Forever is composed of nows.
– Emily Dickinson
I bought my 2015 date book (or diary, as they call it here in Ireland) this week. I haven’t yet been able to let go of my paper week-at-a-glance planner for the electronic equivalent – maybe some day but I’m not there yet. I love buying my new planner each year. I love the crisp, white, blank pages that are full of nothing but possibilities.
The thought of the upcoming new year has brought me back to the list of 10 Things That People Who Love Their Lives Are Doing Differently that I have talked about in previous posts. Number nine on the list is “They live in the moment but dream in the future.” And this has absolutely defined my life since I moved to Dublin and started this expat adventure. Of course, there is a fine line between dreaming in the future and obsessing about the future and sometimes I do indeed need to remind myself of that.
During my two years in Dublin, I have often mentioned that I can’t think more than two to three years into the future without freaking out. So, I have decided to stop trying to see into the future and concentrate on the now. I think I have done a better job of living in the moment this past year than probably any other year of my life.
This was a year of changes that I could have freaked out about but I didn’t. I no longer have the job that brought me to Dublin and while that definitely pissed me off, I somehow knew that I would be okay. And, honestly, I turned out to be way more than okay. The opportunities I’ve had since leaving that first job have been amazing – a creative development position doing a bunch of creative stuff with crazy talented creative people at a different studio in Dublin, a writing and story editing position at that first studio, and a Show Runner position on a pilot with a UK company for an American network. Not too shabby.
I thought I was going to be pretty much unemployed by December but, while I’m not working as many hours as I was, I am a lot busier than I thought I would be. I chose not to worry about it and things have worked out. And I’m choosing not to worry about my job situation come 2015. I just have a feeling that, again, it will work out and I’ll keep moving on this upward trajectory.
But I am still dreaming in the future. There are things I want for the coming year – places I want to travel to, creative projects I want to start (and finish!), personal goals that I want to reach. I will allow myself to dream about these things but also take active steps to achieve them.
I think expats have more reason to stress about the future than most people – we don’t know how long we are going to be where we are, we don’t know where we might go next, we lose friends who go onto their next expat adventure quite often… there’s a lot to obsess and fret about if one chooses to. But better to chose not to, don’t you think? Yes, expats have uncertain futures but their “now” is really special, and better to spend your time living in these incredible moments than worrying about what comes next.
What does 2015 have in store for me? I have no idea. But I’ve got a blank planner that I can’t wait to fill up. And whatever happens, I’m not sweating it.