious about the “things” in my life but now I get more joy from getting rid of stuff than procuring it. That being said, I’ve bought nine pairs of shoes in the last week. This is unprecedented and delicious at the same time and not altogether pertinent to the tale at hand. Or maybe it is.
Today, while drinking a rather large iced latte and eating a similarly sized croissant, I pondered the nature of the path versus the destination. I’m currently in Nova Scotia – my Canadian home province and a geographical pinpoint that will always have a magnetising pull over my globe-trotting soul.
I’m getting married in one month and turning 30 two days after that. It’s an amazingly interesting time in my life. One where I’m at home for almost two months (before now, I’d spent a total of two weeks at home in the last four+ years), preparing for a family affair of a wedding, biding farewell to an extraordinary decade of being a twenty-something and oh yeah, I’m moving again in a few months. And teaching a retreat in Bali.
The path of my life is eventful, uncertain, spontaneous and not always very geographically stable. In the last two years alone, I’ve lived between Berlin and Australia, with forays into India, Southern Africa, New York, Florida, other Australian cities and to be honest, multiple other places that I’m forgetting. I have a lot of fun in my life. It’s such a big-ass journey.
Now’s a good time for you to note that I’m not fully sure which parts of this writing are a tangent and which are relevant BUT because of the nature of my current life, I’m going to permit myself a lot of flopping to and fro and not much editing. Disclaimer complete.
Moments before I set aside my croissant on this grey and muggy coastal day, I found myself looking closely at my day to understand the overall scope of my life.
In my own living days, there can sometimes be this laser beam of intention to hit a certain goal. Everything in between me and that goal is a getting in the way. It is a hazard, a distraction – it’s basically an obstacle course that I’m hurdling over to get to the place I think I want to be.
I realised today (and like a hundred times before today as well) that this is a metaphor for life as a whole.
we spend everyday rushing to achieve, accomplish, tick shit off a list –
basically we’re just running towards our own deaths. The stuff in the
middle – the jam in this tasty life sandwich – that’s also life.
Because hey, who wants a sandwich made out of just bread?
That’s why one very important secret to living life well is basking in the path, the journey that moves us between so many big events and home runs. It’s the field and not the goal-net that we need to spend more time focusing on. The jam in the sandwich of life is all this meandering, the glorious traipsing and the pausing, the circling and the exploring.
I liked this realisation today. I like that I’m getting married and turning 30 and having a dope series of parties. I like that I’m moving again and hitting a lot of life-markers this year but I’m also equally stoked I bought nine pairs of shoes. And ate a croissant. And laughed a lot yesterday in the car with my family.
It all has weight. It’s all delicious and it all has the capacity to fill me with joy if I take the time to hunker down into it.
Maybe one of the secrets then to this whirling party of a life is to enjoy the doing part a little bit more. To feel the in-between spaces and to know that they too are valuable and worth living for. Ticking the boxes is great and awesome and stuff, but so is buying the paper, running out of ink and misspelling the words.