It happens at least once a day. The question’s asked in a harmless manner but hits my ears like nails on a chalkboard. I am unable to embrace it, even though it always always always arrives.
“So, now that that’s over, what’s next for you, Hilary?”
While all my energy goes to keeping a pleasant look on my face, my train of thought typically goes something like this: a;lkfjd;bnad;ofjndas;bkmvda;fjdaso;fij SERIOUSLY?!
And then I smile, and calmly explain that while I may have given up my title as Miss Nevada, I am currently working on pursuing many new projects that I’m not quite ready to reveal. But there is a lot coming soon! (Deep breath).
Of course, this explanation is secondary to the one in my head going, “WHO are YOU to judge ME and MY life progress? I don’t NEED to do ANYTHING. None of us do! But the reality is, I don’t know what’s next. And it’s KILLING ME.” And then my brain cells die from stress.
It’s such a tiny, simple, benevolent question by curious minds. And yet somehow every day when I hear it, I melt down. It’s a problem. My inability to cope is so catastrophic you may as well pour water on me and call me the Wicked Witch. I become a puddle.
I suppose if I was feeling more secure in my life I wouldn’t react to this question with such disdain and insecurity. But I don’t have the answer, no matter the BS I float your way. I really have NO idea what happens now. And that terrifies me.
My name is Hilary and I have a problem: I don’t know how to live in the moment.
But all too often by the time I’m able to enjoy it, my mind is already on to the next thing.
I’d like to blame society, personally. We live in a world where we are obsessed with the What’s Next Paradox. We’re constantly reaching for something bigger and better because we can’t be still. And once we reach our goal, we want “more” and start reaching for something bigger and better. It’s a vicious circle where which leads to societal progress but personal dissatisfaction… Unless you’re Yoda.
Why can’t we take a minute to enjoy what just happened to us? Hell, I just spent a YEAR of my life wearing a tiara, doing community service, and meeting celebrities. Why am I NOT taking a victory lap and celebrating that?
The truth is I don’t know how. I need the safety of knowing what’s coming next and why I’m going to pursue it.
So what if my only plan involves sitting in the dark and watching Netflix for three days straight because I have nothing better to do? Why does it matter to anyone else around me? And why can’t I just do something to do it? Why does there always HAVE to be a reason?
Instead of celebrating how far we’ve come, we’re always stuck wanting, pushing, and looking into the future. And even more devastating, we’re always questioning why we’re venturing there instead of just doing it like Nike says.
It’s looking like instead of offering an adventure, the Universe is posing a challenge… One I think I’m quickly failing at.
How can I be stationary and be okay with it?
But seriously, Universe, when can we shake hands and recognize that I am NOT the person to ‘let it be’? As much as I’d like to, I’m no Beatle.
Patience kills me every time. Sigh.