How to romanticize the present and be happier now

Trying to write more. Creating rules for myself where blog writing is concerned seems to suck all of the joy out of it, which means I publish infrequently. Sorry.

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So much has changed in the last year, but the main themes revolve around the biggest changes: Matt and I got engaged, and I got a new job, & I moved to the Bay Area. So, my life has basically been a waterfall of events that flow from those main factors.

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Being a relatively young (by modern standards), engaged couple means that you need to be champions of each others’ growth and development as individuals. Sometimes, that means making the less comfortable choices — taking the job in another city, putting shit in a storage unit, moving away with no real gauge on when you’ll be able to be in the same place at the same time… not settling into the joy that we happened to find very early in life.

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Like, really early in life. Me and Matt circa June 2012

 

But aside from all of the fairytale shit about true love and lifetime commitment, there’s a less poetic side of this. Moving was hard. It’s still hard- I’m in a perpetual state of limbo and I’ve had to rely EXTENSIVELY on my friends and family for various things. The act of asking for help is this weird paradox- it’s excruciatingly hard for an independent person to tap their friend group when they need something, but turn the situation around: don’t we LOVE helping our own friends out? I’m getting more comfortable with being vulnerable and admitting that some things are hard to do alone.

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Relying on friends like this figgy angel
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A picture of Luna and I road tripping from San Diego. The smile is fake.

 

 

I felt like I had everything going for me in SD- living with my fiancé and dog in a great apartment, wonderful friends, easy life. When I chose to move, I chose the more difficult path, without a doubt. It would be really easy to think of this portion of my life as something I had to just endure! …but that’s not how I want to live.

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So, while I pine for San Diego and Matt and the ease of my old life, I’m trying to look at my life through the rosy lenses of future romanticized hindsight. Let me explain:

I have a tendency to look past the present moment and plan for the next thing. I don’t think these scripts are uncommon. I can’t enjoy this apartment because I wish I could buy a house. I can’t enjoy 2016 because 2017 is gonna be SO GREAT (spoiler… holy shit, it’s not). I can’t enjoy this body because it’d be better minus 10lbs. All of these impatient scripts take us out of the present and push the act of being happy onto some future version of ourselves.
There comes a point when you look back on your old life and think: damn, those were the DAYS. I LOVED that little apartment. There was so much sweetness in 2016. My body was SLAYING in those photos and I didn’t even realize. 
I don’t want to wait until that undetermined future date to love what I have now. I want to romanticize the hell out of this moment while I’m living it. I proudly rock my rose-colored lenses, even when things seem hard, because I know I’ll look back on this time and miss it. I am finding that nostalgic future joy, time-traveling it into the present, and enjoying it RIGHT THE HELL NOW.
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Give me all those future feels NOW pls

When Matt and I lived in St. Louis, I complained more than I’d care to admit. But now, nearly 3 years removed from the Midwest, I’ve created this hallowed space in my memory for all of the beautiful things I loved in STL- running around Forest Park. Sharing a tiny studio apartment with Matt and sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Road trips to Chicago, Indianapolis, Iowa City! I wish I’d had the good sense to love everything about my experience a little more than I knew how to at the time.

 

So, friends: love this moment. Ignore how corny that sounds and just do it. Create romantic stories in your mind about your life. Imagine telling someone about your life, exactly as it is today, a few years from now — “It was a great time in my life. I would take these long walks on the weekend, winding through streets and exploring new shops. I had the freedom to do whatever, so I would take off on trips a lot. I was reading so much, and read nearly a book a week.” Whatever story inspires you, find some way to live it. Then love it while it’s here, becoming a part of the epic that is your life’s story.

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Really happy that I scored dog duty, tbh

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