Joel’s Journal – 12/14/2015

Photo credit: Daniel Wittnebel

I have ambitious goals, I know this.

For me, that’s just the way my brain has always worked. From when I was kid always trying to learn how to skate faster on the ice, to now, sitting behind a desk and trying to write one sentence that is better than the last one.

I’m always striving for something, always reaching.

I got into a conversation the other day at the pub about this. Basically, we were trying to decide whether this way of thinking is healthy, or if maybe by constantly thinking about where you want to be later in life, you miss where you are right now.

The same goes for when people say you can’t keep thinking about the past, or you’re bound to be stuck there.

To an extent, I think this is crap.

Now, before you drop your phone or flip your laptop, let me explain.

The guy who never leaves his hometown, still wears his high school football jacket, and still seems to be posting the same party pictures with the same people that you use to see in the hall. Well, to those people, I think the saying completely applies.

There are certain levels of growing up to do that I believe can never be achieved if someone doesn’t leave their hometown and meet new people. It’s part of the reason they’re still posting those same party pictures with the same drunken look on their face, because they’re still stuck in that space, mentally and physically.

However, there are times when thinking about the past and thinking about the future for great lengths of time, I’m talking weeks at a time, can actually be a good thing.

It can be painful at times, but that still doesn’t mean it’s bad.

Example. When a relationship ends.

I went through this, and continue(d) to go through it over the past year. Early on, there were weeks where it seemed like all I could think about were those times with her. As if every thought in my head was dipped into that red pool of love and came out died pink.

Every single thought turned around to her.

It had to be this way though. I think as the time goes by (enough time) that pool will eventually dry up, or perhaps turn a different colour, and those thoughts about certain bands, certain foods, restaurants, places, all of them will find new spots in your mind.

But, it’s all that time you spend thinking about them, effectively wading through the thick forest of the past in your head that you can ever find your way out again.

And choosing not to go in to that forest just isn’t an option. You can’t ignore that stuff, or else it will just sit inside you, slumped over like a dead carcass, rotting away.

Moving on.

Let’s look ahead now. The same argument can be made for people who are constantly thinking about the future. It’s good, to a certain extent.

If you’ve constantly got your head in the clouds, you’ll end up walking around sounding like some sort of wannabe psychic and your friends will probably start to hate you.

But spending the minutes, days, weeks, or maybe months it takes to plan something or try and figure out where you want to be in the next few years. In my mind that’s key to ever improving your current situation.

And if someone ever tells you to “live in the now”, you slap them.

Not only is that cliched jargon, but you’re “in the now” no matter what you’re thinking about.

If you’re suffering from a broken heart, that’s your life at that time, and thinking about the past to deal with it, also you at the time, so technically, that person telling you to “live in the now”, not only needs wash their mouth out with soap, but are basically telling you just to be you, live your life.

Yes, thanks tips.

And now my tip. If you’re thinking about the future, as I think you should be, do it like me as a kid, one stride at a time as you try and move faster across the ice. Or even like I do now, just one sentence at time.

Life just seems simpler that way.

Thanks for reading,