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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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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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