I get so distracted looking to the future, worrying about the future and planning for it — but we’re talking short-term future here, like type-A summer planning, for example — that I forget about appreciating what’s in front of me. One of my talents is overbooking myself: handing out most of my free time to the highest (or lowest) bidders, because I’m worried about having too much free time. I need an income, after all!
But then I think, do I have not enough time now? Have I overbooked myself? Usually this only leads to more worrying, which culminates in an almost quarterly mini-freak out where I call Jose and he reminds me that this happens every quarter, and things aren’t as big of a deal as I’m making them.
I’m in a similar predicament now, of straddling a line between having a lot of time for myself, and taking on a second job and having substantially less of it. But I need an income, after all, especially for this next upcoming year of being abroad (and not having an income), then swindling enough money to cover my last two quarters of tuition.
One thing that helps me get a better sense of judgment when planning my life in such a way is talking to other people. I hear their own stories and ultimately become humbled by what I hear, in addition to gaining a lot of new respect for that person along with the capacity of humans in general to take on massive loads of work, stress and responsibility on a daily basis, because most of the time that’s just what needs to happen. Talking to other people puts my own life in perspective.
It all reminds me of a quote by David Foster Wallace that I hope I never forget, in his commencement speech to Kenyon College (paraphrasing here): life means realizing that I’m not the center of the universe, even while my default setting is to assume otherwise.
Sometimes, I need to keep reminding myself of this, over and over, until my problems become easier to understand, and until I can humble myself into a clearer perception of the world, my place in it, and what I want my future to be.