My life isn't perfect. Nobody's is. My beautiful apartment that I love and adore has many untidy corners. So does my mostly meditated mind. Yes, the sun filters in beautifully through the windows and light curtains in the morning and sometimes, everything looks completely instagramable - both in my mind and my apartment.
But on some days, the messy corners take over and start creeping in on me. My bedroom looks haphazard right now. The paper needs to be brought to the recycling bin; let's not talk about the closet. Sometimes, it also rains. It's hard to take beautiful pictures when it rains.
In my mind, things are bright and shiny some days and tired or gloomy on others. Sometimes meditation makes a difference, sometimes, it just feels like yet another thing to do. Sometimes I respond well to uncomfortable situations, other times, like last Monday, I get so upset that I go back to sleep for half a day and then write a semi-angry post about emotional regulation.
It is stop and go, but there is a lot more "go" than there used to be.
This didn't happen by accident. It happened because I slowly but steadily improved different parts of my life. In the beginning, it felt like I could never make everything better. There was just too much. Also, I wanted everything to get fixed at once, preferably yesterday.
Of course, that doesn't work. Our lives don't change overnight. There is a saying in the entrepreneurial community that I think also applies here: "An overnight success that was ten years in the making".
My life is radically different than it was five years ago. It is barely recognizable. I am barely recognizable. I got there by fixing whatever I could fix at the moment. Two realizations have helped with this:
"A little better" is worth going for and compounds over time. This is true for everything. Do a little better each day, but also upgrade a little thing in your life from time to time. Upgrade the things that bother you most first. Get the properly fitting pants, the nicer kitchen chair, or the sharper knife. Whatever it is that makes you feel held back, work on upgrading that. The way to the penthouse from your parent's basement is not a leap, but a move through several interim house-shares and apartment. Don't wait until you can have the penthouse. Get a room now.
Most of the things that seem dependent on each other aren't. Every time I catch myself thinking "I can't solve problem A because I still haven't solved problem B", I try to slow down and question that. Our mind sometimes defaults to "impossible" simply because the "obvious" solution is unavailable. For example, my husband wanted to move here to be with me. He thought he had to quit his job in Seattle and find another job here to do that. He wasn't really happy with that thought. The possibility of asking for a full-time remote arrangement hadn't even occurred to him in the beginning. When he did ask, they didn't even bat an eyelash and said "yes" right away.
The second realization helps me find more ways to where I want to go. The first one makes sure that I keep improving things while I am travelling so that I can travel in more and more comfort rather than suffering the whole way just because "it will all be awesome in the end". There's no point in everything being awesome in the end, if I lost my mind or quit because of all the pain on the road.