On Being Present

15 May 2020

For a while I've had a feeling that I'm not quite myself. Or that I'm myself but not my best self or my most productive self or my most present self. And maybe it's been art block or just my situation but I want to try to be more of an active participant in my own life.

I want to be more aware and conscious of my feelings like I used to be and find a way to be that person again. There's something about this time and this place that makes me feel like I'm just living on the surface. Like there are thoughts and opinions I am keeping and I can reach them more if I just knew where they were hiding. If I knew which hike I need to take or book I need to read or song I need to listen to in order to clear my mind. I've been calling it presence- what I'm looking for is the ability to be present again.

There is a disconnect. Whenever I try to slow down enough to actually stop and think or feel something, I can't slow down. After a while of going through a routine you start to accept everything as permanent and stop looking for opportunities for new. If I accept everything, I stop looking for spontaneity and I stop looking for challenging. I want to challenge my mind. Maybe it will get me out of my head.

It started with art. I've worked on pieces to try and appeal to someone else but then they tell me to appeal to myself. I don't know what I want. I don't know what I'm trying to say. I used to always know what I was trying to communicate and I could pull up some sort of meaning from within myself to make my own art worth it but now I don't even know why I do what I do. I don't feel strongly about anything anymore. I can't seem to go deeper, I can't seem to be here in this time and place.

Maybe I'm not trying hard enough. There are a few steps to getting back into that head space or a productive kind of head space or the type of thinking where you make realizations and feel aware of yourself. I think I could get back into that if I read more poetry. Maybe I could go outside more and spend time in nature. If I could find the time to stop and think maybe things would be set back in motion. I should exercise or meditate or hike or collage again or do something for myself to reconnect and get out of this haze. Scrolling through the internet, jumping from deadline to deadline, listening to the same 3 songs, waking up in the middle of the day, not drawing on the mirror after a hot shower anymore, never going anywhere new. I'm talking about more than just my physical self, more than just my mental health, more than just staying inside. 

This where so-called "self care" comes in but not the surface level tips you get on Instagram about drinking water and tea, but the actual Finding Yourself that other people make fun of you for when they haven't yet found themselves. It's disgustingly cliche to say you want to travel alone or start a blog or pick up painting or take a yoga class. A lot of people don't actually understand what it means to better yourself and take up a hobby or make art just to feel the freedom of having actually made something for yourself that is meaningful to no one else. This is not to say people who do yoga are better than those who don't but I know there are people who do not have the courage to be alone with their own thoughts and I'm trying to figure out which one I am. 

I've been searching for this kind of clarity, or meaning to search anyway. I want to feel like myself, I want to be present in my own life. The kind of presence in the moment that will make food and sun and air feel brighter and lighter on my heart and I want to question the universe again. I want the motivation to rearrange myself, look at my reflection in the mirror, take care of my body, and create things. I want to be self aware. I want to be curious again.

I need to find that something that will make me feel present. Call this art block or writer's block or just running on a treadmill of thoughts but I've felt it for a while now, I drafted this post months ago. Cue "I Wanna Get Better" by Bleachers.

Spending too much time focused or too much time completely unfocused is not the secret to life. There needs to be a balance. There really is a truth to unlocking your inner self or higher self or whatever-- and actually showing up as them. Being able to wake up early for work to put in your contribution to society and also not have to be there to be a meaningful person. Waking up to put in the same amount of work on yourself and your personal well being. I'm just trying to be that. A better version. A person.


Join the conversation!

  1. I will always admire those who are passionate about their hobbies, and for those who create for the sake of enjoying themselves! Perhaps those who don't understand haven't found the courage yet to do the same..

    I admire as well, how open you are in acknowledging your present feelings. I hope you'll be able to take your time as you rearrange yourself and find peace. Take care, and have a lovely weekend ahead <3

    Anna Jo | http://helloannajo.blogspot.com

    1. Thank you for those words and have a lovely weekend too! ♡

  2. I can relate to this in so many levels. I know the feeling when people question your solitude. I've had experiences where people in my circle think I'm a "loner" or weird just because I prefer doing things by myself. I struggle with finding myself too especially recently. I feel like nothing excites me anymore. I can't even see the my future. Like all my self assurances end up with "but so what?". I guess we all go through this at some point in our lives, and hobbies like yoga and writing surely helps. Let's not overwhelm ourselves and take one step at a time, and never forget to appreciate the simple things around us.

    Anyway, I hope you have a great weekend ahead! Love your blog the moment I saw it by the way. Looking forward to more of your content ♡

    1. A lot of us must be going through some of the same things and those are great reasons to be more present. Thank you for commenting and I love your blog too!! ♡

  3. I totally resonate with this. I remember in college when I decided to take a beginning painting elective, one of my friends looked at me and was like, "Why?" She couldn't understand that I wanted to do something beautiful and artistic for myself, even though I will never be an expert painter. I totally feel you with wanting to show up and be present in your own life. I've been feeling the need to be more disciplined lately, and take back the time I'm spending everyday. I want it to be full of more of the good things,
    which has meant I've had to spend less time offline.

    P.S. I was literally listening to Bleachers while reading this, haha. :-)

    P.S.S. If you don't already, you should look into subscribing to blogger Hannah Brencher's email list. Her words have brought a lot of direction and encouragement to my life, and she's one of the most creative, insightful bloggers I know!

    Loved this post! 💜

    1. I've heard that "why?" question so many times and it was partly why I wrote this post. YES to bleachers and thank you for the blog recommendation, I will definitely look into that!! ♡


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