My horoscope said that the entire month of July was going to be awesome.
So far, I’ve been dumped by someone I really liked, run out of money for the first time in many years of self-employment, and turned 38.
Dear Horoscope: I CALL SHENANIGANS.
But I actually do feel better than I have in a long time. Peaceful, calm, and happy. Despite that whole turning-38-with-no-job-no-money-no-husband thing.
Because I’m doing my thing.
We all have our thing. That thing we do to keep ourselves sane, keep ourselves happy. The thing that, if we stop doing it, our life slowly starts to slide off the rails and we’re not sure how or why it happened.
Some of us need to run, some of us need to write, some of us need to garden, some of us need to draw, some of us need to meditate.
My thing - apparently - is diving deep into the center of my soul and my energy, digging around, and seeing what needs to be released and moved around and otherwise shifted.
It settles my head, the head that wants to spend its time making me feel less than, feel unworthy, feel like it’s best that I don’t have what I want because I just don’t deserve it.
It settles my heart, the heart that sometimes hollows itself out under the weight of what it sees and wants but feels it doesn't have yet.
It helps me feel at peace with whatever is happening in my life, helps me understand that my worth does not rest in external circumstances, and it helps me feel open enough to smile at people I pass on the street.
The power we wield over our own lives isn’t so much around getting what we want, but in how we exist in the in-between spaces - when we don’t have what we want, when we don’t know what’s coming next, when we just don’t know.
The in-between is where life happens anyway.
It’s tempting to feel like my life will start when I have the job, when I know where my money is coming from, when I meet my future husband.
But that’s just not true. My life is happening right now. It’s happening in this coffeeshop, on this bright California July morning, as I write for you. It’s happening when I go out for a run to the beach or remember that the top on my car comes down and it’s a beautiful day, so I should really just drive out to Sonoma in the open air to eat hush puppies.
The in-between is where we can sink down into our thing - dig in our garden, write our next story, run an extra two miles today. Just because we know that our day goes better when we do.
And all we have is the right now. Literally, that’s it. It’s a relatively simple concept, but it’s one of the hardest things for humans to grasp. We’re constantly straddling what happened last year and what we hope will happen next week. But our only real power, our only real joy, is in what's happening in this moment.
So look up. What’s happening right now?
Is your tea kettle whistling? Is your favorite person or animal in the room with you? Just be with that for a moment.
I’m sitting in my favorite coffeeshop on the road to Stinson Beach. The sky is blue, the sun is bright, Can’t You See by The Marshall Tucker Band is pouring out of my headphones, and words are finally pouring out of my fingers after staring at my laptop for half an hour worrying that whatever I wrote wouldn’t be good enough.
But it is good enough - as long as one of you reads this and gets something out of it, then it’s perfect.
That’s my life. Right now. And it’s a good one.
May you enjoy each moment of your life for precisely what it is, as it’s happening. Because this is where joy lives. Right now. Right where you are.