I was watching part one of the season finale of The Bachelorette. Wait. What? No. I didn’t choose to watch this. Common! Psh. My sister was watching it and I was like, yeah, I’m just gonna get something to drink and relax and since I was enjoying my drink I was like, yeah, I’ll just relax and hang and spend time with my sis and was like, whoa, The Bachelorette is on. Yeah.
Anyways, the bachelorette had mentioned that she wanted to make the right choice from the last three men because she wanted her marriage to last forever. Nothing wrong with that. I think that’s what we all want at some level. But…I feel that we focus so much on the forever, wanting it to never end, needing that security that that person will be there forever, to never leave for any one else that we miss out on what’s truly important.
As writers, we know one thing for sure. We toil away in some dark corner of a cafe for literally thousands of hours, thinking, rethinking, agonizing over every single word, words that the average reader will nonchalantly read over, and we wonder, in those moments when we take a break, whether anyone outside of our circle of friends and family will read this incredible story. Hell, none of my family has read my books. So why write?
In life, there’s no guarantee. Even in death, we don’t know if we are truly dead. Do we have a soul? Where does it go once our bodies end? And even if we don’t have a soul, and death is the end of our existence, does that really matter? Regardless, to focus on death, like focusing on the forever, is a waste of time. When we hone in on something that is in the future, be it tomorrow or many years down the road, we miss out in the moment.
What? Psh! That’s it? The MOMENT. Don’t tell me. Live in the present. What other choice do I fucking have? You see a fucking time machine here, buddy?
Living in the moment has been a tenet for many, if not all, artists. It’s the only place where we create. It’s the only place where truth comes from. Even if we use our past as inspiration, we’re bringing it to the current moment to use in our creation. And there’s nothing in the future that we can bring back because it hasn’t happened, yet. So to focus about the future is like that proverbial over filling the teacup. Empty it and live. We’re all gonna die, we can’t stop it, so why worry about it? Same thing with marriage and relationships. They’re all gonna end either by choice or death do we part. So why not just enjoy the moment?
Nothing else in the world has taught me about living the moment, enjoying the process, more than writing. Because such a small number of writers ever make it, and even less make it big, to think about the possible “wasted” time I’ve spent working on my books is useless. The pure fun of telling these stories is exhilarating. The excitement of plotting, seeing the story write itself, develop, and watch the characters growing, or not, is an experience I can only imagine to be like watching children grow. And I guess that’s why so many writers refer to their works of art as their babies. In many ways, it takes a life of its own.
In life, living in the moment is important because that’s all we really have. The past is gone. The future has yet to arrive. And in the moment, we choose whether to be happy or not by how we perceive things. So why not just be happy?