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It’s another Monday morning, do you know where you are?

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I have no tattoos, but I’ve always loved them on other people. I just haven’t found anything yet that I’m sure I want on my skin forever. An English backpacker I knew, who had dozens of tattoos visible, told me over bubble tea that he loves his because each one reminds him of where he was in life when he got it.

Trying not to be rude, I asked him why he needed those reminders to be permanent features of his body.

His answer was that there was nothing more important to him than to never forget that his life used to be something really different than it is now, and that it was real. They remind him that right now is real, even though life will look really different to him when he looks at them a year later.

“If I’m going really let myself enjoy life and not stress I need to know at least that,” he said. “That I had a lot of lives already and still have heaps to go.” I didn’t quite understand and he seemed to sense that, but finally the right thought found him: “My tattoos make me remember I’m here.”

A year ago I asked a quick question of you and the response blew me away. I wanted to know where you are right now in life, what little “corner of time” you were in, and how you got there.

My corner right now looks so different than this time last year, including where I am physically, what’s on my mind, what’s on the horizon and what’s behind me.

It fascinates me that we’re all so complex and yet it’s so rare that we get someone’s own words about where they are in life right now. Everyone walking down the street has a complete setting and backstory for the very moment they’re in, and it’s always a total mystery to us. Except right now, if you’ll share with us.

So tell us, where are you right now? What is your corner of time like?

I’d love to hear updates from anyone who posted last time, and new storytellers too.

This is how you do it, as I put it last time:

Look away from the screen for a moment. Take a half-minute off from your blog-reading and look at the people and objects around you right at this instant. Get a good feel for the moment’s scenery and emotional tone, and when you’re done, read on.

(Do it now.)

So you’re here. First of all, where is “here” right now, physically, and how did you get to this moment in life? How does today feel for you?

What’s on your mind? What is huge for you right now? What keeps returning to your thoughts? Free association is fine.

Where does it feel like life is headed right now? What’s coming up? What seems to be exiting your life right now?

Even if you don’t normally comment, please do.

I’ll share mine in a bit.


Photo by danny hammontree

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PK May 7, 2012 at 2:25 am

Where am I? Perth, Western Australia. And I’ve been here, in this house, for 12.5 years. It’s the longest I’ve stayed anywhere (next longest was three years, aged 5-8), and the biggest rut I’ve ever encountered in my life. I have no job, no career prospects, no educational prospects and I am nothing but a drain on my uber-generous husband, who supports me without one word of complaint. Where am I headed? If I don’t see results from my attempts at change very soon, an early grave. I’m sick. I’m fat. I’m unfit, unhealthy, stressed and depressed. But I am making small changes every week to turn that all around. And we’re on the brink of major renovations on our home – which, while incredibly stressful, might just be the change in energy I need to make other changes in my own life. The winds are changing – I just hope they blow the right way for once ;)

Jessi Tidwell May 8, 2012 at 8:42 pm

I have a feeling it won’t be long before you climb out of your rut. I’m rooting for you. :D

francis May 7, 2012 at 2:30 am

I like your tats bro! Where did you get it done?

Teresia May 7, 2012 at 2:54 am

I’m at my boyfriend’s house. Our first kiss was eight months and seven days ago. This morning was the first time he left for work without waking me and while I appreciate the sleep (I needed it) I didn’t like waking up alone.

Being in a serious relationship is both great and scary.

I’m a teacher now. I had just started last year. My students appreciate me and I like most of them.

vic May 7, 2012 at 3:17 am

Oh wow, has it really been a year already?

A lot has happened. I tried to be that adventurer I’ve always wanted to be. I survived a 6 week trip to the far-east by myself, which gave me plenty of new friends, experiences and memories. The company where I work moved to another place, which caused the already dark and hard winter to be even harder, but I pushed through like a soldier. 5 months without proper lighting in the office, good times.

Now I got some lights, the stress is wearing off, mess caused by moving is starting to unravel, summer is coming and a new trip is in mind. Near future seems bright and things are good. Even working is starting to feel less uncomfortable. I still don’t feel like this is where I belong, but things could be worse. They could also be better, but hey, that’s life.

I’ve been reading your blog and I really enjoy your articles. You can always explain hard concepts in a simple way. That’s something. Keep it up.

Elvira May 7, 2012 at 3:31 am

I am in Riga, Latvia, in the secretary’s office filling in for her, because one of her colleagues had back trauma. It makes me feel like going back to something I left behind, since I hadn’t been a secretary since I got promoted 1.5 years ago. It feels good, actually, I really like her office and I am here alone, not sharing with 3 other people like in my new one.

I am thinking about the coming exam in labour rights, trying to do some reading when I can. What keeps returning to my thoughts is that beloved one will be coming to visit me from India soon. I really want to see him.

Life is headed in many directions. On one hand I have Law school graduation coming up next year as well as enrolling in Eng.phil. MA programm this fall. On the other hand I have this little fear that out office will be closed in a year and I will have to look for smth else. On the other other hand I have the possibility to leave this all behind and move to India or NZ or wherever. Will see after his visit.

Life is so weird. In one moment you may feel you are stuck in a routine and nothing really happens, when, bam! Suddenly everything happens at once, whether you want it or not.

iva May 7, 2012 at 3:32 am

I’m at my new job. I’ve started working here month and a half ago, after things at my last job went really, really bad: people were getting fired, threathened at, mobbed… Recession hit my country hard, so for a long time i thought nothing was going to change for the better. but somehow i get the faith in me, and the job landed at my feet.

i’m in a very turbulent place in my life right now. I’m starting to see the nature of my relationships and friendships, and i’m changing in every single aspect. but, i somehow have faith in the universe. so, when i think about where i’m going, i picture myself in a good place – i have several projects in making, i’ve taken guitar and painting… i’m fulfilling my dreams. that’s the good part. the bad part are people i love… but somehow right now it’s not enough.

Karen May 7, 2012 at 3:34 am

I am sitting at my kitchen table in Cork Ireland surrounded by psychotherapy books and articles, I am desperately trying to finish the final essay of the third year of my degree and I am finding it so hard.

Last week my father was five years dead, when I thought about this, for the first time I could see the good that has come from his passing. It led me to seek therapy and from that I realized that I wanted to become a “wounded helper” and I found my life’s passion. Given the choice I would have my father back in a heartbeat but I know that he would be so proud of me knowing that I am training to the a psychotherapist.

This year I started to see clients on a trainee basis. I can’t describe how amazing I find people and how honored I am when people come to tell me their darkest fears and secrets. To be given the opportunity to move them towards self fulfillment is huge for me.

Today though I am afraid. The words won’t come for this essay and when that happens doubt creeps in. That voice that says I am not good enough, the voice that says I can’t even write an essay so how can I be any good at this. That is the difficulty when you are so passionate about something, fear of loss comes with it. Sometimes it seems easier not to care so much.

So my wish is to finish my degree next year and find a way to give up working for a huge multinational company and set up my own psychotherapy practice. However before I can do that I need to finish this essay and silence my doubting voice.

Jessi Tidwell May 8, 2012 at 8:54 pm

That voice pops up in my head all the time. But if I successfully ignore it, I ALWAYS find that the voice was wrong. So when the voice comes back, I remember that it’s senseless doubt and now I have a reason to ignore it. I’m sorry you’re feeling doubt, and I’m sorry to hear about your father. I’m just another person online that follows David’s blogs, but even though I don’t know you, I care about what you’re doing. I think it’s very honorable that you used the pain of your father’s death to help other people. If it’s any consolation, any at all, I would venture to guess that failure isn’t in your nature. Punch that voice of doubt in the face and keep going, sister. Good stuff is in store for you, I just bet it.

Karen Murphy May 9, 2012 at 6:47 am

Thank you for your kind words Jessi. And you are right failure isn’t in my nature. Thank you for reminding me :-)

DiscoveredJoys May 7, 2012 at 3:42 am


I’m in my ‘upstairs front’ computer room, where I’m working on my book. Even though it is threequarters written, I’m going to tear it down and start again. I’m not unhappy about that.

Still here, book still unwritten, but oh so much further on in delving deep into what I want to know. I now know that the book writing will be just a codification of all the stuff I’ve been thinking about.

I’ve come to realise that one of the main human drives is the need to explain. It drives art, science, religion, exploration and the motive for self improvement.

Happier now, too.

Dylan May 7, 2012 at 4:02 am

As happens too frequently, I got a bit rambley, so instead of hijacking your comments section, I cross posted to my blog.
I hope you don’t mind.

Available here, if you are interested:

Anyway, thanks again for an interesting and thought provoking post.

dianne May 7, 2012 at 4:29 am

I have now been hating the Tories since May 2010, and am enmeshed in political obsessiveness. I rant on facebook repeatedly and am addicted to keeping up with, and commenting on the news to the point of exhaustion.
I have an psychotherapist who bullies me and cannot for the life of me think what she thinks she is achieving– as I simply feel hopeless and helpless, and am resenting her more and more to the point I think she hasn’t got a clue how to ‘help’ me. She is getting it terribly wrong, but it doesn’t seem like I have any other options but to remain in battle with her for various reasons…
I am scared about the future, about my health & getting NHS treatment, my finances, my home, my being able to live life to the full and not be overwhelmed by regrets on my deadbed. And quite apart from this, I am very apprehensive about natural disasters, total economic melt down as the fatcat and fascist elites take over all the resources and leave the rest of us for dead. Much of this high anxiety is tied up with this damn Tory Horror Story of a government we now having in England. The Jackboot being their motif as ever…..
I am tidying up my house, chucking things away, down-sizing everything with a view to the end. Of Civilization, of the Earth, of Me.
This is made worse by the fact that most people aren’t even noticing what is happening.

Malin May 7, 2012 at 4:30 am

I’m sitting by myself in my kitchen, feeling quite content with the present, just having finished an assignment for one of my uni classes, English literature.
When I think about it, the reason why I’m here goes back quite some time. Six years ago, I switched classes in school because I was bullied, and got new teachers in most of my subjects. The English teacher was amazing and helped sparking my interest in this my second language, and made me consider an international programme (IB) with all subjects taught in English. I ended up not applying for it, because everyone I talked to said it would be three very demanding years, and instead I went with something else. However, after beginning on my second year studying that, I was very unhappy. My best friend at the time, one year younger than me, had recently been accepted to the IB programme, and hearing from her how much she liked it–despite the workload–I thought to myself “screw this, I will take the chance”.
Those were the worst three years of my life. But they were also the greatest ones, by far.
The workdload was indeed much larger than anything I had ever experienced, but I met wonderful people, met friends I will hold close for many years to come and I learned so much. It has probably also shaped me largely into who I am today and as a bonus it helped me improve my English a great deal, which is something I’m really happy for, since that was what made me interested in this choice to in the first place. Funny how much a good teacher can influence one’s life.
So what’s on my mind? Not so surprising probably: my future. After one term studying English at uni, my family has started to pressure me to study something “you can actually work with” (with a background in chemistry and computer science, they don’t understand “what language studies can give me”). Hence, I have applied for a bachelor programme in information systems, despite my gut telling me it’s a really bad idea. What my gut doesn’t tell me though, is what I should do instead, and until it does, I don’t see what is better than to stick with this. It might turn out to be great, and I can quit if it doesn’t and then try to come up with a better plan for how to make English a foundation for a profession, knowing that other things are unlikely to interest my enough to endeavour.

Minimalist Wannabe May 7, 2012 at 10:20 pm

Our stories have great parallels…

In high school, I developed a real interest for linguistics. Like you, I was convinced to study something to ensure that I would earn a living. I studied and worked in electronics!

Seven years into that career, I reduced my work to 20 hours a week to finish a university degree in linguistics as a full-time student! I have now combined both electronics and linguistics and work as a bilingual technical writer/editor, and really enjoy it! My scientific background makes me valuable to my employer and opens many doors…

I’m obviously a few years older than you, but my advice is to combine two things you enjoy and are good at… It makes you unique and employers who can use those skills will fight to hire you! Think outside the box. ;o)

Zheni May 7, 2012 at 4:50 am

Hi David! I can’t believe it is been a year now since last time you challenged us. I didn’t have the courage to comment back then. I am a reader for more than 2 years and I have tried to comment over hundreds of times. I could never do it, because my English vocabulary and skills seem to be so poor:) But hey, I will probably publish this one, uh?
Well let me introduce myself – I am Zheni, a 22 year old Bulgarian girl.
I am in Viborg, Denmark. In a lovely apartment, where I’ve spent almost a year. In 2 weeks I have exam to obtain the highest level of danish and if I pass it, I will get into the university and study Anthropology! I am extremely excited about it. After 4 years of residency here, I have already obtained an international degree and now I will start a new one, in danish. I am about to move to a new town by September (Aarhus, where the university is) and live separately from my boyfriend.
For the past year I have tried to take more care of myself. I am going to yoga, I am learning everyday a bit about photography, I have traveled a lot… I became vegan. Yeah, because of you. I tried almost every experiment you did. And some of them worked out great!
I just wanted to share with you a little secret. I have most of your posts printed out, hidden in a secret place and I have read them so many times. In moments when I am stuck, sad, in moments when I am happy and grateful.
You’ve changed my life for good. You and your readers comments are so inspiring and truthful and wise. THANK YOU!
Have an awesome week all of you!

Jessi Tidwell May 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

Your English vocabulary and skills are better than a lot of people who have been speaking it since they were babies. I can’t even tell it’s a second language. That’s super impressive!

Nitya May 7, 2012 at 4:54 am

As I’m probably in the last third of my life ( possibly even the last quarter, who knows?) I now have a different perspective. No longer do I agonise over the prospects ahead of me, but rather try to make the best of the present. The “now”.
I’m still teaching, but these days in a voluntary capacity, teaching English as a second language to new Australian migrants. This is a very pleasant task , offering benefits not only to the receiver but also the giver. It has given me insight into the day to day life of cultures other than my own and more importantly, has made me feel useful.
No grandchildren as yet, but I have no doubt that they will enrich my life as well.
I’m so grateful to be born in this point in time and in this particular place. I hope conditions continue to improve for everyone on the planet. We have opportunities and knowledge that would have been unheard of in past generations.

Charlotte May 7, 2012 at 5:08 am

I’m a 19 year old from England sat in her bedroom taking the time to relax before beginning what is planned as a 6 hour piano session but is likely to turn into far less with that when combined with my recent lack of concentration.

I plan to be an opera singer one day and I try to do something useful towards that goal every day, though sometimes I struggle. I often wonder if I’ve made the right choice – four years ago I turned my future plans on their head and made the decision to be a singer rather than a speech therapist. Many people question this as a career path and sometimes I can’t help but doubt my own choices as they do, but I know that if I put the hard work and effort in I can do it and prove them wrong.

Two months ago I left my part time job as a fast food worker because I was struggling to balance my life and was in a bad place. Looking back I wonder if it was the right thing to do, to leave a job when so many are unemployed. But I’m still alive and that’s the important thing. Maybe it would have been better to see a doctor but that’s one fear I’m still overcoming. Today, however, I am happy that I left. At the end of this month I start a training course so that I can visit local primary schools and help to teach kids who are struggling to read. It’s a voluntary position, but it seems like a much more worthwhile thing to do than my old job and I wouldn’t have been able to do both because of the way my hours were scheduled, so I am glad I left and am able to take this opportunity instead.

I’m worrying about my friends. Two of those who were closest to me and helped me through times when all I wanted to do was sit in my room and cry for hours on end are experiencing similar things and I’m not sure how I can help. I talk to them as often as I can, to let them know there are still people who care despite their constant doubting of this and do my best to listen in return. Still, they’re constantly on my mind and I spend a lot of time recently pondering how to get them back to a good point in their lives as they helped me.

I’m taking time out before university. People used to challenge that, and ask why when I am “so smart!”. It’s frustrating to feel the need to defend yourself to everyone who thinks that you’re sitting around wasting time. At the same time it can be enlightening. You really begin to explore the reasons for why you are doing it – not just that your teacher told you it would be beneficial – but everything you’re getting out of it and hope to in future days.

…Well, I’m not really sure where that was going and maybe I ended up meandering a lot, but it was certainly nice to type that all out so thank you for inviting me to!

Will May 7, 2012 at 5:11 am

I am sitting at my desk. Content. My mind is calm because I have been meditating every day for the past 4 months. My body is strong because I have been gyming and eating healthy. I feel happy about my future because I have been taking small steps to become an entrepreneur for the last 7 months.

Right now it is clear to me. That I am what I have chosen and I will be what I chose.

And this is an empowering thought.

S.A May 7, 2012 at 10:52 am

That is indeed an empowering thought and I’m happy for you (also a bit envious). I wish you good luck on your journey. :)

Will May 14, 2012 at 8:46 pm

Thank you!

Maia May 7, 2012 at 5:15 am

I’m in London UK, in my mums flat where I’ve just moved to a few weeks ago, because my old home is being sold. I’ve just quit my job a week ago, with no where else to go, which is both scary and exciting. I’m applying for jobs and hoping to get one soon, but part of me just wants to get up and do something crazy like travel the world.
My three year relationship has ended a few months ago, and I’m excited about meeting that someone else who will be right for me (fingers crossed).
Wow this is like therapy, thanks David! :-)

Anonymus May 7, 2012 at 7:56 am

Youre so right maya!! THIS IS LIKE THERAPY!!!

V May 9, 2012 at 1:25 am

Do it! Travel the world! You will never regret it :)

Jean "Pebbles" Goodrich May 7, 2012 at 5:26 am

Changes changes, & all good; i’ve come to terms with my loss of mobility & health changes & have learnt to incorporate it into a new vision.
Transforming from having a mainly physical & sport orientated lifestyle to a mainly stationary one has been a revelation!
I’m now able to use my verbal & negotiating skills to work with offenders & be a driving force in campaigns for better treatment for less fortunate; i would never have had the confidence to do this a year ago!

G May 7, 2012 at 5:27 am

Right now, it’s 6:15 in the morning and I am laying next to my sleeping boyfriend in his bed. We have been dating for about three months now and I’ve never been in a happier relationship. This time last year I was complacently accepting the direction that my life was going. I had little confidence left in myself because I was working a crap job, in a crap relationship that I felt trapped in. I had made all my life’s decisions based around it and was resentful and exhausted. What makes me feel so special and lucky today, is that for once I feel like I am with a guy who truly cares and let’s me know everyday that he is happy with me too. The only thing bothering me about it is the fact that it is kind of a secret because we work together. But, the fact remains that today I am a happier, more ambitious, more independently financially stable than I was this time last year, and I recognize that this is something I should be grateful for. And I really am. I feel like I can do anything. I’m 24 years old and for the first time ever, I feel like I can see myself continuing to better my life. I can see myself reaching my goals, even though I’m not exactly sure what they are yet!

Cara May 7, 2012 at 6:07 am

What a time for me to have read this post.

It’s 6:30 pm as the sun sets on Monday and I’m at a beachside bar on Gili Air, West Nusa Tenggara, Lombok, Indonesia, listening to the waves roll in. It’s my last night after 12 days here – the shortest period of time I have ever spent on this island.

I am here by sheer serendipity, after a client hired me for a gig in Bangkok a few weeks ago, which is a cheap flight away.

I am, for now, as the boys play guitar and sing and Irfan makes drinks for patrons and the flies laze about my sweet cocktail, completely in the moment. I marvel hourly at my good fortune and thank every star in this giant, dark-mooned sky that I have been able to fashion this amazing life for myself. I thank every rock and blade of grass.

The life I chose for myself after walking out on a big career, selling my home and leaving with a backpack and a one-way plane ticket four years ago has brought me to this moment. To this magical peacedul island, where, by more serendipity, I am the owner of a little patch of land.

I’ve been away for a month and working from here has presented a few challenges. My accounting is all screwed up, and for the moment my bank accounts are empty and my credit cards on fire. But I’ve no doubt it’ll all get sorted out when I’m back in Canada in a couple more weeks, and really, these are delicious dilemmas to have.

A day will come soon when I will once again struggle with difficult thoughts and loneliness and all sorts of other things. But that day isn’t today, and that’s all we really ever have.

Sarah May 7, 2012 at 6:11 am

I’m at home in Wellington, New Zealand. I should be studying for my degree in Religious Studies but I checked my emails for just a second and now I’m here.
I’m having a less-than-good day because my boyfriend and I had a fight this morning because I thought he was being passive aggressive and called him on it. We have a good relationship but sometimes I do wonder if he’s the one. If you had asked me when we first started going out, I would have said definitely yes. Now I’m not so sure. I don’t know how to know for sure either way. We hadn’t had a fight in about a month, which is really good for us.

I don’t have a job and it’s stressing me out because I’ve applied for so many…

So it’s not a very happy corner of the universe at the moment…

Debbie May 7, 2012 at 7:04 am

It’s nearly 1pm and I’m waiting for more coffee to brew. I’m tired after getting back from a gig in London at 3 am (watching not playing). Last week I had a dream about ‘reading’ a massive copy of the tao te ching in Chinese (I didn’t understand even in the dream) the last page in letters about a foot high (English) said ‘Choose your life before you die’ then I woke up. I’ve spent the last week in a bit of a daze with the realization I have no idea what I’m doing right up in my face (instead of in the back if my mind). I’ve been treading water for some time and I’m frustrated, in September I’m reducing my work hours and starting a masters to try something different and I’m scared. I don’t know which is worse the rut or the unknown.

Jessi Tidwell May 8, 2012 at 9:11 pm

The rut. Definitely.

There will ALWAYS be the unknown, so why fear it?

Go get em!! :D

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 8:25 am

I’m so making a poster of that:

“Which is worse – the rut or the unknown?
The rut. Definitely.
There will ALWAYS be the unknown, so why fear it?”

Bright Blessings, all!

Jessi Tidwell May 10, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Yay! I’ll be famous! :P

Jean "Pebbles" Goodrich May 15, 2012 at 1:44 pm

brilliant Jessie! may i use that as a screen saver? need the heads up sometimes………….

Bruno Gonçalo May 7, 2012 at 7:35 am

Lisbon, 1:26 PM, raining outside. Unemployed and living in mom’s house.
Not sure about the future but worried. Not looking to the past but tired.
Happy to be alive. Sad for finding myself alive in a nuthouse planet.

Eveline May 7, 2012 at 7:45 am

I’m on Kaag island, a tiny island unknown to most Dutch people on the West coast of The Netherlands. There’s a 13 yr old dog sleeping peacefully at my side. The spring sun is trying to warm and brighten our days, without too much success, unfortunately. I am feeling sad and thankful simultaneously. Sad for a life and friends and love that I have had to leave behind in Australia. Thankful for having had the chance to travel, experience, meet, taste, see, hear and feel what I have so far. I’ve had to start a new and right now I’m a little bit worried that things won’t turn out the way I hope and dream. I am excited about the possibility of working on an amazing non-profit project in Bogota, Colombia (the place where I grew up) giving street kids a chance to live and thrive and believe in their limitless potential. I hope that I’ll be strong enough to let go of the man man I love and tread down my own path.

Steve Mays May 7, 2012 at 7:50 am

I’m recognizing that mindfulness is probably THE most important thing in my life… and the most challenging.

Anonymus May 7, 2012 at 7:52 am

I’m here in my room, in a beautiful spring day. A nice sunny after the rain day. Just after lunch with my parents. I’m in a methadone taper, the third long true opiate addiction substitute tapering of my life. Dose now low enough to be sensing again emotions and the world around me. I’m in a hopey mood. A cathartic point of my life. I’m young and there’s a whole lot of life to be lived yet. I wanna start studying psychology next fall. I wanna be a psychotherapist, i’d love that but i’m not so sure how to integrate it in the kind of hippie freakish lifestyle i wanna have or at least i wanna partly have. Quite unsure how to manage my drugs use, i don’t wanna be on opiates anymore but i’d still like to attend places, events and people with a sort of psychedelic mindset. That’s quite of an issue to me cause i always tend to exaggerate and often abuse things. I want to be capable of managing a responsible drug use in artistic and social settings. I don’t use marijuana anymore and i do not regret giving up.
The line between responsibility and subtle loss of conscious control is really really subtle.
Still kinda heartbroken from an old pseudo sentimental relationship with a girl, it’s easy to get sucked into obsession, and i still never found anyone else that fits so well with me, but now i may need someone who fits with the actual me with the me of now. I want to boost the integrity of my actual self. I’ll do it.
I hear birds singing.
So beautiful.

michelle May 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

I am sitting at my desk in a job I loathe, but I like the people I work with. I am currently trying to change my situation (planning on going back to school), and am reconciled with the fact that I am probably right where I am suppose to be for whatever reason.
I have been healing for the past year over a broken marriage and the subsequent pain that was placed on me. I am still healing, but am able to achieve small goals in the hope of emotionally moving forward.
My days are VERY up and down right now- trying to figure out what stress relievers are working for me (and not), and trying to remove any roadblocks that come my way. I am finding I am usually my own worst enemy.
Hope is slowly returning.

Elizabeth Bell May 7, 2012 at 7:58 am

It is night time in Melbourne, Australia and it smells like autumn. My Monday was, as always, filled with teaching 4 yoga classes, studded like jewels across the day, each group threaded – huff and puff – on my trusty bicycle. I know from their smiles that I left my peeps stretched and soft and strong.

The evening has brought intermittent rain and that moon, one day past fat and full, is gleaming between clouds. I know that three late pumpkins are lying out there mud splotched and lazy on remnants of their summer vine full of the promise of soup. The last summer mozzie just buzzed my ear and the frogs too are happy out there in the moist dark, a chanting of sorts. We ate new spinach from the garden for dinner with olive oil and salty plums. And then some salty chocolate…….but what did that old sage Lao Tzu say…’The bigger the front the bigger the back’? something like that, lol.

The love of my life is making music near by – both a joy and a deep sadness as he is nearing the end of his life. Our days are rich and tender. Meanwhile, I am sorting prints from my phone to send my family and friends. But I should be working on the nuts and bolts of my Big Project.

And then, this. I have been writing this.

Thursday is my birthday and it allows me to reflect on where I was all those decades ago, making my way down the birth canal…..slow and steady toward May 10, first child, born on Mother’s Day – my birthday is never my own! Luckily I was conceived on a love filled winter camping trip to Uluru in the heart of the desert. Who needs one’s own birthday when blessed with that distant happiness?

And steadily, perhaps too slowly, I am manifesting my big project, my life’s work: a guided relaxation and visualisation for women and their sexual organs. It’s not very sexy; rather it’s self connecting, self reverent, self nurturing. I call it the ‘Ovarian Temple’. No, I demur: it is very sexy! Just not sexy sexy…
The response so far to my offering has been very positive – even relief filled and I know that women really need something like this. We women carry so much emotion, memory and activity in our sexual organs but are frequently disconnected from these thoughts and feelings.
The practice for ovulating women is finished and now I am working on the one for the menopausal woman – an uplifting and empowering meditation on this rich and underrated phase in the ever changing journey of female experience. Then, it is my biggest wish to cast my mind back to the days of maidenhood. A meditation for the girls on the cusp of becoming woman. But how to do it without the little maids going eeeeuuuuuwwwwwwyuuuuck…..!
Ah the joys of life! I’ll probably find myself inspecting those pumpkins tomorrow instead of writing….

But look, it is nearly 11pm! Good night! It is way past my bedtime; my morning begins early – very early.

David, thanks for prompting this. As you can see, we have all benefited from your introspection and ruminations. Hooray!

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 8:45 am

Dear Elizabeth ~
Fear not about reaching ‘the girls’ – they will be brought to you by their Wise Mothers and Grandmothers and pseudo-Aunties, who bless you for your other projects!!
When you’re ready to take on a fourth, please consider the newly-independent young woman ~ twenty-ish maybe, “not ready” for Motherhood, even if they’re there already… because where our bodies take us and where are hearts would go may be very different places…
Happy Pumpkin Soup day! :)

Naomi D. Plume May 7, 2012 at 8:04 am

I’m sitting in my ratty, but well loved, office chair. I’m tipped over a little to the left to accommodate an old hip injury that has reared its ugly head. 25 years ago I fell in a manhole. The pain can be bad but it is a pretty good story.

If I turn my head a little to the right I can see the last fading petals falling from the crab apple tree in my backyard. Last week they were botanical cotton candy. Today they are over-washed sheets from a cheap hotel.

I’m a little sweaty from a long walk and aware of the bulgy life-preserver feeling around my waist from the last vestiges of my excess weight. Last year I decided to abandon the protective weight I have carried since childhood. It was meant to keep me afloat and it did. But now, 40 years later, the tide has carried me far away from that life and the molesting boogie-man. I’ve hit the shore and found a new tribe. I’m safe and powerful and ready to have this life-preserver just slip over my hips, fall to the ground and leave me free to dance on the beach.

Vonnie May 7, 2012 at 8:06 am

I’m back in the tropical island where I was born after decades of being elsewhere. Left behind is my long help, big corporate job. Everything happened at once – within days of each other; a move to another country for a new position; the end of a 10 yr relationship; my mother had a stroke – then suddenly it all seemed clear – I had no ties that I wasn’t willing to let slip. I came “HOME”. Now, I’ve built a new home of my own, and my thoughts are around being self-sustainable, organic and all that kind of stuff….it’s working and I’m making progress….but it’s not the end for me (I hope) – I want there be more to come. More travel, more new life experiences, more relationships…but for now, all is good. Something of the story so far is captured in the this blog post. http://vonniethehappyhippy.blogspot.com/2011/12/christmas-reflections.html

Joel Freeman May 7, 2012 at 8:17 am

I just graduated from college 2 days ago. Moved back in with the parents, at least for now. Apprehensive about taking this job at a company where my dad works and living in his house after just graduating from his alma matter. The excitement of graduating is being quickly replaced by the fear of working full time and taking two classes. I am 22 and have been in a relationship with a great girl for 6 years now. The future of our relationship is promising but I have a few things I want to do before we can take the next step.

Vin May 7, 2012 at 8:28 am

One year ago I was planning a family vacation to Barcelona. I was out of shape, smoking, drinking quite a bit, and pretty down and out about my job/company.

Today I have a new daughter (our first child), haven’t smoked since October of 2011, have stopped eating meat and changed my diet entirely (including bringing my cholesterol down to healthy levels), work out 3 times per week, and am loving my job and where my company is.

I knew it was important for me to make the changes necessary to get me into a better place. I set goals, both short term and long term and feel a great sense of accomplishment when I achieve them, even if there is no one else around to celebrate with me.

I have a completely different set of priorities now and I couldnt be happier.

Meg May 7, 2012 at 8:51 am

It’s a quiet morning in NW Indiana, cool and fresh after raining all night. I seldom sleep well, but there’s a kind of comfort in the familiarity of not sleeping well, as every cure I’ve tried is worse than the disease. Other things that are flawed are also better flawed than artificially fixed: relationships, working life, finances, lifespan. Every small step forward toward where my heart calls me brings unexpected support because I expect none. I say goodbye almost as easily as I say hello. This moment in time is better than this moment a year ago, but it could not have happened without that previous moment being as it was.

It’s an interesting dance, this later middle-age: slowly letting go of my parents from one hand and slowly welcoming a possible grandchild with the other. Between the sips of good coffee that shake off the tissues of light sleep I see enough of both ends of life to understand just where this morning, washed fresh in the rain, might belong. And it’s enough.

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 8:50 am

“…things that are flawed are also better flawed than artificially fixed.”
Thank you for that brilliant piece of word-crafting, Meg!

Bright blessings to you, too ~

patricia raymond-monk May 7, 2012 at 8:52 am

I’m sitting at my desk on a beautiful spring morning in Cape Elizabeth, Maine, this is the most beautiful time of year around these parts when we are all coming out of hybernation after a long winter. Things of all colors are popping out of the ground and all creatures are busy…..some are just laying in the sun. I am at a peaceful stage in my life, things that used to be very important like succeding and aquiring have taken another place. I am enjoying my grown up kids inmensely, my grandkids are a source of inspiration and wonder and teach me so many things…especially about technology! which others do not have the time or patience to do…I am striving to become a better person every day, a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, grandmother, neighbor, student, reader, and business owner. I own a small cake shop that does mostly wedding and special events cakes. This is a hopeful time of year, lots of weddings coming up…so I’m meeting with young people who are mostly very much in love. This takes up most of my time. But I KNOW where I am, is where I am supposed to be…and things will happen when they should. All is not entirely rosy….my husband and I are aging and our bodies are going thru changes that we are trying to ignore and wish away, we have also become invisible to many, mostly potential employers. The American economy is surely troubling.
I enjoy reading your posts. Its always great to be inside a deep thinkers thoughts! Thank -you for that.

GoodGravyBoat May 7, 2012 at 8:53 am

I am in an office of a government agency, where I work. Emotional tone: grey.

Five years ago, this job extended to me the golden trophy of job security and I was so relieved. In exchange for that security, all the color has drained from my world, during the 40 hours that I claim that security. Over the last year, I have come to realize that the security is not more important than the color.

So, I look to the horizon…working on a new blog and some creative projects. I have come to terms that the place I am in, right now, is no different than all the other places I have been. It’s temporary and I am just passing through. It is both frustrating and exciting.

Thanks for the post, I always enjoy getting the email notification that you have something new!

Roxane May 7, 2012 at 8:57 am

I am sitting at my kitchen counter, in the house that I have called home for the past twenty years, in Minnesota. The sun is finally shining and after having gone through the motions of showering and eating, I face a blank slate of a day as I recently resigned from a counseling position in order to take care of myself.

I look around me and although I see a beautiful home, I also see the memories hiding in every nook and cranny of the children I have raised, and of the loveless marriage I have endured. I see the half empty bottle of klonopin sitting on the counter that helps me get through these days of depression and severe PTSD.

And as I look around I ask myself, “Is this all there is? Do I want to walk away? Do I have the strength to start over? Or do I accept that this is all there is for me.”

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 8:59 am

Hugs for you, where you are today ~
Move the klonopin bottle farther away – change the path, look around you with different eyes – a change doesn’t have to be “all or nothing”: a baby-step, every-other-day, is “taking care of yourself” too…

Bright Blessings ~

Alex Smith May 7, 2012 at 8:59 am

I’m in Arroio do Meio, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. Right now, my life is looking like this bedroom I’m into: a real mess. This is my parent’s house and I’m living here since I got separated from my ex. My reality today is trying to find a way to heal my heart and learning to leave alone put many decisions on the way. So hard to choose the right paths every time you find a fork. Although there is a big mess inside, I’m also living an enlightening time, looking at “the system” and wanting to be as far away from it as I can. And realizing how difficult it can be. After all, “confusion” would be the best word to describe how I’m feeling right now.

But I have a very strong feeling that better times will come and that all this mess is only a matter of time.

Gab May 7, 2012 at 9:08 am

I am at home, sitting in front of my desk in pajamas, alone and semi-bored… Thinking about how I got here makes me remember my new year’s wish list of 2009. I wrote down all the things I wanted to happen in 2010 on a sheet of paper, which I was supposed to wear somewhere inside my dress ( according to the tradition) during the first kiss of the new year.
Some of the things I wrote were, spending more time with my friends, and I ended up living with one, having a bigger place… and yes… I got that but since the house is shared I have less space. I wanted a pet that drove me potty towards the end, and so on and on… so how do I feel? I feel that I should have been more precise with my wishes and perhaps concentrate on feelings and emotions instead of things and actions.
What’s on my mind? My life, I wonder day and night how am I going to go back to my path, back to adventure. Right now my life lacks of purpose beside taking care of the people near me and it is making me a zombie.
I want to become a therapist, change my life style completely, do what I am good at, and be passionate again.
I have no idea what is coming up or exiting since I am stuck on a limbo, a stand by, right now I might become very rich or very poor, but nothing seems to be happening out of my own doings. I might become a miserable person or a true happy one… I am siting here waiting for a sign to grab and follow.

Colleen May 7, 2012 at 9:13 am

I’m in the same place I was last time – my office, where I work as an accountant in a low stress but sometimes boring and mundane position. I’ve tried and failed (for various reasons) to get out of this career field into something more fulfilling, but I’m okay about that now. At least I have a decent job with really nice people (many don’t – many have no job at all in this economy) and I prefer this low stress work environment, because my personal life has seen several tragedies this past year. I am good at what I do, and am appreciated by the people I work with and for. So, there’s a bit of peace.
Plus, I experienced a health scare recently when lab results seem to indicate that my pituitary gland was failing, and even though the condition would have been treatable (as long as it wasn’t caused by a brain tumor,) I still felt alarmed by the prospect that this was something I had no control over, and that it couldn’t be ameliorated by a lifestyle change.
Physiologically speaking, the human body automatically seeks to maintain a level of homeostasis (equilibrium, balance) by a series of many negative feedback loops. Pituitary failure would represent a huge disruption in the processes that maintain homeostasis.
And so, even though it turned out that my pituitary was OK, I determined to do more about what I could control, so I cleaned up my diet (which was already pretty healthy,) and started to keep a food diary so I could be more aware of my portion sizes. Also kicked into a more regular exercise routine, and resolved to spend more time outside because nature is incredibly therapeutic for me.
I feel so much better already – my energy level is up, my head feels clearer, my insides feel calm, and my nervous habit of biting the inside of my cheek has stopped.
So, even though I’m sitting in the same room, same chair, in front of the same computer as last year at this time, I’m in a much better place.
Because there is a whole lot more to homeostasis than hormones and enzymes and physiological feedback loops.

Penny May 7, 2012 at 9:14 am

I am stuck trying to figure out a love which is way bigger than I thought I would ever get an opportunity to experience. The relationship is over and I want it back, I want him back. So I “sit” with it, this pain, I watch it rage through my mind, my body, I practice my meditation/yoga in tears, wear out my friends and family who are patiently (and sometimes not so patiently) listening to me…I am boring myself with it and I am getting to a point where I am tired of this “story” I am using at the moment to define myself…I want my strength back, I want to be sunny again, full of love, not fear…that’s the direction I am walking, towards love and sunshine, with this scarred, broken bit of me…I won’t “let it go” because it was a great love and I know now if I could love someone like that once (and it WAS only the one time in a life full of relationships), I can love like that again…so, it’s like a flawed diamond heart, and it’s FULL of love (and sometimes tears and gut-wrenching anguish…all those hokey cliches make so much sense after something like this) and I’m giving it away!

Julie May 7, 2012 at 9:21 am

Wow. I’ve read through almost all the posts and am deeply moved by this cyber-group therapy :) So much humanity in it all. Thank you folks, and thank you, David.

I am in Los Angeles, CA. The birds are singing outside my window, my dog is sitting right at my feet, awaiting her morning walk. Tea with almond milk is to my right, my favorite book~ Love without Conditions~ is to my left.

I feel as if I am on the brink of something I’ve been building toward my whole entire life. But it’s not a brink that is sponsored by someone or something else, I must claim it. I must take action to move in that direction. And that has me feeling a bit stymied. The vision, although bright and warm, looms over my head. “I don’t know how to do this,” my mind asserts every two minutes. “I don’t know how to do any of this.” I have a deep and committed spiritual practice… I get that I don’t have to know the hows…I am plugged in to an Infinite Intelligence that knows the way once I avail myself to it! And, already in my life I’ve walked up many proverbial mountains by being shown the way. But my human still sits stymied, and chooses to clean house, or talk to a friend instead. I have all the skills, a spiritual toolbox chock full of practices that have brought miracles into my life, and a support system that awes me… and yet here I sit… still sitting. Ahhhh Life, human-ness… mmmmm!


Chelsea May 7, 2012 at 9:32 am

I am here, in my apartment in Vancouver for one of the last times. My things are mostly packed. I impulsively decided to vacate and move in with a couple of fellows, the first roommates I’ve had in years. I guess it was time to just shake things up a little. I am returning to the land of the living after the worst cold in years had me laid up for a solid week. I am relishing the ability to breathe easy. I am energized by a sunny morning after many many grey ones. I have been taking stock recently and, as usual, transitions are all around me. I realize that I simply prefer a challenge over routine.

Joel Zaslofsky May 7, 2012 at 9:48 am

I’m exactly where my Personal User Guide says I am. This is my equivalent of a whole bunch of tattoos but I get to change them whenever I need to. Instead of copying and pasting what’s in my guide I’ll just link to it if you want to check it out.
I’m in a totally different place than I was last year. Where I am even next month is totally up for grabs. I kind of like it that way now!

Rose May 7, 2012 at 10:25 am

I’m at my desk, in a tiny no-bedroom apartment (my bed is in the living room). It’s my first time living completely on my own, and I love it. I was afraid of solitude but I’m great at keeping myself company.
I moved out of the house I shared with my ex after he left me for another woman. This is almost a year ago. I don’t miss our relationship at all, and I got much happier now. I’m in a place where I can meet him over a coffee without bitter feelings or sadness. My personality shifted a lot. The move was a major part of that, the city I used to live in really held me down. The new one is vibrant, bigger and very multicultural. I never knew environment could have so much impact on how you feel day to day.
I also stopped feeling like I had to apologize for my personality. There are things I have only understood about myself now. Having time alone to reassert who you are and do some thinking was really necessary.

Abby May 7, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’m in Minneapolis, MN, USA. I’ve moved her for a post-doctoral research position after completing my PhD. I supposed the root reason I am here is because 10 years ago, when I was in my first year of university, I started working in a research lab. That led me to want to be an academic professionally. Which led me to graduate school. Which led me to this position. I accomplished what I set out for, but lost my love of it along the way. In a month I am leaving this position to start work at a non-profit that I have no formal training for or education pertaining to. I’m returning to the city I think of as “home” (though I am not originally from there).

My mind and heart are very heavy, not because of the professional changes I’m making, which are a welcome new direction and challenge, but because my boyfriend and I are splitting up after 4.5 years together. My decision. I’m breaking his heart a bit, which is breaking my heart a little bit. I know ending this is the right decision for me (and hopefully that ultimately means it’s the right decision for him too) but it is hard and very sad to end such an overall positive relationship.

This has been a year of being true to myself and making changes that I believe will support my happiness, but man alive, who knew it was so damn hard to be so honest?

Bella May 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

I must admit, I sat here searching (to no avail) for a comment that could’ve been posted by my friend, because I know she, too, is a huge fan of your blog and she always has insightful things to share with me. I did not comment last time, but alas, I was encouraged by all the comments and decided I would take a stab at it.

It is 8 am on a beautiful Monday morning. I am in a hotel room in Scottsdale, Arizona. I fly back home later today. I am on the third floor in a room with a balcony. I am sitting in the main room while my boyfriend sleeps in the bedroom. I opened the sliding door this morning to hear the birds, and they sound lovely. Through the semi-sheer drapes, I can make out palm trees waving with the wind with a light clear blue sky up above. I am here because I attended a wedding last night. I have had a terrible cold for the past 5 days, have a relentless cough, almost no voice, threw up in the middle of the night for no apparent reason last night, and am taking antibiotics – so I would like to think that may be the reason for my less-than-sunny disposition in this serene environment. That, coupled with the internal dialogue that I have running through my head about my boyfriend and the less-than-caretaker role he has been playing as I’ve been extremely sick this weekend.

I have become increasingly driven in my career over the past year and I was recently promoted. Some opportunities have emerged and are proving to be more challenging than I anticipated. My current outlook is to view these challenges as a growth opportunity, rather than something to run away from, overcome, or defeat. My main personal struggle right now involves controlling my tears at work. I have a tendency to put up a façade of “the funny/goofy/(not proud of this one:)semi-cynical girl”, but I am generally extremely vulnerable and have a trigger reaction when someone in authority speaks to me in a tone that is harsher than I expect. I am working to understand the root of the trigger and to be at peace so that I do not feel rattled to the core and react with tears – embarrassing myself by boo-hooing unprofessionally – when I am spoken to this way.

My mind is constantly on the run, telling stories, and I struggle with being able to just watch the stories unfold. Instead, a lot of the time, I am not present, and feel like I still “am” the story. This is true in many aspects of my life right now – in work, and in my relationship with my boyfriend. Sometimes, I can clear my mind of all thought and I am calm, truly at peace. Other times, I can be set off with one look from my boyfriend, which is actually one thought (or story) in my head, and I am acting like an angry lunatic or a wounded animal. I am thankful that my eyes are open to the fact that I have the ability to be the watcher, and I am working everyday towards just “being” rather than “being the story.” (I do see the oddity in that statement, because the fact is that one does not have to “work” to “be” – but that is currently where I am.)

diane May 7, 2012 at 10:37 am

I am looking out the window in my little apartment near Portland Oregon. The sky is blue and the trees are lush green. This is morning and it looks like it will be a sunny day. I am on the third floor and can see roof tops of some buildings and mountains in the background. It’s beautiful. Around me is my sanctuary space. I’m moving soon. I’ve been here a year. What a great gift of a place to land for a year. Now I’m selling all my furniture and packing up a few precious things and heading for a new job in Hawaii. I start mid-June. Until then, I am appreciating this place and the people I love here.

JaH May 7, 2012 at 10:38 am

Graduate school straight ahead. I’ll be 44 just days before it begins. Leaving behind a 14 year relationship that was my life, part of my new, carefully planned future for us both.

She wasn’t in love with me any longer.

How do you argue that after finding her in the bath tub having taken two full bottles of prescription pain killers and muscle relaxers and sliced wrists?

My best friend is not taking this step with me. And I am scared. And lonely. And this is where I am.

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 9:17 am

{{{{JaH}}}} and
{{{{JaH’s lady}}}}

Chris Walter May 7, 2012 at 10:54 am

Very cool, to look back at the last comment I made on your last post and compare then to now.

Then I was laying in my bed in my moms house dreaming about adventure. Now I’m sitting next to my motorcycle in Guyana. The rain is intense. The road is flooded, in some places as much as 3 feet. I really don’t know what to do…this is the rainy season the rain isn’t going to stop.

This is what I dreamed about? Is this what I wanted?

I don’t know. It’s just life I suppose. It’s still composed of the same pieces and the same questions. Travel just intensifies everything a bit, the highs and the lows. I keep thinking if I can do anything, absolutely anything then why can’t I make my life perfect. But perhaps it is perfect. I just need to accept it.

Thanks once again David. :)

Greg B May 7, 2012 at 11:22 am

I am currently sitting at my desk in my bedroom. I am 23 years old, live near St. Louis, and have only 2 more classes to finish before I receive a Master’s degree. This is a strange time for me in that many of my college friends are moving back home and I may not see them for a while, if ever. But I am preparing myself for some major changes coming up. Once I graduate, I have many decisions to make that will determine where my life goes, which is both scary and exciting.

Also, I have come across some teachings of Tao and Buddhism that have helped shape by thinking and beliefs. Growing up in the Catholic religion, it became all I knew. After recently exploring a few other religions and beliefs, I feel as if I have become more grounded and at peace. I look forward to forming my own belief system that will allow me to become more of my true self.

Rubi May 7, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Me encuentro exactamente en el escritorio de mi recamara de la casa de mis padres, con mi familia con un entorno similar pero no del todo, hace un año la decoracion de mi cuarto era diferente, hace unos meses la cambie, ahora me agrada mas pero en ese entonces me gustaba su colocacion, y asi como los muebles mi sentimientos, mi ideologia, mis proyectos, mis fantasias hace un año han variado varios giros drasticamente.

Siboney LaLuz May 9, 2012 at 9:29 am

Nuestro medio ambiente refleja nuestro ambiente/clima interior.
Lo bonito es que al igual que el color de la pared y el estilo de muebles etc… Tenemos libertad en crear cambios que nos agraden y deleiten o al minimo nos dirijan a evolucionar.

Rubi May 7, 2012 at 12:02 pm


Lily May 7, 2012 at 12:04 pm

I’m Lily, I’m in in my sophomore year in high school (definitely a younger reader), and I’m in study hall. I haven’t dated for almost 6 months, and I I might be ready to start again,If I could find someone worth the risk. I think I know more of who I am than most of the people around me, but am less sure about it than they.

I consider myself probably one of the most blessed people in the world. I am surrounded by so many wonderful human beings who care about me and who would do almost anything for me. But I’m constantly frightened of when I will lose those people. One graduating this year, two the next. I’m afraid of whether they will be alright without me, and me without them. I am scared of being alone.

Finally, I know that I was born with a mission to help people. For now, maybe that can be all i need to know.

Kevin May 7, 2012 at 12:32 pm

My name is Kevin, and I’m in my new temporary apartment in Waterloo, Ontario, dreading the thought of getting dressed and leaving for my temporary job that I’m not ready for, didn’t expect, and don’t enjoy. I suffer from anxiety that prevents me from enjoying my mornings even though I don’t work until 3 in the afternoon. Every day, I wake up, realize where I am, and instantly feel my stomach twist into this malicious knot that refuses to consume anything or release the rest of my body. I’m too tired when I get home – around midnight – to do any of the things I really enjoy or care about and too apathetic (abnormal for me) to clean or make healthy food. I put in some microwave pizzas, waste some time on TV shows I don’t really care about, and go to sleep to do it all over again the next day.

Because of my strange hours at work (3pm-11pm), I barely talk to any of my friends or family all week, save for my roommate. A little over two months ago, I got out of a relationship that lasted nearly three years – one that I was happy in and can’t remember any of the reasons for ending. My former partner has moved on to someone else and as the date of our would-be three year milestone approaches I can’t help but feel worse and worse about it.

I miss my family, my home town, my house, my schoolwork, my friends, my free time, and my usual sense of relaxed, stress-free calm.

I feel alone, stressed, anxious, weak, sick, unprepared, and overwhelmed.

This is the fist genuinely tough period of my life, and it sucks.

But still, I am grateful for all that I have and I am, if not on a superficial level, happy. I am financially sound, live with one of my best new friends, and have a home and a family and a whole group of amazing friends to go home to when I have the time. I am reasonably healthy, intelligent, attractive, funny, and decent. Though I dislike my job, I am learning many valuable new skills that I wouldn’t otherwise get a chance to and working with some good people. On a more basic level, I have a job at all.

I still have my music, my guitar, my video games, and my writing to put myself in to. And no matter how bad the summer gets, or much I hate my job, or how anxious I feel or how childish I sound, I know that in four months, I’ll go back to school a better and stronger person. The job will end, the summer will end, I will reunite with some close friends, I will be doing the things I love every day, and I will be able to talk to and see my family and friends at home on a regular basis.

And for all of that, I am grateful. And being grateful and feeling grateful is one of the very few things that breaks through all of the bad feelings and makes me feel at peace, if for a short time. And that I learned from Raptitude.

And for that, you have my thanks.

Anthony B. May 7, 2012 at 1:32 pm

I am living with my parents, about ready to go off to college. I just got through an ordeal that involved changing my religious beliefs, and still feel the stress as I am still in this religious social circle. I know more about the world, about science, about people than I ever have, and about 30% of this knowledge has been collected in the last few months. I can’t wait to go to school and live my dreams, shape my own inner reality and reshape my social situation. I’ve failed a lot recently but right now I’m also more productive than I have ever been. It’s exciting and it’s stressful. Come this time next year, I’ll probably be even more stressed out over finals, but I’ll also be having the time of my life.

Cindy May 7, 2012 at 2:09 pm

I didn’t comment last year, but it struck me funny that I am in the exact same place as I was then…exactly where I usually am when reading your blog: a desk job in the Finance Department of a small affluent Town on the Peninsula, a suburb just south of San Francisco. Not sure the weather is the same as last year though…today it’s so beautiful and mild; I can practically hear the bees outside my windows singing the praises of the weather gods. I’m still in college night courses working toward a degree, despite having graduated high school 20 years ago. I’m still single after an amicable divorce over 10 years ago. Still playing drums in the same rock band I’ve been in for 7 years. I think a lot of people would feel ill-content in my situation, as though not enough progress is being made…but I don’t. I flow through each day allowing it to mold and shape me as it will, and I work toward the goals that ignite me with passion whenever they arise, instead of the goals society (and sometimes family) might expect of me (finally). I meet new people and allow their passions to guide me through open doors and new experiences. I feel centered although many of my friends are pushing their way through storms at the moment. I continue to fight for discipline where I believe it matters most…food and fitness. And in the past year, there has been new knowledge, new friends, new experiences, new art, new poems, new songs written, new and bigger venues played. I’m grateful that it seems as though nothing has changed…there is a lot of contentment in that…although a lot of forward movement, rich in culture and newness, has transpired.

Megan May 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

My name is Megan. I’m 20 years old and a student at Utah State University. I’ve never commented before but have been reading your posts for about a year. This one seemed like the right time to jump in. Right now at this very moment I am sitting in my apartment in Amman, Jordan. I arrived here 2 days ago to do a study abroad with my University. This trip to the Middle East feels like one of the craziest adventures I’ve ever been on! I miss my boyfriend a lot. We started dating 3 months ago after being roommates for a month. I know it hasn’t been long but ever since the very beginning it has felt so right, so natural. He told me he loves me right before I left Utah for Jordan. I will be gone a month, and I’m sure the time will fly and I will have tons of unforgettable experiences. But I just can’t get Soren out of my head. I think he might be the one for me. So I guess that’s where I’m at. Trying to live in the moment and enjoy the adventures, but not being able to get that guy out of my thoughts. :) Adventures are sweet, but sometimes going home again is even sweeter.

D May 7, 2012 at 2:32 pm

It’s late in the night , I am in bed trying to sleep while every one else is asleep .Some reason I am unsettled and need some one to talk to , but can’t …cause its late and who can I talk to anyways ???Scrolling through the contacts ,no one is answer ..And then some mindless meddling with the phone, wishing it would find something that would help ….. Face book …lol.. don’t know why is was looking there … Then the mail … Looking through all the mail till I found the word raptitude . Hmmm…now that is something I would like ….I Read the post , and wondered if I should write something …anything .To be honest , not good at it ,at all … Then thought abt all the people who might read it … And laugh at my bad writing .But I am writing right now and for some reason. God knows might not even be relevant. I am happy …don’t know why …so I just though I should say thank you David for being there ,when I needed some one…

DJ May 7, 2012 at 3:12 pm

I didn’t comment on your post last year but have been diligently reading your blog since awhile (yay for NetNewsWire). You are absolutely correct about how much can change in a year. Last year at about this time I was sitting at my previous job which I was not too happy with and would constantly nag about. Today luckily I have got a new job as a healthcare consultant in a company which suits my personality ALOT more. My attitude towards life has changed substantially for the better and things look up. I know this new job is not my career but a stepping stone. I WILL be an entrepreneur one day (always dream’t of starting a music based web startup). For right now will soak in as much information as I can and live the life.
Whats exciting? many many thing.
Going to watch the Red Hot Chili Pepper tonight. Going to Tomorrowland in Belgium in the summer :)
What I want to accomplish this year?
Besides doing well at my new job I really want to learn the guitar and be in better physical condition.

nrhatch May 7, 2012 at 3:13 pm

I am WHERE I was last time you asked . . . writing at my desk in Florida, with palm trees and birds just outside my window. Of course, the “I am” sitting here has shifted from “who I once was” to “who I am today.”

Joy May 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

Wow. I am in a completely different space from last year. I am literally at Starbucks working on my computer (because I now work solely through my online site instead of full-time at a hospital job that was draining). This Starbucks is new to me, because I no longer live on a boat, but a city away with a farm as my backyard. And, I might be wearing the same pants but they fit completely different as I have been toning and running consistently. My mind is free, my heart is open, and it is a joy to be *here* in this space that had seemed so far away to me, so impossible, yet I am living it.
Thank you for the prompt :)

SusieR May 7, 2012 at 3:47 pm

I am sitting here at my desk, at a place that feels entirely different from this time last year. Everything looks the same… the trees, my office, the dogs snoozing at my feet. The difference is ME. I am more certain than before about so many things and less assured of others. I am confident – but the ground feels soft, shaky. I am happy… but restless. Wanting nothing and yet much more. Hoping but knowing. I have removed my rear-view mirror and am focused only on forward movement.

Jon May 7, 2012 at 3:56 pm

I’m in Cambridge, Massachusetts, in the apartment of a very close friend. A lifelong friend.

I’m sitting in my friend’s living room. On the wall across from me is a poster of the Bayeux Tapestry, depicting the Norman Conquest of England. It’s scaled down to a few inches tall, but it’s still long enough that it’s cut into segments to fit on the wall. Three that run the length of the wall, and one shorter one.

There are horses and ships and people and structures with the front wall cut away, like doll houses. Things are flat, but not hieroglyphic. There’s a lot of grace and motion in the sails and in the charging horses.

To my left are bookshelves, where a clock I can’t see is ticking softly. To my right is a bay window. It’s sunny outside, and I would like to get out in it before long. Now I’ve opened the window, and I can hear birds chirping and the sounds of the street. I can’t hear the clock anymore. Cool fresh air is coming in.

My friend is at work, at a job he doesn’t like. He’s looking forward to leaving that job some months from now. His ideas for what he wants to do next are exciting.

As for me, I’m not working. I might go to the gym later. And I might work on my application for a master’s program in Barcelona. I “should” be doing that instead of this.

I woke up late this morning to some emotional pain that’s been with me for weeks now. The person I want to be with is with someone else. In another city, where I was until recently.

This person and I have a great connection and the potential to go through life together. She’s told me she feels the same way.

But by the time we expressed how we felt, she was already with someone else. For a while it looked like that might change. There were chances. But it didn’t happen.

Our story feels unfinished. And I have a sense of when we might get another chance. The question for me is what to do in the meantime.

Jacqueline May 7, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I am sitting at the computer at the local library; stopped here after work to check email and print a few recipes before heading to the gym (home printer out of ink). There are several teachers and young students at tables around me in tutoring sessions; so cute!! The many, many windows are letting in the bright outside light; there was a sunshower going on while I was driving the short disatnce here. Overhead fans are providing a nice breeze. Even though we’ve had such a mild and sunny winter and early spring, there is the excitement and anticipation for the coming summer months. I live and work very near the ocean and it is my favorite place and way to spend my time.
I’ve been in my career for 18 years and I do enjoy my work, but I know in my heart there is a path I am meant to follow, a role I am meant to play, and I am still searching. I know it is the arena of holistic health/natural healing. I’d been actively searching for so long, but now I’m at a more relaxed place and content to just live my life and know that it will find me when the time is right.
After an injury last year I have really gotten out of shape (being in shape is something that is very important to me), and I am now wanting to focus solely on that and on decluttering my home. And so I am and I will.
Also, I have been in a relationship for almost 10 years, one that I was certain I wanted to leave for quite some time. I broke it off two times but wasn’t able to stay away. I am now quite content in this relationship, and it feels so much better than the constant angst and worrying about breaking it off. I am actually thinking of moving in with him.
After many years of searching and seeking and angst about my relationship, I feel I am in a comfortable lull and that some exciting things are on the horizon.

Alice May 7, 2012 at 4:28 pm

I read your post a few hours ago. I was sitting on the bare boards of my study, carpet and almost all the furniture removed, part way through decorating. It marks something of a new beginning for me. In a little under a week I start a new job, and this room needs to be a place I want to come to work in. It’s a great job and great company, working in a field I think is really interesting. More importantly it’s moving me on after several months of decidedly unpleasant redundancy proceedings for me and many many of my former colleagues. It’s good to reflect on what I’ve done in the past year, noting where I’m pleased with the results and experiences and what I still want to change. Generally though, I’m probably more settled, focused and happy in my own skin than I’ve been in my entire adult life. I don’t like shouting about my achievements, but learning to be happy is one that I’m going to let myself be pleased about. Thanks for the moment to reflect David.

Zach May 7, 2012 at 4:30 pm

I am at work right now. The day is winding down and I am getting ready to leave. I have almost been at this job a year, and I have gotten comfortable with it. I don’t have plans to leave here just yet. I am saving up money to take some more semesters at school. Compared to a year ago I am a much more responsible and wise person, I know what I want much more than before, and am more willing to struggle for it.

I am in good health and in good company; but I don’t feel I take as much advantage of either as I should while they are still here. I have recently broken all ties with my parents regarding financial support, which I feel is a big step into adulthood. All that is on my mind when nothing else takes precedence is a girl. We get along famously, though she is already seeing someone else, and I’m naturally inclined to refuse being the third wheel.

I have no immediate deadlines and am coasting with what I am currently doing till fall semester begins. This summer will be the first time I work a full 40hr workweek every week. My feelings on this are more adult than they would have been a year ago. I would have dreaded this, but now I only think “hey, at least I’ll have things to do for half the week.”

Luey Anderson May 7, 2012 at 4:53 pm

Hi David,

Thank you for this chance to share with you and others here. I look forward to reading all of the replies and your response!

I am in a small town called Chinook at the border of Washington State and Oregon, on the Pacific coast. It is a beautiful day here today, warm and sunny and very welcome after an extra long and gray, cold, drizzly winter. I am waiting here in my home office, which looks right out to the coast highway, 101, for my sister to join me for a long walk along the river. I am living here in Chinook at this time to care for my cherished and aging mother. I expect to be here as long as I am needed, but once my Mom is gone I don’t expect to stay.

I came to be here in her home, which is in another part of Washington from my own home, to nurse my Mom back to health after she suffered a serious illness three years ago. During the first few months I was with her my second marriage fell apart, my beloved 18 year old Siamese cat started failing and I had to put him down, and I nearly got pneumonia. I was pretty wiped out and ungrounded for quite a while. But I had my Mom to care for so I focused on her, and I am grateful to have made a difference for her and my family. This time together has brought me closer to her and my siblings, and I have had the opportunity to be in a safe space both physically and emotionally to regroup after my second divorce within ten years, and love myself back to being whole.

This shift has had a huge impact on my life, and I feel as difficult as it is has been, it has created opportunity for me to grow emotionally and spiritually, and truly has been a blessing in disguise. I have discovered that in my past I buried what I really wanted to be and do, and suppressed much of my own creativity to please and support the men in my life. I am using this time now to figure out what the next part of my journey will be. I know for the present I am exactly where I am supposed to be, and although I don’t know yet exactly where it will lead me I am confident I am on the right path. And then when the time is right, with the inner work I have had the gift of time to do, I feel I will have an inner knowing of which direction to take at the next crossroads in my life.

With Love and Gratitude for Raptitude,

Luey :-)

Hannah May 7, 2012 at 4:57 pm

I’m a new storyteller.

I’m in my apartment in Southern California. Today is my “day off” (I only work 1 hour in the middle of the day–what an inconvenience), and I just got back from looking at houses. I don’t like our realtor, and I’m liking the area we’re looking at less and less. Our apartment is messy because 1) we’ve been kinda lazy in that aspect, and 2) we haven’t made an effort to settle in here even tho we’ve been here over a year because we’ve been constantly looking for somewhere to settle for good–or at least for the next 10 years or so. We’ve been married just over a year as well, and it’s amazing. I’m dejected about our housing situation and some failures of will and discipline on my part, but I am excited about my husband coming home tonight. We just spent all weekend together, he’s only been at work since this morning, and I already miss him. We don’t know where we’re going to end up, but we do have faith that it will be right and good. I love being married.

Cam May 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm

I’m in Victoria, BC, Canada — in a quaint neighborhood called Fernwood. Lots of artists and gardeners and young families around. There’s a park across the street where children are playing. Birds chirping outside.

This rental situation is with two young girls whom I met a week ago. They’re both great to live with. The house is very relaxed, we share meals and hang out together. It’s a very peaceful place to be right now.

I’m still grinding away at my fiction, trying to improve, trying to write something worth reading. It’s been years. I honestly don’t know if I’m getting any better. But I’m feeling my age like a pair of manacles tightening. I’m only 23 but sometimes I feel middle-aged, the ceaseless hourglass, I feel like I’m crawling through life and I need to break into a sprint.

I’m sort of cut off from my family. They’re all elsewhere, we don’t talk much, it’s a very subdued sense of love. There have been complications over the years. Family strife that hasn’t been addressed and so hasn’t healed. . . .

And my girlfriend is living on the next island over. We’re trying out a distance relationship, which so far has been tolerable, though I can’t help worrying sometimes, I can’t help feeling jealous, wondering if she’s met someone and their relationship is blossoming as ours dies a slow boring death.

And that’s a bit of my situation. Great post, David. Thank you for doing this. I’m going to read every single response. This stuff is of enormous interest to me.

Alex Smith May 7, 2012 at 5:06 pm

I’m sitting at my desk at 5:16 pm, typing on an ergonomic keyboard, feeling temporarily calm after my physical therapy stretches. The calm isn’t the good kind, but instead it feels so fleeting that I can hardly enjoy it.

It’s been nearly 6 months since I decided to skip this spring semester and stay at home to heal my wrists, and nearly a year since my injury. I go to school at Berklee College of Music in Boston, I’m a guitarist, and I have what appears to be the worst case of bilateral tendinopathy in history, probably induced by the antibiotic Cipro (never, ever take it; trust me) and aggravated by the hours of guitar and computer time I put in–practicing, composing, and producing.

My healing is up and down and therefore so is my mood. This past year feels lost, wasted. I’ve moved outwards and upwards from guitar, branched out in to composing for film, concert music, electronic music, business. I have a renewed interest in learning just about anything non-music related, as well. I’ve learned a lot and I’m grateful for that. But it’s all been something in place of guitar, not in addition to. All of my progress feels fake and I’m having trouble keeping my chin up and feet moving. The feeling is not unlike your mom buying you a new dog a couple days after your last one died.

On the other hand, “returning” to guitar-playing feels wrong. I can’t explain it except that it just doesn’t sit in my gut very well. Therefore, I have no idea what I want in life, in the immediate future, a year from now. And because I’m so preoccupied with healing I frequently miss the now.

To put it simply, I just don’t know. I’m scared to death, I’ll admit it. I’m ashamed that I’m ashamed to admit that I’m scared. And on and on it goes…

This time last June I had recently overcome a lot of things that were bugging me when this injury happened–I felt like my life was moving forward at the perfect speed and in the desired direction(s). When I could no longer play guitar or even turn a doorknob I was devastated. What’s been even worse is watching all of my friends’ music careers begin to bloom before me.

I hate complaining and I hate the fact that my life is consumed by injury right now. I’m sick and tired of feeling like I have the body of an 80 year old when I’m only 21. I despise the fact that my present is formed by my past and that I can’t forge a new future without furthering my injury and stepping backwards even more. I’m frustrated with my situation, I have no idea where it’s going or when, if ever, I’ll move past this injury. And I hate that it’s the only thing I really feel the need to talk about now. I’m actually not even sure if I should submit this, but I’m tired of keeping my frustration inside.

So, today feels like just how every other day has felt for the past 11 months: an emotional roller-coaster between hopefulness and despair, creativity and apathy, mindfulness and depression, pain and relief. I’ll probably get a fresh dose of happy tonight and begin writing a new song, only to ditch in the pile of (literally) hundreds of unfinished, unused songs that I have little desire to touch again.

I was excited to skydive on Saturday, but it was cancelled due to rainy weather. If there’s a God then he’s an asshole with a knack for ironic symbolism.

I know that I’ll come out on the other side, even if it’s a very different side than I expected. I’ve learned to not expect anything anymore. I’ve been in tough spots before, though not quite this tough, and I’ve made my way through.

Alright, I’m tired of talking about myself. Reading about everyone else’s experiences is so much more interesting than complaining aloud to an empty room.

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 10:28 am

Just because you can’t see us, doesn’t mean the room is “empty” ~
{{{{Alex}}}} (hugs!) for your uppy-downy journey ~ we’re all there with you, just up around a bend or one hill behind you ~ and “this too shall pass” …

bright blessings ~ K

jake May 7, 2012 at 5:29 pm

I’m in the same room as seems like forver, been here for three years. Probably the longest one room has been mine since a very young age. Having 5 brothers does that. I had a plan still in action last year, one I threw away for an adventure of lust with someone that I shouldn’t have; when that ended -well, then I met someone I fell in love with, the only person I have truly made love with in this very room. This room where a majority of my sexual life has taken place. I had a plan: it involved working this one Grill until I could escape after college, looking back; I’m glad I trashed it for sex with my boss. That community is sad and driven by alcohol, drama and appeasement of quick satisfactions. I am devastated still that I lost someone I thought I could love forever by refusing to deal with the anger that trashing my plan had brought. This year, in this room, I live in a corner of life where I am learning to love myself again. A corner of time, where I’m learning the lessons of my mistakes while caught in this room where I have made many. Where I reevaluate what it means to love someone, while learning to meditate sincerely for the first time after studying Buddhism for 7 years as a snot nosed punk rocker and tired old souled line cook at a ripe age of 22. I have learned to forgive where before I would have sought to cause harm to others – learning my best friend is bedding my ex that I loved in this room where I write this, I learn to forgive him, in this room I confided in him about her – I forgive myself for the dark and dastardly things I do to him in my day-dreams. I am learning in this corner, in this room, to scrape my life back up after i have smashed it unknowingly but gleefully and willingly – I am learning to step large in the face of my faults – as I step over them and piece the parts I have back together. My corner of time was burned by my own arson of a hand, and it is being rebuilt by the swing of my fist, along with the gentle words of the true few friends and the calmness of my breath. I will come out better for all of this, it’s the only choice I have with my back in the Corner of this Room.

Joy May 7, 2012 at 6:49 pm

Bribie Island Queensland Australia. Further along life’s journey than most of your resondees and completely at ease with the place I’m at. I see my adult children still growing as they deal with their children and often catch my voice echoing in the parental advice being passed on. I believe you can’t always change the situation but you truly can do something about your attitude, so even with an ailing husband and limited social life there is much to enjoy

LL May 7, 2012 at 8:44 pm

I’m in my living room sitting across from my 18 year old son as he sits with laptop in lap writing another iphone app. Oh to be so young and self employed! I’m living in Indiana and have been working as an insurance agent for the last 18 years. I love that I’ve known some of my clients for that long and today I nearly cried with two of them as they told me they are sick – one with a weird stomach disease that doesn’t allow her to digest food properly and the other with prostate cancer. Both of these folks I see but once every few years and when I do, I notice the years on their faces. I wonder if they notice the years on mine? Many days in the last year I’ve sat and longed for a more meaningful career, one where I can touch people’s lives in a more meaningful way, but for now I’m content to be there to listen and show them that someone cares, to try to convey that they really do matter. One day I hope to try to help people heal. From my vantage point, I see that so many typical mid-western people eat complete crap and wonder why they don’t feel well. In fact, that is how I found your blog David. I had gone on a vegan diet and was googling “side effects of a vegan diet” to see what I could expect. That was last October and I’ve been vegan since and I haven’t felt better! i sleep like I did when I was in my 20’s, a deep, restful delightful sleep. That’s a miracle for a 45 year old woman!

My emotions right now are a bit in flux because my only child, my son is graduating high school in a month and will leave for college in 3 months. I spend my mornings quietly meditating and reading and twice last week I was brought to tears thinking about him sleeping so sweetly in the room next door and knowing that in the fall, that room would be empty. After carrying this boy for 9 months and raising him (alone since he was 3) he is my buddy and I’m going to miss him terribly. I’m tearing up as I type this and hoping that he doesn’t notice!

I love the blog David. I look forward to each and every post.

If you do this again next year, I hope to be graduating from yoga teacher training which I start in September and moving towards the work I hope to do in the second half of my life, helping people who are ill with yoga, meditation and nutrition.

with much gratitude,


LS May 7, 2012 at 9:16 pm

It’s easy to compare now and this time last year because I met someone really incredible almost a year ago. Although for a while, I wished more would come out of our friendship, I have come to realize that with this person no matter what ‘status’ we are, he helped to pull out the me hidden inside the mask I had on. He chipped away the pain and the sadness I had and contributed to revealing who I could be and who I have become today. He is not the only factor that has helped me become a better and happier person but he certainly played a huge part.
I have a better outlook on life and much more confidence and internal strength right now.
There is a lot to discover still and I really look forward to reflecting again where I am this time next year.

Anasthasia May 7, 2012 at 9:59 pm

I am sitting at my ancient box sized computer in my Grandmother’s house. She is my only family I have left. I am 44 years old and wondering if I should have had children. A year ago my life was pretty much the same. I don’t want it to remain the same. I am grateful for life and try to live in the moment as much as possible. However I need to push myself to get out of my comfort zone and do something different. I do have a man in my life but he is long distance and very much into his career. I’m thankful to have him in my life, but I do crave intimacy.

David May 7, 2012 at 10:11 pm

Wow, these little vignettes are so vivid. I’m still reading but some definite themes are emerging. Thanks for letting us into your heads like this everyone, I think it’s so healthy to share this. Keep them coming.

Jerry May 7, 2012 at 10:22 pm

Good timing on this article David. One year ago I decided to try something quite weird, I would practice Catholicism in its entirety (no cutting corners, all the rules would be followed) for 3 months even though I felt satisfied with where my life was at. This past year has been the most radical transformation of my life. When I started the journey I didn’t agree with Catholic teachings on many subjects, pornography being the biggest one. A year later I couldn’t be more in support of the Catholic Church and its teachings. I expected this experiment to last 3 months, it may very well last a lifetime.

I’m 23 years old, and I’ve completely lost my fear of death. I guess I finally started living. What does tomorrow hold? A test at 8am, after that who knows….but I’ve never been more thankful for that “who knows”

Avi May 7, 2012 at 11:33 pm

Last year, everything felt lousy. I had failed a semester, and had moved back home and transferred to another college.
Now, I’m doing well, I’m going to graduate in December. There’s still a whole lot in my life that dissatisfies me, but I feel good about myself, I don’t struggle with depression anymore. I still struggle with procrastination but it’s manageable.
I feel strangely disconnected from my local community. I want to feel like I belong but I feel adrift, unanchored.

Fiona May 8, 2012 at 12:27 am

My Dad died 2 months ago, and so for the first time in my life I am fatherless. I am nearly 36. I think the combination of these 2 things has made me feel like I am literally crossing into the second half of my life – a little more spiritual, healthy, paranoid, adult, responsible, all those things.

This just seems to be a part of every moment right now. It’s not like a sad and mourning thing, even though I know I am sad and mourning. I’m surprised by my own resilience and that I am determined to continually strengthen the relationship with him. I have a new-found appreciation for family and close friends.

Luey May 8, 2012 at 1:13 am

I have now read every post here so far…I came back to this tonight after reading a lot of the submissions and posting myself, earlier today. I just want to say that my heart goes out to each and every beautiful soul that shared their “little corner” and I feel deeply grateful to be a part of this. Thank you again David for offering this safe space for us all to share.
Love and Blessings to you all.

Jo May 8, 2012 at 3:01 am

I’m in my tiny, cozy apartment in a city on the Baltic Sea. I see the courtyard with two weeping willows. I just got up. I’m where I always wanted to be for lack of knowing what I ever wanted to do. Although I chronically sleep too little, today feels great because as of recently I know I’m going to study law. After almost twenty years of adulthood not knowing what to do, it feels like a homecoming. Today I am going to update my résumé, and try to further the rush of concerted action toward a goal. The pathos of the moment is compliments of the sunshine and the spring and the wind, because petals of tree blossoms are floating through the air, twirling.

Calvin May 8, 2012 at 5:16 am

“First of all, where is “here” right now, physically, and how did you get to this moment in life? How does today feel for you?”

My lounge, I see photos on the mantelpiece in front of me of my girlfriend’s child, though after years of being together as a family I call him my son; our relationship certainly feels that way. I came here from New Zealand, my parents were splitting up and I decided to go with them for emotional support. I didn’t really want to, but I feel I’ve provided that support fairly faithfully. The relationship with my girlfriend allowed me to move here, a rough and tatty council estate in the UK. She is probably the greatest person I’ve ever met and ever will meet. But today just seems okay I guess.

“What’s on your mind? What is huge for you right now? What keeps returning to your thoughts?”
Frustration. I have struggled in this country, I hold yet another mind-numbing cleaning job, my school grades and qualifications mean little over here. I’m going back college, at 26, I feel I still have time. I want to be a Neurobiologist, which is the source of a plaguing obsession for me.

“Where does it feel like life is headed right now? What’s coming up? What seems to be exiting your life right now?”
My life feels like it’s idling, and it’s felt like this for a long while. Education is coming up, I’m not one to rest on my laurels; regardless of the dim tone of this post. Friends seem to be exiting my life right now, but not in a bad way, some of them have not been very good to me.

Sorry I couldn’t provide anything slightly more cheery!

Remelda May 8, 2012 at 7:19 am

I am soon to be 50 and very glad to have made it this far. People in my family sometimes don’t because of an inherited cancer syndrome. Lucky me, I’ve had it and have a good chance of getting it again. This fact is not foremost in my mind, although I opened with it. It was all consuming for awhile especially because I have two young kids. The gift of it, though, made me give up the notion of having control over any aspect of life. This is a great gift. I’ve quit dusting and vacuuming and anticipating everyone’s needs. I fail and quietly get back up again. I let my kids fail; I let them choose. I pursue things I’m interested in and don’t beat myself up when I lose interest. I am mentally scattered and always have been. I’ve spent thousands of hours making lists and goals and trying to write in a journal. No more. I’ll just be scattered and go in the direction of the current wind. I make one brief list every day now and it is entitled, “What is important?” Sometimes it has a to do on it, or sometimes it might just say something like, “dog”. Just a note to the universe that my dog is important. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your moments. Give up control…you will get it back a thousandfold.

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 10:39 am

Remelda ~
I love your “What is important?” list!!
Thank you for sharing ~

Vardo May 8, 2012 at 8:17 am

Before I read this post, I was depressed, out of perspective, a mess.

Im sat in my Mums house, in the kitchen. I live here. The room is a mess. I looked around. It looked like me. I felt bad, sad even.

Then I began to read others stories. And I realised that, of course, I was not alone. Others have similar issues in their life as my own.

This comforted me.

But I also read stories of people in wonderful places. To share those beautiful moments, of pure joy, reminded of possible joys to be had.

This comforted me.

Then I received a text from a girl I like a lot. I feel comfortable with her, shes laid back, open, and interesting. But I was drunk last night, and I felt like I’d been an idiot. Or atleast my mind was convinced I had been an idiot. But she said otherwise.

She comforted me.

In short, I transitioned from joyless to joyful in half an hour.

Now to tidy this kitchen!


JJ May 8, 2012 at 8:19 am

I’m sitting in my living room, drinking coffee and really enjoying the morning. I’m currently working really hard on getting out of debt that’s leftover from a really bad relationship. However, everything is looking up. I’m very close to my goal, and I’m in an amazing relationship now. I think my life is right on the verge of changing a great deal, and it’s a little scary but also pretty exciting!

I’m really challenging myself on all levels. Getting into shape fiscally and physically. Starting a new blog that’s helping me enjoy exploring life’s big questions. Things are looking up.

Shaina May 8, 2012 at 11:19 am

I am alone in a dark apartment in Massachusetts. I just returned home after a workout. It felt good to actually be consistent with my physical body for the last two weeks. I’m currently at a job I dislike that I have been applying to get out of and interviewing. Although it will take a piece of me to leave the people I love there, I need to move on to grow. I finished my degree today leaving me with new found freedom and many life decisions. I’ve wanted to travel for as long as I can remember. I have that choice and opportunity in front of me today but there is a huge obstacle called a relationship in my way. He doesn’t have the undying desire like I do to pick everything up and soar to different cultures and shape myself in that way. His job will not permit that either. Half of my dream is to grow with him and advance my career to critical care here and the other half is to travel and really figure out if this home is really my heart is. This area seems so small sometimes. So today, I am torn in two. I will keep it in the day and follow my gut to the best of my ability. There will be heartbreak with every path.

Jessica May 8, 2012 at 12:45 pm

I’m in my room in Paris. I passed the exams I talked about last year and I am now in my last year of studies- literary translation. I’ve also realized that THIS is the thing I want to do with my life. I’m currently an intern in a literary agency but this is a day off, so I’m enjoying a quiet day with my boyfriend (still programming his videogame!) and my ten-month-old kitty (I would’ve never imagined this little buddy would take so much place in my life). I’m still struggling depression, but my amazing friends are helping me step by step. Thanks to them I’m learning the guitar, writing again and experiencing with photography- three things I’ve always wanted to do but I could not find the courage alone. We’re all having dinner together tonight and I know it will be great. The place is a mess, I should do a bit of cleaning but I don’t care right now. I’m just feeling… content. Calm. I’ve decided to put my worries away for the day and it feels good.
Thank you, David.

That dude over there. May 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Right now I am just sitting on my chair and browsing the internet for anything interesting. But if there is one thing that makes this moment right now awesome – it is the peace i am experiencing right now. I am just feeling contended right now because I seem to be at peace with life right now even though nothing really changed .

Mr.E May 8, 2012 at 3:22 pm

I just woke up from a nap at my brother’s house in Athens, GA. He’s lived here for about 10 years and I’ve only just now found the time and money to come down and visit him. His two children are down for a nap in the other room and he is out back laying down a bass track on some acoustic rhythm guitar I recorded last night in his new custom music studio. I just started a serious relationship with a girl back home in NY…first one I’ve been apart of in about 4 years and it is wonderful. I don’t know where I’m going next in life when I get back home tomorrow. But I’ll go to work again as a bartender, and I’ll learn to get better at guitar, and I’ll appreciate my family and friends, and something new will come along. This blog has helped me to feel comfortable in taking on every week’s new challenges and I’m thankful for coming across it a year ago. Oh, but here comes my beautiful little niece, stumbling sleepily onto the back porch into the sunny, Atlanta breeze…she’s asking for some sliced apples and a hug from her daddy….so I better be a good uncle, and new self-found grownup and go find these things for her! =)

Max Coleman May 8, 2012 at 4:56 pm

I’m at a college in Northeast Ohio. I’m a second-year, and I’ll soon leave for California and come back an upperclassman. College has gone by too fast. I feel that there are a bunch of important “life lessons” I’m supposed to learn, but I haven’t learned them. At least, I don’t know that I’ve learned them.

Today feels very strange, very “off.” I’ve got an odd mixture of anxiety and depression. I’m worried that the job I took over the summer—doing social media for a publishing house—was a bad decision. I’m interested in social justice, so why am I marketing for some corporation?

Right now, I’m fascinated by the concept of “human flourishing.” We’ve been talking in my sociology class about Marcuse and the Frankfurt School, and how social science means nothing if it does not further human emancipation. I’ve been trying to keep that in mind during these hectic weeks of finals. What am I studying? Why am I here? What is the ultimate goal? And how will all this worry and fear serve me years from now?

I still deal with daily anxiety. I’m not sure where my life is headed, but the last thing I want is to plot a trajectory and limit my own existence. The dangers of routine life are severe.

I hope I never lose sight of my passion, especially my interest in social justice. I am terrified that I will be placated by a comfortable life.

I have no idea where to go from here. We’ll just have to find out.

David May 8, 2012 at 5:52 pm

I am sitting on the couch of my new apartment, typing on my laptop while black quinoa is simmering on the stove. I love my new home and neighborhood. After I spent some time in New York this winter I came home to a living situation that was so absurdly wrong for me I was shocked I ever ended up in it.

I had been renting a dull apartment at the edge of the city. I never had people over because there’s nothing to do there. There was nothing nearby but strip malls other houses. The buzz and “neighborhood feel” of New York is what I wanted, and now I live in the most vibrant part of my city and I’m loving it. Finally there are leaves on the trees and summer is about to arrive. 2012 is already the best year of my life.

What’s on my mind? Getting this place in order. This is the first place I lived that feels like home, and so I want to set it up thoughtfully. Not everything is unpacked because I don’t want to just jam everything where there is empty space. I need a few items (rugs, a few more pieces of furniture) in order to get it all unpacked and presentable.

What’s huge for me right now? I have been thinking a lot about relationships and family, and what the next decade or so of my life might be like. I finally have a pretty clear vision of how I’m going to spend the next few years, and I’m reexamining all kinds of things, particularly society’s traditional views on sex, relationships and family. I can’t get much more specific on that right now but I will write about it in the coming months.

I cannot describe the change in my worldview that has resulted from my trip to New York. I found so much I value, and suddenly I know where I want my life to go, and I know I can get it there. Everything is way clearer than it was last year at this time.

I have a cold but I feel really good.

Julie May 9, 2012 at 7:07 am

I love that you enjoyed New York and its atmosphere and that you didn’t have an all-or-nothing attitude about it, but deliberately went about achieving such a lifestyle with the resources that you had at hand. Very inspiring! Enjoy your new place!

ugh.... May 8, 2012 at 6:01 pm

Im sitting here in my room right now. Its disorganized and chaotic. I see it as kind of a reflection of my mental state of affairs….and I dont like that. I am procrastinating currently also. The fact that I’m procrastinating bothers me more than the clutter though. Maybe they’re related…?

I am still thinking about a guy from the past. I ‘left’ him but im still holding on…ironic huh? I know for sure that at that point though, we were NOT right for each other in any capacity… not sure that we’ll ever be. But I still find myself trying to create a version of me he would want….silly I know. But its true. I am slowly learning to let go and love what was….and what is, and all that is to come.

Im also trying to understand why self love is so hard..? Love in general. Its a big mystery to me right now, but slowly I’m understanding…i think.

I want to learn to love.

I also want to move.
That thought scares me.

I really wish I had more friends. People who understood me, or who would try to. People who shared some of my interests. People I could have lunch with and take pictures with. People with whom I could do fun stuff, random stuff…memorable stuff.

I’m also thinking about the decisions I made that got me here..rather, that kept me here. Those ones that I would make differently if given the chance. I know what they say about those decisions being what makes you blah blah…maybe I’ll get enlightened enough to no longer regret. But I am NOT there yet.

I’m also kind of feeling like a bad daughter. I don’t want to support my mom tonight. I just want to run away from it all. Start over. Not have the comittments, responsibilities, obligations I have accepted here and now.

I want to cry.

I consciously know I wont be here forever. Here in this room, here in this city, here in this mindset, here in these struggles…but subconsiously, it feels like it. And that scares me.

Karen J May 10, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I’ve found that my easiest way past “I just wanna cry” – – – – – is to *just cry*!
Sometimes it’s been for 20 minutes, sometimes just for 2 seconds. The tears somehow wash away enough of the overwhelm that I can see “the next indicated thing” to do, whatever it is, and take a step, no matter how small, toward doing it.
Bright Blessings, to you *and* your mom…

Kathleen May 8, 2012 at 7:08 pm

Right… now. I’m sitting on the couch in the corner of this living room apartment – our first apartment together as a married couple. A year ago I was on the brink of my wedding, panicked and restless over the planning that goes into a wedding. Today I’m playing housewife. My house-husband is making a fried rice dish for our lunches tomorrow. I’m relaxing while waiting for our laundry to finish drying in the basement. There are a few articles of clothing hung next to me by the open window, too. I’m catching up on my favorite blogs. Looking at the flowers given to me almost two weeks ago – they’re not quite all wilted, there’s something still sweet about them. I’m babying my left thumb and index finger, which I sliced open with a knife a few hours ago. Ouch. The sun is setting. I’ve been doing a lot of reflecting recently about how I don’t write enough (or as much as I used to), how I’m panicked about trying to launch my career as a photographer. Whether I even want that, or if I just want to go back to school for my Masters, and what I should study if I do choose that path. I’ve also been reflecting on how lucky I am to be married to the man I love, who loves me, even in my crazy, panicked-over-my-future moments. He cooks for me. And helps me with the laundry. And gets me a band-aid when I slice open my thumb. I don’t know if I show him often enough or thoroughly enough how much I love him back. Maybe I’ll figure out how to someday – someday, when I’ve got everything else figured out. What I’m going to do with my life. What I’m going to be when I grow up. I never wanted to just be a housewife. I hope that’s not all I am.

Dhyan May 8, 2012 at 7:27 pm

Monday is always a new day and week to me as it is the start of new work for the week..

Thedr9wningman May 8, 2012 at 7:49 pm

I am walking home from work. I am standing on the Burnside Bridge, the literal centre of Portland, OR (we have NW & SE, etc. quadrants here, the river divides easy from west, Burnside north from south) It is the third sunny day in a row, a light, but constant breeze is washing over me. I silk be going home to new & old friends tonight, sharing movies & a meal. I’m walking over Interstate 5, loaded with rush hour traffic that I no longer take part in due to my walking habits and spectacular house. 10 people have walked by me, 15 or 20 have ridden by on bike, and someone just complemented me on my bow tie and vest.

thedr9wningman May 9, 2012 at 6:51 pm

I really wish my phone would not autocorrect so poorly.

I silk->I will
divides easy->divides east

Now to finish: where am I headed…
I’m not sure. I have about 8 years in my industry of energy efficiency and I am now a well-recognised professional in my industry. I’m hoping to leverage this to get me to Europe in the next 5-8 years. In the last 2 years, my wife and I have taken our second and third respective honeymoons in London & Amsterdam and Barcelona y Mallorca. We’re ‘shopping’ for places to move to. The healthcare situation in America and the unwarranted fear of socialism makes me want to leave. The history and architecture, food and love of art makes us really like Europe.

Things are open-ended. And the Now is a great place to be. Portland is a great place when you have a job and a network of friends. My band is finally gaining some notoriety after 12 years of playing, so leaving that success unfinished seems like a bad idea, since it was a childhood dream.

Mainly what I’m realising is that most of my childhood dreams have been realised. Some find that disorienting. I find it liberating. I don’t need a ‘purpose’ in life: Life and enjoying the fantastic quality of life that I have created for myself is purpose enough.

I am content in the present moment. And I read your blog on my walk to or from work. Thanks David for giving me reminders of why I try to stay aware, why I’m attempting to wake up, and why I keep meditating. It is the journey, not the destination.

Jeanie May 8, 2012 at 8:21 pm

There are a few articles of clothing hung next to me by the open window, too. I’m catching up on my favorite blogs. Looking at the flowers given to me almost two weeks ago – they’re not quite all wilted, there’s something still sweet about them.

Roberta Romero May 8, 2012 at 10:34 pm

My corner right now: At this moment I am sitting in my “little oasis” as my friend calls it and next to me is my furry houseguest, who occasionally meows. I am in the midst of a career change not by choice, but out of necessity & serendipity. I am excited and have a bit of trepidation, yet know everything will be okay. As the rafting instructor taught us when you fall into the rapids go with the rapids not against them, and that is how I view life nowadays.

Allison May 8, 2012 at 10:51 pm

I am sitting at my parents house in good old Okeechobee, Fl – the place I worked my ass off for the first 18 years of my life to get away from. Three years and maybe a little more perspective, I miss it sometimes, and then I get here, in the midst of the dramatics of such a small town and realize I was made for so much better than the immature bullshit that exists around every corner of this place. Even three hours away in Gainesville is better than this. I have big plans and even bigger dreams and know that I am on the right track, and getting away from this sickly place was the first step. I have no idea where I will be eight months from now, and I am having the time of my life riding out the roller coaster that is my life right now, even being the planner that I am. Between my amazing boyfriend, our perfect house and FINALLY finding out where my passions lie, I am in good shape.

V May 9, 2012 at 1:12 am

I am in Sweden, sitting in a beautiful big room with a walk-in closet that could be a hallway and a bathroom as big as the bedroom attached. Outside there is a little flower bed directly below my window, a tree with amber sap that is blooming white flowers and a green hill that leads down to a large lake, with a little forest on the other side of it.
A little girl is sitting next to me, watching ‘Chuggington’ while I attempt to get some writing done (and procrastinate by reading your blog). I look after her, she is not mine. I’m an au pair here.

I came here last October, to be with my boyfriend (at the time, we’d been together 2 months). He’s here doing his Masters degree.
I’ve learned a little Swedish, I’ve had a Swedish winter and am watching the world come back to life with the spring.
I’m truly in love for what could possibly be the first time in my life, if I think about it.

My job here is coming to an end. In the summer, we’re returning to the UK for June, then we’re off to New York for July. I’ve applied for a Bachelors course here, to finally finish a degree, so I may be back in August or September to start that, while he may do an internship or may come back for a course here. He still has a year and a half of his degree to go.

Behind me is lonliness, misery in my job, a lack of direction in life and financial worries.
Ahead of me is love, starting to find my passion and trying to make a job of it (writing), financial security (we’re not ‘well off’, not even comfortable enough for annual holidays, but we don’t starve and we always make rent, so its nice).
I hope that in a year I can say things got better still. I may have found the right one for me and right now, I’m loving how crazy and changeable life is. Two years ago, I was in Australia. Last year, I was in London. Now, I live in Sweden. I’ve met some wonderful people and its altogether wonderful.

V May 9, 2012 at 1:13 am

I am in Sweden, sitting in a beautiful big room with a walk-in closet that could be a hallway and a bathroom as big as the bedroom attached. Outside there is a little flower bed directly below my window, a tree with amber sap that is blooming white flowers and a green hill that leads down to a large lake, with a little forest on the other side of it.
A little girl is sitting next to me, watching ‘Chuggington’ while I attempt to get some writing done (and procrastinate by reading your blog). I look after her, she is not mine. I’m an au pair here.

I came here last October, to be with my boyfriend (at the time, we’d been together 2 months). He’s here doing his Masters degree.
I’ve learned a little Swedish, I’ve had a Swedish winter and am watching the world come back to life with the spring.
I’m truly in love for what could possibly be the first time in my life, if I think about it.

My job here is coming to an end. In the summer, we’re returning to the UK for June, then we’re off to New York for July. I’ve applied for a Bachelors course here, to finally finish a degree, so I may be back in August or September to start that, while he may do an internship or may come back for a course here. He still has a year and a half of his degree to go.

Behind me is lonliness, misery in my job, a lack of direction in life and financial worries.
Ahead of me is love, starting to find my passion and trying to make a job of it (writing), financial security (we’re not ‘well off’, not even comfortable enough for annual holidays, but we don’t starve and we always make rent, so its nice).
I hope that in a year I can say things got better still. I may have found the right one for me and right now, I’m loving how crazy and changeable life is. Two years ago, I was in Australia. Last year, I was in London. Now, I live in Sweden. I’ve met some wonderful people and its altogether great.

V May 9, 2012 at 1:29 am

whoops, I didn’t mean for that to post twice..

Noch Noch | be me. be natural. May 9, 2012 at 4:30 am

Great article!!! I loved the inspiration

i’m at my desk in my Bear Room, at home in Beijing, wokring out seating plans for my wedding next week, and surrounded by postcards of places I’ve travelled to and from friends, my bear collection and my puppy
life is good

Noch Noch

Julie May 9, 2012 at 6:23 am

I love this idea. It brings to mind the many places I have been in my life and how impermanent the current moment always is.

I am 46 years old, sitting in my apartment in Hungary (not my native land). My marriage of 17 years ended in divorce last fall, finalized after a long custody battle. (I got full custody.) Only yesterday, I entered a petition to leave this country with my three children. If I get permission, everything in our lives will change in one fell swoop. If I don’t, I need to get a Plan B. If someone had asked me 10 years ago what I would be doing now, I never would have guessed this. On the positive side, in my six years in Hungary, I have become relatively fluent in the language and made a lot of friends. And have made life-changing discoveries about myself and my strength.

My current goals are to eliminate from my life (as much as possible) those things that don’t bring me joy, those things that I do every day that I don’t do because I want to do them, but because I feel obligated. I want to create my own life instead of just letting things happen. I want to stop letting the world and the mindless busy-ness of our current society run the show. I want to mostly interact with people who build me up. I want to simplify our lives and teach my children by example how to determine what’s important and what’s not in their own lives as they grow to adulthood. All the things that I had to figure out all by myself.

Sarah May 9, 2012 at 8:20 am

I’m in N.S.W Australia and it is 10:56pm and I’m lying in bed unable to sleep due to an unsettled mind that won’t switch itself off. My little girl is here lying next to me and except for the steady rythm of her breathing and the occasional passing car outside, it is completely quiet. I am feeling tired and burnt out at the moment, yet at the same time feel guilty, knowing there are so many in this world really suffering, who would rightly sscabies at my complaints. But tonight, I find it hard to gain perspective and wonder what the future holds for us, what trials and tribulations does life have in store for little girl, will I ever escape my increasingly unsatisfying work, and if I do get the courage to leave and follow my dreams, will we be okay? Will I ever feel excited again? Will I ever feel fulfilled again, if in fact, I ever did? Will i ever stop myself so seriously and just push past the doubt, fear and what if’s and just live? Will I ever JUST get it before it’s too late?

Siboney LaLuz May 9, 2012 at 8:45 am

Lying here in the dim blue light of our bedroom in the early hours. Listening to the faint but familiar sounds of morning: traffic, birds, my man”s soft breathing. With all the love that my heart can hold.
My thoughts are along the lines of how far I have come in my quest and how startlingly clear it is at times that God/The Universe hears our soul song and responds. That whatever I have put my entire self and soul into has been manifested in my reality. Which, being human, makes me wonder, what else do I want to create in my life? So, probably the biggest thing that is “exiting” my life right now is doubt and disbelief, that I deserve happiness and that I can create this for myself with a little luck.

yliharma May 9, 2012 at 8:53 am

This is me, last year: https://www.raptitude.com/2011/05/your-little-corner-of-time/#comment-15925 exactly the same place but slightly different people, same wish to live on my own, same need to figure out what I really want, what my life should look like. Yet things are not exactly the same…I’m not longing for something “new”, I got it (started practicing Wing Chun, a long time desire) and I don’t feel like living “adventures”: but I’m still waiting to understand, waiting for some “hint” from the universe :)

Terri Lynn May 9, 2012 at 11:11 am

Hahaha. When I took the moment to pause and look at my surroundings, I noticed a man outside my tea shop pan-handling. :) I also noticed the kindness and generosity of the individual he was interacting with.

So I asked myself who am I free loading from. And who is enabling me to do that. And noticed how this dynamic is keeping me stuck.

This is very timely because just this morning I was reflecting on how much change I have experienced in the past year and can feel a change coming in my exterior world as a result of it.

Thanks David.

Valarie May 9, 2012 at 4:11 pm

I’m at my big “important” window-office in downtown Washington,DC at my desk. I’m working for a world-renowned organization and am at the top of my game professionally…and I don’t care. I’m ready for something more..real. My husband is headed down to Florida for the next 4 months to scope out the possibility of a new life there, close to family…where we could start a family. Stop chasing the dreams everyone else had for us and start on our own. I’m excited and scared..a lot of unknown around the corner. But the view is nice from here, so I’ll enjoy it for a moment longer.

Dean May 9, 2012 at 11:23 pm

I’ve started my new life. I got a new job (making nearly twice as much), started grad school, and have made insane amounts of personal progress. I moved out of my parent’s house, ran my first marathon, and am training for my first triathlon (a half Ironman). I’ve lost twenty pounds and gained confidence in my looks. I’m mentoring at a school and while I just started, I’m super excited for it. David, you’ve helped me accomplish many things by putting my mind in the right direction. I’ve done tons of work on myself, but you’re something I look forward to every Monday. Thanks for being awesome.

Nathan Buss May 10, 2012 at 10:13 am

That’s awesome man. You are an inspiration!

Ryan May 10, 2012 at 6:10 am

At the moment I’m at home and pretty soon I’ll have to leave for school. This isn’t the best time in my life right now but it’s also not the worst either. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety, and some eating disorders back in January. Dealing with them is a lot harder than pretending I’m fine but I know I’ll be much happier this way. I’m with my friends all the time and they make things much easier so at least I have that going for me. I’m trying to take things day-by-day and enjoy the moment because I really do have a lot of good things in my life too.

Nathan Buss May 10, 2012 at 10:11 am

I presume that my school you mean college. College can be a depressing time and you are doing right by being thankful for what you have and living in the moment. You will be a living anti-depression agent before you know it. 2 years ago I was in my third year of college and failed an entire semester due to depression and anxiety, I saw a psychologist during that whole period and literally have not felt depressed or anxious for any extended period of time sense. I feel like once you beat the battle of depression/anxiety you get to a point where you have beat it for the rest of your life!

Jenn May 10, 2012 at 8:57 am

I’m sitting at the teardrop-shaped seminar table in my classroom in the small, unique prep school at which I’m approaching the end of my fifth year of teaching English. It’s my planning period, but sharing the table with me are some students, seniors graduating in just a week, who are finishing up the last details of their work here so that they can turn their attention to the next big thing. One is from Spain, another from Tennessee (it’s a boarding school in North Carolina); as I write, two more students come in. The Spanish kid asks me about the difference between “graveyard” and “cemetery”; a girl asks me which college English course she should sign up for and then rants about how unreasonable the soccer coach is being.
This is the first full-time job I deliberately sought out; after years of teaching college classes (as a TA or adjunct) and summer courses for gifted high-school kids, I decided that my sympathies lay with the kids, and that I wanted to be a high-school teacher. It was the right decision. I have no kids of my own, by choice, but I love getting to know my students, gaining their trust, teaching them to read and write better, and listening to them try to figure out their lives. I hope that I continue to love my work as much as I do now, and that I recognize the signs when I stop loving it and have the integrity to go do something else when I stop being able to give my heart to teaching.
I have mixed feelings about my relationship with my parents and brother right now; there’s a nagging voice in the back of my mind, and I’m hoping I will figure out how to soothe it and find some peace. In the meantime, I’m dating a man I met online (and have been for almost a year), and that relationship is proving to be a steady source of pleasure, more so than any relationship I’ve ever had. We are planning a road trip in a couple of months through the northeast, perhaps as far north as Montreal. Given the political climate in North Carolina right now, part of me wants to leave and stay gone. The future always feels like an open question, and I like it that way.

Nathan Buss May 10, 2012 at 10:02 am

Right now I am sitting in my fathers house in his office. I am here because I recently graduated college and have no job and had a split with my girlfriend I was living with. Where is life going? Well through college I learned many lessons and where I want my life to go in the future. I feel like I am in stagnation but also feel like this is a wonderful opportunity to start an AMAZING new life. The opportunities are endless and I am working everyday to figure out how to start my dream business while at the same time enjoying life with my friends and dating when the opportunity arises. So that is my back story, one of which could have some concerned but not me…instead I’m heading toward the life of my dreams with my head up and confidence and spirits high!

Julie May 10, 2012 at 10:51 am

I’ve been reflecting on this for a few days. I sit cross-legged on my bedroom floor, at the computer. I like this space. I’ll be leaving it behind too soon.

How I got myself here – I left a life and a career. It feels like starting again but it isn’t. I’m starting an MFA in the fall, after two preparatory years that were a phenomenally good investment in myself – not to mention meeting my goal of getting into school.

There are tensions I feel sometimes, that lurk at the edges. A huge paper due tomorrow (I’ll get back to working on that in a few moments). The gap between the person my family interacts with and the person that I am, and hoping the summer isn’t difficult because of that. Doing a degree in visual arts when what I care about is experience – well, at least it’s an interdisciplinary program. Wide open. Doing a degree when my art practice doesn’t fit the semester calendar but instead has a much longer timescale. Teaching a class I’ve never sat through or taken. I’m not sure if I like being nomadic. Most of these tensions exist with events that are in the future. They’re super annoying when I can’t just let them go.

I’m happier now than I was two years ago. I’m more sure of myself now than I was one year ago. I’ve been making balance in my self and in my life, and that just plain feels good. I have lost any sense of a career path as such. I’m wandering around, far from adrift, but not sure where my complicated set of interests and desires fits into this strange world. But I’m confident that I am doing what I want to be doing, and not trying to fulfill my ideas of others’ expectations. For the moment, I’m confident that I’ll be fine. For the moment. It’s been pretty unsteady lately. But that seems reasonable enough. It’s been a rough year.

What keeps returning to my thoughts are temporary problems: this damn paper, impending credit card debt, an eight hundred mile move. Very real. But temporary.

My corner of time is strange. A day is endless; weeks are gone in a blink.

Ali May 10, 2012 at 5:07 pm

A year ago I was in a loveless relationship and was starting to lose respect for myself. I am over that and a happier person for it.
I am sat relaxing after a busy day at work. My job involves helping some people rebuild their lives whilst tearing other people’s apart. I have spent today talking to sick people, trying to spur them on to better health, and then talking to worried relatives of others explaining that sometimes we have to let nature take it’s course as we are limited in what we can do to help when competing with the universe and all it’s power. In the midst of all this, I am trying desperately to work out if this is the job for me, with all the emotional turmoil, and gratitude, that it holds or whether I need to do something in which I actually have time for my own life and that of my friends and family. Although a doctor for four years now I still have exams to do and a career ladder to climb. It’s all for the greater good but is it to my detriment? I still have a lot of questions to answer.
This is a fantastic blog and I am honoured to have a glimpse into the lives of others. Thank you David.

David May 10, 2012 at 8:26 pm

So touched by these stories. It seems like the prominent themes in almost all of our situations are uncertainty, hope and a “not quite there yet” feeling. Maybe that means it’s ok?

nathan May 12, 2012 at 3:25 am

I think your right David, and maybe a “not quite there yet” feeling never actually goes away. Maybe its meant to be there as an innate drive and motivation for continual progress. If at some point we felt “wow I’m there, this is it” this would hinder progress.

Krystal May 10, 2012 at 9:09 pm

I am back in my home town after living with my boyfriend in a big, beautiful city. He decided he wants to change his life (get a better job, go back to school, go on tour..) before he can ever grow in a relationship with me. I spent almost a grand to move back into a tiny room in my parent’s house. No job, no money, no school, no cats, no love. I hope to look back at this time in a year and know that it was all worth it. I’m heartbroken but I realize the only thing I can do now is build myself back up, bigger and better. xo

Pooja M May 11, 2012 at 11:16 am

Hello. It’s Friday morning & I just read this post. And right now I am at a dentist’s office for my wisdom tooth surgery follow up appointment. To seriously answer your question, I am in Chicago & feel like I am at the best place in my life right now. Only yesterday, my husband & I were having this discussion about our thoughts & where we were last year at the same time & how different everything was/is at the moment. We have travelled a long way from just meeting each other, graduating in the recession, loosing a parent, finding satisfactory jobs & getting married after 5 years of relationship. We have grown with each experience & have learnt to take every situation in a positive way. Well, that’s the summary of my life at this time :-). By the way, great posts. Keep it up!

Kayla May 11, 2012 at 6:13 pm

I’m curled in the fetal position on my parents armchair, which I just found out I will have a fine opportunity to sit in for the next two years. Yesterday, I found out we didn’t have the money needed for me to go to the university I was admitted into for the fall, and will be sitting at my parent’s house in the middle of suburbia instead of exploring Chicago. I am sad about that. I am, however, hopeful that this will give me much needed time to focus on myself and figure out what I want out of this life. The fact that I’m even here is borderline crazy.
A few months ago I was hospitalized because I let my eating disorder consume me. I was addicted to harming myself and majorly depressed. Today I sit here relaxed and very much alive. I don’t know if I like where I am, as there are still parts I feel I can’t deal with, but I have absolute hope that I can continue in recovery and create a reason for myself.

Kim or Lisa May 12, 2012 at 2:35 pm

First of all, I am in my parents’ living room and for the first time in a long time, I really took a good look and realized how nice and pretty it is. It is quite relaxing and has always been a place where the family could have a great talk. I got to this moment because I needed to do laundry and use the internet, lol. Today feels good, because for the first time ever in my whole life that I really thought of using my challenges as something to surpass as opposed to kowtow too. It could get better and I have to learn new ways of dealing with people but I think to myself “Challenge accepted.”

On my mind is this huge idea that I feel will define my life and it’s that point where I am on the precipice and feeling the updraft and all I need to do is jump. It is a heady, adrenaline pumping experience but this time around there is no going back, no playing safe and somehow, I’m at peace with that. For once in my life I have no doubts about my future.

For once in my life, I feel awesome, I don’t want to put up with people’s shite and their expectations. I understand that it is my life and I’m living it on my terms.

Soma May 12, 2012 at 7:14 pm

I love recording this notion of “Where I Am Right Now”–it is often the motivation for me to keep the Morning Pages (http://paperartstudio.tripod.com/artistsway/id3.html). Normally these recordings leave me feeling vulnerable, and I keep them to myself, but this website has given so much to me–seems only polite to give something back.

Life is good, or much better than it’s ever been. I’m happy and fit, living my life in San Francisco, with a well-paying job and a great circle of close friends. I want for nothing, really.

I’m oscillating between days of extreme joy and extreme frustration, largely due to expectations put upon me by a new role at work. Yesterday an outburst of frustration surfaced in a wholly unproductive way, so I’m thinking it is time to either change roles or move on.

I’m wildly excited about a music festival on the horizon with two dear friends. We had our first such experience a year ago, and it changed my life. Two weeks after that I will be seeing my family in our traditional summer vacation spot for the first time in at least three years. I love the rush of nostalgia that comes with seeing them again, and remembering how easy it is to be myself around people of the same mind and blood.

I am craving an intimate connection with someone–the kind of effortless coexistence that multiplies one’s waking hours. Thankfully I seek this with less of an attitude of “if I find them I will be happy” (like I used to), and more of an “I am happy and I would really love to share it with someone.”

Thanks, David, for this amazing site.

Soma May 12, 2012 at 7:46 pm

Ha, and in my rambling, I forgot the most important part: Tomorrow I have a consult for my first tattoo, which I am getting for an extremely similar reason as your English backpacker. The symbol is to remind me that your particular corner of the world is meant to change, and that allowing yourself to change with it is the key to growth. The most pain in my life has come from trying to hold on to things that are meant to move on.

I’ve heard it said that synchronicity is life’s way of telling you you’re on the right path. Thanks again, David, and everyone else for sharing their beautifully human vignettes here.

jess halley May 12, 2012 at 10:56 pm

i’ve been reflecting a bit on one that resonated (“you can’t really know what you want until you know you don’t know what you want”) and came to this article, at this moment. and speaking of synchronicity, soma–i love the beauty of the fact that these two truths have intermingled to bring me to an “aha” and a way of dancing with one of my own deep challenges in a time of great transition.. i have ink on my own skin that i’ve grappled with~what does it mean for me now? what to do with something so much a part of me as my own flesh, when it no longer fits in the same way? and here i bow to the genius of the man who realized–and then shared!–“that I had a lot of lives already and still have heaps to go.”

so for today, i am grateful for this outwardly quiet and inwardly LOUD place, one in which i will not sit tomorrow or next year.. and i am grateful that this moment is not infinite but that i can learn from it and allow that which has impressed itself on my soul yesterday and today to be a small piece of my tomorrow.. whether or not the memory is laced into my epidermis.

Ingrid May 13, 2012 at 5:45 am

I’m in an apartment in Oslo, we call our place “Casa Lugubre”. It means dark house. Someone who lived here before named it. It`s an apartment in the basement, the windows are far up on the walls. At times I feel trapped here, although the city is just on my doorstep.
I’m looking for a job after studying choreography and dance practice, and I’m afraid to aim as high as I want to go with my dreams. So afraid to fail. Maybe now is not the right time. I have some projects going on, and I am looking forward to working professionally. I am worried about whether I will ever be “good enough” to have such a career.

Heath Arnolds May 13, 2012 at 5:01 pm

Thanks for sharing your great story. I don’t have a story to tell so I just want to thank you all for sharing these marvelous stories. I had fun reading all of your shares and I’m glad that I came into this article. How do you usually spend your Monday mornings?

Cetta May 14, 2012 at 1:24 am

Your tat is so cool bro! I want to have something llike that done but my girlfriend will be furious

Heidi Wilkinson May 14, 2012 at 4:36 am

The only thing that’s stopping me from getting a tattoo is my blood type. I’m an O and I want to be able to donate blood to my relatives. But if I wanted to have one, I would want the coordination of where I live.

Sarah May 14, 2012 at 7:16 am

It’s almost 8 at night but here I am in this empty classroom, in my university, using the computer like I always do…
Yesterday was my birthday, and boy what a way to end it – an emotional goodbye to my best friend of 4 years. Star-crossed lovers, trying to get over each other thing.
I don’t think I should be complaining though…I am just 21. There’s bound to be a lot more of these things huh.
Just got back from a final exam paper actually. I did really well I think…which should be somewhat celebratory in my case. Writing that makes me wanna laugh. University was tough for me until about a year ago…now I’m doing much better and I just can’t wait to finish my degree.
I hope it doesn’t pass me by.

Rene May 14, 2012 at 10:21 pm

I’m sitting on my bed. My thoughts run like horses in all directions, and they all want to pull me away with them. Sometimes I think north; the next second I think south. I would never value a compass, it would be wasted on me. But seriously, where am I right now? I’m at the middle of something, at the middle of getting somewhere, I just need to pass on a message I forgot to write down. A little lost, maybe. I’m trying to build myself up from the ground, and in the process I’m severing all roots that don’t seem mine. Some times I feel like I’m floating, unbounded, uncompromised to the ground. Some times I feel I’m just stupid. I negotiate. All the time. I market myself; I wear psychological make-up. Or I did. I’m trying to go natural. That’s is where I am right now. I am trying to claim the person that I am from all the people who love me. I’m also about to get in trouble, but hey, everything is fine. It always is.

Greg May 15, 2012 at 3:44 am

I am sitting in an open plan office in Paris, France. It is late spring, I can see bright green leaves on a tree on the boulevard, spongy white fluffy clouds and patches of blue sky. I have been happily married for 32 years, three kids doing well in college, graduate school. And everything is fine. My job is not as challenging as I would like, but I can’t decide if it is just my time in life where everything starts to crumble on the corners, or whether I should rouse myself and leave everything behind. It is hard to leave installed comfort. I should be happy to have a job, and yet I feel bored. Can’t really leave everything behind since the kids still need support for a few more years. But if I could I would retire today. I would spend my days painting, playing piano, running.

Dakota May 15, 2012 at 7:11 am

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. I’m 19 and work in a pretty dead end job, I’m a checkout chick! Yay right? Most days life drives me up the wall I don’t really know where things are heading right now but a list of things I want just keeps be going. I want to study but I can’t decide on where to start or muster the motivation. I’m watching the world pass around me finishing most nights in the glow of a lamp while reading blog posts questioning my life’s direction. I’m now sprawled out one my bed after an intense session at the gym thinking about some of the customers that i served who gave random pieces of life advice. Maybe that’s what it’s all about?

Roku May 15, 2012 at 10:34 am

Whoa! I remember reading that paragraph a year ago! I was still renting out my mother-in-law’s dump of a house with a job I hated and loads of stress about crap mostly related to those two things. It was typical to feel utterly hopeless, and I was too embarrassed to leave a comment back then.
Now, I’m living in an awesome apartment and have just gone full-time with my art, and everything feels as though it’s fallen into place. On top of that, tomorrow my husband has an interview with a huge company he’s been wanting to work for. Wow! Damn! Life is crazy, dudes!

Nancy May 20, 2012 at 2:38 am

Well the story was inspirational and very touching….


virginia May 22, 2012 at 2:48 pm

In this moment I am indecisive. I am between majors (from theatre to biology). I am between ethics (welfarist to abolitionist) and therefore between diets ( vegtarian to vegan). I am between ages (legal child, to legal adult). I want to always be a child, always to be molding and changing and growing. Thankfully, those are directional. But I am also between spirituality (I believe my soul needs something more than it has, but I don’t know what it is or how to get it). I am between directions in life (simple or urban and advanced, the arts, technical such as being a doctor, science, or math). I am between many sets obligations (the obligation to myself now and the obligation to myself later, the obligation to my health or the obligation to my station in life, the obligations to my relationship with my boyfriend and the obligation to be independent). I am struggling to determine whether or not any of these need to conflict, or if I’m too lazy to do it all. I have always treated every decision as if only one choice had a life beyond it. What I must learn is that they all do and I can live and grow and thrive in each one.

ben May 24, 2012 at 1:24 am

A year and 2 days ago I graduated from college, diploma fresh in hand. A year and 5 days ago, I was partying my ass off. Now, I am working an office job with a soar back, but doing my best to make the world a better place, a place I want my kids to live in. I am concerned with November’s elections. I am close to quitting my job to invest my time in my art: music. I’ve been missing a very special woman for about 10 months now. She is traveling the world, surely making it better with each soul she touches. I’m curious where I’ll be in a year.

rosemary May 26, 2012 at 2:44 pm

I am sitting in my best friend’s tiny room while she sleeps. I am caught between the end of the school year and the start of summer- afraid to go home- running away from my problems by staying away and partying. I hate this transition period and I wish I could just run straight into next semester.
Three days before I confront myself and make the trek to my mom’s house. Unprepared for the next few months because I know things will change. Summer is a weird time. I don’t know if it is the season itself, or the season of confusion inside my body. My mind swirls with discomfort and hesitation.

Marie June 7, 2012 at 9:06 pm

I’m sitting in my friend’s apartment in Seoul, South Korea. I’m six days into a month’s trip away from home. I’m loving the experience of a culture so different from my own. It’s nice to get some distance from my day to day life, but I didn’t manage to leave my mental baggage at home.

I wanted this trip to occur after I had finalized a long, drawn-out and consuming project (a PhD). This trip was supposed to mark the end of a life dominated by that problem, and the start of a shiny, happy, new life that I hope lies beyond it, but the thesis is unfinished and I have to return to it. Even though it wont take much to complete it when I return, I’m quite disappointed that it’s still on my mind, and I’m frustrated that I can’t mentally leave this problem behind for a month and truly relax.

I’ve also been in a relationship for a very long time that meets some of my needs spectacularly, but does a dismal job of meeting others. I can imagine that another relationship might be better for me, but so far nothing better has come along. I wonder if there really is anything better for me. I think that after I have finished the project I am working on, I will have more energy to devote to finding something better.

I’m also a little worried about finding work after I finish my degree. I don’t want to continue on in academia, and I’ll have to move into a new field. I’m not sure what I’ll do.

So I imagine that I’m headed towards the shiny, happy, new life, where the degree is behind me, and I have a new job in a new field, and my man troubles are a thing of the past, and no new troubles have arisen, but for the moment I’m still stuck.

And a part of me suspects that the shiny, happy, new life with no troubles is just a mirage.

Bob June 12, 2012 at 6:24 am

I am lying on the floor of our family house in the south of England. I have been suffering with sciatica and have been told not to sit for a day or two. I actually quite like the lying down, it reminds me of doing my homework for school (never thought I would say that).
I am the father of two children who are both bright and wonderful, and am the husband to my wife who I send to work every day to work and earn money while I lie on the floor writing this. She is also bright and wonderful.

I have been stuck in a rut for ages. I would love to work but we always need to look after the children and we have no family locally to look after them. I can be quite depressing when we have so little money and I am so bored but what can you do. I guess I am lucky to be able to have looked after my children so many men have not had that opportunity.

I am reasonably well educated with a BSc in Psychology and some post graduate stuff. I have also trained as a carpenter. Despite this I have been struggling with negative thoughts about my ability to earn a living, this is why it is me that has stayed at home while my wife goes to work. I took the decision that I needed to sort this out so last year I got myself some counselling and am at present half way through a course in mindfulness meditation. I have found that meditation has really helped me become more relaxed about my abilities and I am hoping will help me move on.

I don’t usually comment but thought that this may be cathartic. I enjoyed reading those who have posted before me. I wish everyone well.

pretaporteno June 16, 2012 at 4:49 am

I’m on the floor in the living room with my old Mac Ibook. The TV is on. Dinner was vegetable soup. Right now I live in Auckland, New Zealand, renting a room in the home of a friend. She is printing family photographs for a big, multi-window frame. It’s cosy in here, the lights dimmed, kettle on the boil. This month holds milestones for me, two years of leaving an unhappy relationship, of giving my life to Christ, my birthday. Birthday blues are creeping.

Keith June 20, 2012 at 1:56 pm

I am carried away in my thoughts. I started dating this girl almost a month ago. We get along famously and have a lot in common. She is leaving for the army in five months for a five year contract. I will probably never see her again. Originally I didn’t think it was a good idea for us to start dating given our odd circumstances. But then one day she sent me a text containing an an analogy about her pool that she had when she was a kid. She said, “You know when the pool is really shallow and you know you shouldn’t jump, but you do anyways? You know you’ll probably end up hurting yourself in the end, but you tuck your legs in extra close and cross your fingers that your legs don’t scrape the bottom.” That’s what this is. Although I am not sure where this roller coaster will take us, I am happy to be on it.

lsadijnvsd July 17, 2012 at 1:39 am

girl, 23, no friends ever, no bf ever, no kiss ever, no father, mum sometimes crazy, family problems, unsteady future, worries, not much money, mum not much money, depression alot, no steady job, cant hold steady job because I can’t stay with people too long because I get scared and run away, awkward in talking, scared about alot, but! losing weight some now because have started running..but now will make some nachos because I am hungry..but I mostly cant see a future for me..I want a close friend:(

Lauren August 20, 2012 at 9:38 pm

I am watching the hand tick on my watch beginning to realize, thanks to your post, what precious moments these are. Time has followed me to a place where I am no one but myself; how priceless and unexpected.

Harrison September 25, 2012 at 8:56 am

I’m a 17 year old from Texas, so close to 18, currently living in the Cayman Islands. I have a passion for photography and videography, and I plan on moving to San Francisco next year to pursue it professionally. I have unschooled the past 2 1/2 years, my time here in Cayman, so I’ve volunteered in Peru and interned with a local video production company. I currently work at the only camera store on island, saving up for the big jump. Today I will work on a friend’s website, a clothing company promo video, and update my resume for other work on island and the camera stores in SF I plan to work at. Then to take my mind off things, I will go skate at the local skatepark to end the day.

Stephanie October 24, 2012 at 11:04 pm

I am 19 years old. Currently I am sitting in my dorm room in southern illinois. My chair is squeaky and today has been one of the first sunny days in a while. I am surrounded by anatomy and physiology notes and powerpoints. My life is going… I am a nursing student and I feel like my social life is down the tubes. I have friends but I think that i do not like their company. My roommate likes to talk about herself alot, and likes to complain. Deep conversation is not her thing. Don’t get me wrong she’s a nice girl but maybe we shouldn’t be living together. I feel alone a lot and I miss my family especially my siblings. my brother is in New York and my sister is at home. I feel sometimes great surges of high highs but only to fall back into low lows. I yearn to be free although I have no idea what that means to me. I just want to leave everything but I am afraid of where it will go. That’s my life, I live it everyday.

Lalala February 19, 2013 at 8:11 pm

I’m in my house, in my design studio specifically. I’m from a depressing little town plagued by poverty but somehow my family’s doing alright. I asked my parents to get me to take a sem off from fashion school because I flunked four subjects and I’m starting to question whether fashion’s for me. Somehow in the solitude of my studio I find myself drawn to art projects although it feels very lonely. I feel like I’m much more productive with my time now more than ever, and I have faith now that I’ll land somewhere I really like wherever that is if I just have fun doing what I do and not mind so much what others are doing or how they’re advancing before me. I feel like a turtle in a race, but I know I’ll go far. I’m starting to have faith.

borisa February 20, 2013 at 7:40 am

I am in Slovakia, my homeland, at work listening to John Lennon Collection album. My life has stuck here. I have no boyfriend, my only two friends are much older and are living lives way different from me. I am looking for a job in Germany, actually I have been looking for it for almost a year but without success. My horoscope for the second half of 2013 (cancer) says this will be a great year and everyhting will be better than I can imagine. The next such a great year will be 2025! I will find that job, I will move to Germany and I will find someone to spend my life and all the experiences with. I want to believe it, otherwise I would loose all my remaining faith. I could be considered a happy person (health, job, car, etc) but I want more and I can achieve more. So I am going for it.
I have my drum session tonight and then I will run to my favorite cafe to sit there undisturbed and read a book (Douglas Coupland – Generation A).

Sandy Nguyen February 20, 2013 at 8:02 am

I am at my rented place in a city far away from my hometown. Arrived here for the first time 6 years ago for college. Have been going back and forth for quite some times. This time, I have stayed for a solid 1.5 years. And if nothing changes, I am gonna stay here for at least 1.5 years more. My room is cleaned and tidy, well-equipped and inspiring. My mind is cleared and I feel somewhat content with what I am and what I have now. Also looking forward to a better future. I quit that miserable job 10 months ago and have been happiest ever since. I just saw a picture of the people from the company this morning. All the same, the same old people, the same old set-up at the office. Thinking about the what-if and feeling relieved. I made the right choice that moment, even though it was so scary. My life is so much better now! I feel like I am in control of my life, at least for this time being.

cleo j February 20, 2013 at 7:26 pm

Right now, I’m sitting in my apartment. Doing nothing at all while having so much to do. The lights are dim and it’s cold outside. I just got out of class where I had to present my project to my class. And I was nervous, like always. My roommate is in the other room talking to her cat exclusively. It only just occurred to me that happiness is something I can choose to have. Regardless, negativity always invades my thoughts. I always think the worst of myself. Sometimes I decide that I’m wrong about that but much too often I decide that I’m right.. that I’m failing at life. I’m in new york like i dreamed about when i was younger. i’m at the school i decided i wanted to go to years ago and if you just looked at the surface maybe you’d think things are okay. But they’re not. I try and I fail constantly so I decide not to try at all to save myself from disappointment. I so want to rise to the occasion, be happy and the best that I can be but it feels like every one is against me. I hope that I’ll have a breakthrough and convince myself (for good) that it doesn’t matter. I have to start loving myself before I let others get to me.

Bryan February 21, 2013 at 4:19 am

Right now I’m sitting in my office, on a naval ship in the middle in the Gulf of Thailand. Harsh fluorescent lighting always makes things seem more depressing. I’m 26 and have 13 months left in the Navy. I feel in the three years I have been deployed I have gained nothing. I read about all of the accomplishments, and milestones people back at home have made. Graduating college, marriage, babies, and buying their first house. What have I accomplished? Nothing… I honestly just feel that this is where I am at in my life. I’m at the crossroads which lead nowhere. It just might be the oppressive nature of the beast we call “the naval warship”, or the “twilight zone”. You never move backward or forward. You just don’t move, and nothing moves you anymore. Blank like a canvas screaming and begging for someone, or something to paint on you with vivid colors and bring you to life. I did this to myself by enlisting thinking that my life was headed down a bad road. Endless partying on every substance under the sun. I don’t long for those days, but the days before that, when I felt alive, accomplished and happy with the choices in my life. Today feels like what everyday has felt like for the past 3 years. Why? Why am I here and what purpose do I serve in life?
What’s on my mind… Is this life? Constantly questioning if you have made the right decision, will you ever be comfortable in your own skin and thought process? Are you good enough?
What huge for me? The question: What is next, and once I find out, will I succeed?
I don’t know where I am headed and I don’t see an exit or a light. Nothing excites me, and that scares me.

lost2dust February 21, 2013 at 2:38 pm

I am in Cape Town, sitting in my room at 10.34pm and procrastinating from university work by teaching myself German. I am eating humus and grape which is surprisingly good. Later tonight Boy will call me on the home phone and I will pick it up before it wakes anyone else. I am trying to be better at loving him. I went to my first march yesterday and learnt that compassion for the hurt extends further than I could have imagined.

And now for some silent film.

Zozo March 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

I’m sitting at the table in my mom’s kitchen. I’ve been living here for almost seven weeks. I’ll be 29 years old in June and by the time I’m 30, I’ll be divorced.

To cut an extremely long story short: My wife started sleeping with a friend of mine. I asked her to stop. She said no. I left.

And I think it might have been the best thing that ever happened to me. It’s strange to say—everyone seems to expect a certain stoic melancholy from the recently separated—but I’m thriving, reconnecting with friends, activities and interests that I lost spending years in a toxic, borderline-abusive relationship. I have so much love in my life now. I’m up to my ears in emotional support. I’m expanding my social circle, meeting new people and making new friends. I’m having adventures.

It hasn’t been easy, and I have a lot of healing ahead of me, but I’ve also been getting serious about mindfulness and my Buddhist practice in the past few months, and I almost can’t believe what a huge, tangible, positive effect it’s had on my life.

Today, for instance, wasn’t much fun. I didn’t get enough sleep last night and didn’t eat very well throughout the day, and ended up in a terrible mood that I just couldn’t shake. But I could turn my mindfulness toward it, and it was fascinating: I watched nausea become tension and rise through my chest; I noticed an objectively neutral comment trigger feelings of rejection, which spawned self-criticism and even self-loathing; I could, in some moments, stand back from the parade of overreactions, logical fallacies and unexamined assumptions and observe just how twisted my thought process has to be for a mood like this to sustain itself.

And even though I’m still kinda feeling like crap, I managed to avoid *becoming* the crap. This rotten mood isn’t something I’m intentionally doing, and it’s not part of who I am—it’s just a thing that’s happening right now. I haven’t hurt anyone, including myself, because of it. I haven’t always been able to say that about my bad moods. And I’m learning from it.

I’m making progress. It’s slow, but it’s noticeable. Measurable, even. I struggle with impatience sometimes, because I want to be a fully enlightened Buddha *now*, dammit, but an easy antidote to that is a quick look at my life six months ago, at how miserable I was, and how ill-equipped I was to face that misery. If I can get from there to here in six months, where might I be in another six?

I can’t wait to find out.

Trina March 26, 2013 at 10:21 pm

I’m currently at work, in an office in Manila, Philippines. I recently transferred from a low paying job that I don’t like to a job which I’m now learning to hate with somewhat better pay. I don’t hate my job because of the work itself, I hate it because of the people. I know there’s politics everywhere, be it in school, church etc. But I’m sick of it, totally sick of it, as I left my previous job because of people grouping together and hating a certain person just because. I see people like that as bullies and mean girls and it’s like I’m back in high school. I just recently transferred so technically I’m still a newbie but I feel as though I’m not welcome here. As I don’t know what I want in my life yet, hopefully in a few month’s time I’ll learn to love being here or better yet discover what I like to do. I know I’m still young, maybe I’m just putting too much pressure on myself. I am still hoping that things would change for the better. Btw, great articles, learned a lot from you and thought catalog :)

Joanna April 22, 2013 at 4:22 am

I am lying in my bed, in my apartment in the city. I live alone. No pets. No boyfriend. I have now been absolutely single for a year. It feels good. I spent almost my entire twenties back and forth between two relationships. I miss one of those people terribly, or perhaps just the idea of him. But I can say, without a doubt, that I wouldn’t go back and change a thing. I have learned so much about myself and life to have any regrets.

Just typing this makes me appreciate where I am, as I have always feared that I would never be fully self-sufficient. Not even in reference to a relationship, but more of a financial issue. I have always been extremely shy (social phobia, they call it:)) so my job prospects were few. I have forced myself to face some of my fears and of course, the results were very rewarding. I still have many to go though!

Tonight, I worked at a concert and then struggled to finish a paper. I’m feeling a bit guilty for not sleeping right now. I spend all of my time at work or doing homework. I have never been so dedicated to school before. It feels good but leaves me little time to do what I enjoy. Reading your blog is one of them.

My day-to-day life has drastically changed over the last few months, although my ultimate goals are the same. The difference now, is that I finally believe I can achieve those goals. As a result, so many of the things that I used to spend my time on, I no longer find useful. I got drunk for the first time at 15 and in that moment thought alcohol was the most amazing discovery I would ever make– it allowed me to talk to people!! Nearing 30, it’s finally starting to lose its appeal. Going out and getting drunk with the same people at the same places, night after night is not getting me anywhere. This didn’t matter when I didn’t think I would actually reach my goals. I now believe that I will, and that makes all the difference. I will be super interested to look back on this in a year from now.

Joanna April 22, 2013 at 4:45 am

While I know this is not important for anyone but me, I forgot to list one of my biggest struggles, that has bothered me my entire life. I want to document it here, so I can see where I am in a year. I’ll make it short:

I have never believed I could be consistent with my health. I hate exercising, but know that I have to do it in order to stay fit. So my weight is always fluctuating. I will painfully do what I have to do to get to an acceptable spot, including exercise and unhealthy calorie restriction. But once comfortable enough, I quit working out and start eating more. Inevitably, I gain weight. Once I’m frustrated enough, I will start all over again. I have been extremely frustrated lately so I decided, thanks to one of your posts, that I am going to get healthy and stay that way. I’m two months in and have seen no results. This is rare, but may have to do with the fact that I am not trying to starve myself this time. Because my goal is to be healthy, not skinny. Before, I would have given up after two months of pain with no gain. But this time it feels different.

chat gratis July 6, 2013 at 5:32 am

What a data of un-ambiguity and preserveness of precious know-how
on the topic of unpredicted emotions.

sally September 3, 2013 at 1:06 am

I am in Perth, Western Australia, in an eerily quiet office with white walls and blue-grey cubicles. The sky is cloudy, I can hear the wind and see the light rain falling as I look out towards a mult-storey carpark, and the hills beyond. There is the faint sound of an emergency siren, and I am glad (as I always am, hearing sirens) that the emergency is not mine, today.

I am in my forties, I am employed, I have a husband and two beautiful boys. I have a healthy diet (vegetarian with vegan days, if labels are needed) and pretty healthy lifestyle. We recently paid off our house, and we are working on paying off some investments. My husband has cut back to a 4-day work week, and perhaps in time I will too. I have been seeking balance and growth for some time. I love your blog, and I have also been following minimalists blogs for the past year and simplifying our home.

There is a federal election here this weekend and I am concerned at where my country, the lucky country, is going right now. Not enough gratitude, far too much fear.

I am one of the luckiest people in the world. I have wealth, security, all of my immediate family are well, and I have equanimity. I wish everyone could be as fortunate.

fight club quotes April 10, 2014 at 5:10 am

Your method of explaining everything in this post is really good, all be able
to easily understand it, Thanks a lot.

sapna June 9, 2014 at 10:51 am

i know its a very old post and I dont know should I be posting now or not.

Right now I am in my office guest house, in my room. I am here at the client location for official work and I am not able to decide whether i should satay or leave.

Not Waving But Drowning June 12, 2014 at 7:23 am

I’m British but have lived in Montevideo teaching English since the start of the year after 4 years in Argentina. Sounds exciting doesn’t it? All I do is work. Teach, sleep, eat badly. That’s it. I’ve always been bad at making friends but I’m becoming a recluse. It’s like some sort of social anxiety. The twin devils of being too tired to go out and do anything, and the conviction that I’m not a very nice person anyway so no-one’s going to want to talk to me even if I did, conspiring in their vicious circle. (I’m so damn monosyllabic they’d have a job anyway). I moved abroad after several serious of severe depression I nearly didn’t make it through. I’m scared of it returning. I’ve been single for about 7 years now. I don’t see that ever changing. I’m 40 and an introverted workaholic. What’s to love?

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