to prefer now over the future

‘Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis
on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without
rushing toward the future. Live the actual moment.
Only this moment is life.’ ~Thich Nhat Hanh

There’s no time like now for me to do anything but rush toward the future. Ever since I got home from my two months away, I feel like I’ve been doing nothing but rushing to live in the actual moment. It’s been beautiful. Catching up with friends, re-discovering food I haven’t had since last summer, reacquainting myself with my bike, getting the “land legs” back to walk for miles (after riding in nothing but cars and cabs for two months straight…yuck).

It feels good to feel like myself again and it’s odd to think that I was quasi-displaced for the last year (two semesters of living away at school, followed by two months in a whole different world). I almost can’t believe the things I was doing exactly a month ago: exploring a new city and new food, learning a new transit system, and feeling further away from who I was and what I was doing than I ever felt in a while. Being in a foreign country for too long and feeling homesick can do that I guess.

 

the time here is like the time there

It would take more than two months of being dislocated to make me feel like I’m in a different time or place. Everything keeps on turning whether you’re there to see it or not. My family’s gotten bigger and older. My grandmother turned 90 and if I wasn’t there to help her celebrate it, it probably wouldn’t feel like it. My favorite aunt is turning 70 and if I didn’t see it with my own eyes I wouldn’t know her age is catching up to her health. The initial contact required a lot of convincing that I’m not the teenager that they remember, and so they should stop treating me like such. But once we all got over the initial shock of how much change has passed between us, it became the warm, laughter-filled rooms that I remember sitting in.

Now I’m home with less than a month to go till another year of getting to where I want to be in life. My first goal for this year is “live less insularly”. School and the new social setting completely took over my daily living last year and while I have no regrets, I also have a life that I’ve been living up to the point when I became a law student. And just like it kept on going while I was away for two months, it’ll keep on going while I bury my face in books and papers.

I wish there were a way to split myself into different pieces and harmoniously live in all the areas of my life without missing out on the details or the bigger picture.

mirrored different

There’s something that sets this place apart from my first home that I take comfort in. It’s why I call it my second home, even though there are so many things about being here that keep me from ever wanting to live here. Home isn’t about where you eventually want to live though. Not always anyway.

The busier the city the more at ease I seem to feel. And I have yet to visit a city that’s busier and more packed than Bangkok.

The two polaroids I chose for this diptych were taken neighborhoods apart and are literally worlds apart. On the left, Wat Pho, one of the oldest and largest Buddhist temples in Bangkok was founded amidst the center of traditional Thai medicine education. Even with all of the tourists there the day I visited, it was still so quiet, as though the vastness of the entire complex swallowed up all the sound. The photo on the right was taken within Pahurat, or Thailand’s Little India, one of the busier and tightly packed neighborhoods crammed corner to corner with thousands of fabric yard rolls. There was hardly space to walk let alone space for two people to pass each other between shops.

looking to speed time up

All I wanted in the weeks leading up to departure for my current trip was for time to slow down. Plans and events kept popping up by day’s end and I was quickly running out of days. The entire month of May feels like a distant blur for me right now. When I try to remember every thing I fit into my last few weeks in New York City, what I can recall feels to me like someone yelling to me from a high-speed passing train. I’m only able to catch a glimpse of who they are and what they said as it slips right out of my mind. No real clear picture; the whole month of May fits together more like a collage.

And now that I’ve been away for four weeks, time feels like it’s been going so slowly. For S and I both. We were hoping that between the both of us being busy (me in a new environment rigorously keeping up with this internship; him finishing up the last month of his degree while trying to balance a new job) that the time would seem to fly. Unfortunately, it hasn’t at all and it’s made the separation a bit of a pain. Thank goodness for the age of technology!

{ camera: polaroid colorpack 2 ; film: fuji fp-100c }

the cleanup afterwards

{image credit Abby Powell}

 

To friends and followers that I may or may not have left hanging: hello!

Sorry for the disappearance. I took on a whale of a year and am presently still hungry for more. I have changes in the woodworks for this space that I hope you’ll stay tuned to welcome in.

At the moment, I am presently in Bangkok, Thailand for work and for pleasure. I’ve been here for three weeks now and pretty much left almost immediately after finishing my first year of law school which honestly felt like the longest year ever and yet at the same time looking back felt like it went by way too fast. I have a good feeling I have an exciting year ahead of me as long as I can keep my energy up.

(and not only do I have something working out here but Alex and I are trying to give Little Journey a little facelift some time soon hopefully as well!)

In the meantime, some things I’ve been loving lately:

  • Cookie’s Roadtrip – Cookie (Alex’s pup) took a cross-country roadtrip recently. Exciting life!
  • the most adorable lion cub I have ever wanted to hold
  • camera bags from ONA are the chic-est solution to keep me from buying any more medium-sized purses
  • I don’t know what it is lately but I’m way into mens’ fashion–sometimes I do wish I were a boy
  • trying to plan a mini-trip in between this trip.. oh the places I could go!

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