Being Present

Woman being presented with gift, looking up in astonishment at giver
Woman being presented with gift, looking up in astonishment at giver

I had this incredible urge today to go outside and just sit for a bit. I grabbed the book I was reading and my earphones and headed for a chair. I plugged in my earphones, played some music and started to read. At first, I felt the breeze on my cheeks. It incredibly felt like someone was cupping my head in their hands to reassure me that everything was okay in that moment. Then, the leaves on the trees started to move. I noticed, one by one the leaves flickering little shadows of light onto other leaves. I looked up and there were barely any clouds in the sky, just a crystal blue sky looking back down on me. As I turned my gaze back down onto my book, I stopped mid way because I spotted two butterflies. These butterflies were different though; I had seen these before but not for many years. Those two butterflies were the same kind of butterflies I saw when I was little and went over to my Grandma and Grandpa's house.

Both of my grandparents have passed, my grandpa years ago and my grandma only a few months ago. I watched as these butterflies landed on the railing and flew away and came back and forth. I know it might sound ridiculous, but it felt like someone was trying to tell me something. I don't know if I believe in God but I know I believe in an afterlife and maybe this was the two of them from beyond this world trying to reassure me everything was going to be okay and to enjoy this time. During this whole experience, I never once thought about any of this. I just noticed things for what they were. It wasn't until after that I felt as if I had discovered something.

I was completely present. I very rarely have those moments and it was beautiful. Taylor Swift mentioned in a mini-speech she gave at her concert that "Moments can be magical and romantic," and that is exactly how that moment felt. I found myself sitting on my deck just staring at a big tree in my backyard. I was noticing how the leaves moved because of the wind that had gusted up. I didn't even realize till afterwards that, holy shit I was in the moment. For me, living in the moment is not something I ever, and I do mean ever, do. I never focus on right now. I am always focused on the future, whether that's in a minute from now or 10 years. I worry about everything, from the big stuff like life stuff to small things like, putting socks away. I worry about my family and my friends. I constantly create scenarios that could happen. The problem with that is there are an infinite number of ways a situation could go. So, I fall into this mind trap of worrying about every single one of them about all the things in my life that are on my mind. No wonder I never live in the present, I'm always somewhere else. How in the world is anyone supposed to notice the here and now when he or she is nowhere near it?

This part of my thinking creates an immense amount of anxiety for myself. I suffer and have been diagnosed with anxiety and panic disorders and it has been something I've struggled with my entire life. Today though, today I felt like I took a big step towards making my life a less anxiety filled one. When I realized I had been in the moment, I was proud of myself. I sweat the small stuff, big time. So to have a moment, where my mind and soul went "No, this is our moment. We can take some time for ourselves and it is okay," was mind blowing to me. Now, that I've had this moment I want to have more and I think that might be the most promising part of all of this. I want to be more present in my daily life. I have hope that I can do it now, something I didn't always have before. I want to enjoy my life for all the ups and downs it throws because at the end of the day, it's my life and I'm the one who decides how to live it. And I want it to be a happy one. I'm curious to see where I go and I hope to be present for every step of the way.