"What is the difference between living and existing? I had a poet-friend once who wrote a beautiful poem about wasting his days wandering through a 'whyless life.' What's the difference between going through the motions without a purpose and just simply allowing yourself to be?
In an unexpected lesson on dia de los muertos last night, my instructor decided to steer the lecture away from the usual art history discussion toward life lessons instead. After talking about fear and death, he simply ended the class by heeding, "Postpone nothing." As I sat, eyes locked on the projector, legs molded to my seat with the weight of exhaustion, I couldn't help but think of all of the things on my to-do lists, from tasks at work to the capital T To-Do List of my future. I find that I'm more apt to do things when I can visualize them in my own handwriting, as if setting them in ink immortalizes them in my conscious and I am drawn to the list time and time again until everything is crossed off.
I made a list back in August, when I woke up with a knot in my stomach that began one morning and lasted a whole month. It was almost like my body was telling me, 'hey lady, pay attention. Bring the focus inward. Things aren't right.' They weren't. So, as I looked at my life, and wrote out action steps towards what I thought might make me happy, things like losing 10 lbs, purging clutter, or finally agreeing to do things that I knew would make me scared.
I've crossed nearly everything off the "To Be Happy" List, but I'm left to wonder: will it be enough? What does it mean to be truly living? Is it something universal and tangible that we can easily classify? Or is it some nirvanic concept that we're wired to strive for but never actually reach?"
^^ I wrote that post a year ago to this day. As a look back to where I was a year ago, I feel inundated with gratitude that I'm not there anymore. Having stuck in stasis, I'm thankful that I was finally able to jolt myself out of my anxiety-quicksand and make some really scary, really important major life changes. The result? In the past month, I've been happier, healthier and less stressed than I've been in the last two and a half years. But as I sink into my routine, I have to wonder: is routine just another word for existing or is happiness and healthiness an indication of progress and thus, really living? And, if it's the latter, how can you keep a routine without slipping into stagnation?
How do you keep yourself in check? Are you living or are you just being? And, is 'just being' a bad thing?
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