Mindful vs. Mind full

I used to be a fanatic on counting days, I would have a million countdowns going at once for every single fun thing that was coming. Or I would have counters for how long things had been such as relationships or that I had met someone important to me. I was really set on the numbers and constantly focusing on what lay ahead instead of looking at what lay in front of me. It started off being a coping mechanism so that I wouldn’t have to deal with issues I was having at that present moment and could focus on the fun things to come the summer that lay ahead of me. The only issue is that it continued up until a few months ago. I spent two years of my life only looking forward to things that lay ahead of me instead of appreciating what I had at that very moment.

July 22 2015 was a pretty revealing date to me. There were many things I realised while sitting in a plane flying back to Singapore, but one of them was that I wasted so much time looking to the future. At that very moment I decided to start living more in the moment, because you’re never going to get that moment back. Flying in that plane it struck me how short life really is and how it passes us in a fleeting glance. It was time to start making the best of things and being mindful, not having my mind full. Let me tell you, I was and am an expert at having my mind full, but I’ve had several moments in my life where I have realised to be present in the moment.

Making that decision was a huge relief, I became quite good in most instances just not letting myself over think and I started to really enjoy all the little things too. I can honestly say those next two years were the best two years of my life, not because nothing bad happened, plenty of things happened that dragged me back down, but I gave myself the chance to come right back up and stronger this time too. Of course that didn’t prepare me for my move here and all the drama of the past few months, but I realised I lost sight of what I had discovered worked so well in my life. Moving to The Netherlands all I did was have count downs for when I’d see my (ex)boyfriend again and when I could go back to Singapore again. I spent all my summer talking to him and my friends back home planning out everything that would be happening in December when I went back home. My mind was once again full, I was no longer mindful.

Up until this morning I didn’t know what I was going to write about. There’s plenty of things going on and happening but it’s difficult sometimes to bring my life onto paper for others to benefit from. So I did what every college student does when they’re confused and I called my mum. She got me on this thought train, and that’s that I realised once again I need to enjoy this present moment. I am heading back to Singapore in less than 3 weeks and I cannot tell you how excited I am. I’m finally going back home! Under very different circumstances than were first planned, but nonetheless I’m so incredibly excited. I spent about 3 hours last night calling my best friend from Singapore and planning meet ups, going out, etc, telling everyone how excited I am to go back while I still have a little less than 3 weeks here. There’s plenty to do in that time and fun things planned that I never got to do while being away. Things such as seeing the Amsterdam Light Show, celebrating Dutch holidays with my study group and colleagues, and of course still getting some studying in.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to be excited for things that are upcoming. I am excited to go to Singapore, to get baptised, to see my friends, to celebrate Christmas, etc, but that will all come in its time. For now I have one task, and that’s to appreciate what I have built up here and enjoy the little things. Even something as simple as writing this blog is peaceful to me and I genuinely enjoy it. I’ve wasted enough time looking to things that may never happen, life is short and you’ve been given this moment. Nothing else is guaranteed, so enjoy this present moment.

My point is I’ve gotten so wrapped up back into who I was when I was 14, mind full with everything, and not at all mindful of what’s happening around me. I don’t want to look back in a few months or a few years and realise I let my first semester or first year of college go to waste. Everyday it’s a choice, a conscious decision I need to make to be present in today and take up every opportunity I can. I strongly believe that life is a journey and not a destination, learn to enjoy the journey.

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