Finding Focus: Living in the Here and Now

Finding Focus: Living in the Here and Now Reading Time: 4 minutes

Way back in 2016 (which, let’s be honest, feels like yesterday), I wrote a post on how I deal – or fail to deal – with decisions. Reading it back now makes me chuckle, not just at the atrocity of the illustrating images… literally a photo of my cuddly toy dog… but also because of how relatable I still find it. Making decisions continues to be a big issue, and overthinking/over-calculating still prevails. Perhaps it’s no longer over such benign options as ice cream, but surely an element of risk, spontaneity and freedom should enter the important decisions of this current transitional life moment.

Coming to the end of uni and looking for ways to fill the future is a weirdly liminal phase- fully committing to certain things seems slightly futile: surely I’ll just have to leave it behind in the uni-chapter, so why form an emotional bond with no clear future? But how unbelievably negative is this outlook!? Funnily enough, I have a nickname in my family: “Diddy Darkness”. And this stems from my grandmother who kept in mind the possible dangers and bad outcomes of any situation, always. I, like she, keep the bigger picture in my head at all times.

Whole outfit: H&M

And much of my stress today is caused by this bigger-picture-attitude. Of course it’s important to think of it- I’m a dreamer; prone to looking forward, to hustling in the present in order to achieve that dream in the future. But with this comes an awareness of tomorrow’s problems; of potential eventual hurt or failure. As such, I seem to have just as much of a tendency to sacrifice present happiness or enjoyment for the sake of avoiding future pain.

As a result, I find myself making ‘sensible’, ‘rational’ decisions to ‘protect’ myself, and these are based purely on what I assumemight be feeling in a few days, weeks, months. But this is ridiculous. Maybe working hard for a future dream is fair enough, but when every decision takes the future as priority, well… when this future is eventually reached, I doubt I’ll be present to enjoy it. Too used to thinking forward, that I inevitably avoid the satisfaction of arriving.

Wooowwww this is a depressing post…. which is weird because I’m currently feeling super blessed, happy as Larry, and perfectly content. But actually, aside from exciting plans, coming to the end of the uni grind and it almost being summer, I’d put these positive feelings partly down to a recent change of mindset.

I recently had a case of cautionary decision making: I decided to distance myself from someone I know will inevitably end up at a distance when uni finishes anyway. I thought to myself that cutting those ties now, before either of us got overly emotionally attached, would save any upset further down the line. And yes, maybe this seems sensible… but equally well, whats the point really!? The both of us ended up feeling as though we were punishing ourselves for zero reason. Why not leave it to the workings of the world to decide when distancing should take place, rather than fastforwarding that process!?

Exact outfit links can be found on my 21 Buttons account- @ailsarenk

And so, we’ve rekindled our friendship and I’m approaching it with a much more carefree attitude. And as a result, I’m reaping the rewards of a present happiness that I’ve worked hard across the board to achieve. And I refuse to let this be dampened by dreading future disappointment or upset.

Writing this post has actually inspired me to write about the ‘present’ that I’m making an effort to remain within… its a complex, liminal and exciting one of transition, so keep your eyes peeled for my aimless waffling about that. For now though, thank you for reading- its a personal post and these are always at risk of being un-relatable, but equally well, perhaps some of you recognise elements within your own lives.

As always, let me know what you think!

Also, a quick spiel on the look photographed in this post. I always feel like these discussion posts are difficult to illustrate- so I’ve just included images of this super sophisticated cream outfit. I am OBSESSED with theses corduroys from H&M how great that these two trends from childhood are returning, and in one garment… corduroy flares YAAAAS. Dressed down with a big baggy jumper of a similar shade or toned up with a cute lacy bralette and some chunky, neutral heels.

A. x