The cold always has this effect on me. This melancholy that sinks, plunges, dissipates. It’s a productive feeling, conducive for self-reflection - something I so rarely have occasion for these days.
With every year that passes, I realize how difficult it is to carve out dedicated time for myself on a consistent basis. I have to remind myself that the idea of “more time” is a fiction we tell ourselves to justify the speed at which we live.
But the reality is - when I tell myself that I just need to get through this event or this work trip or this campaign or this activity, “more time” will not be waiting for me on the other side. It’s an illusion, a desert oasis hallucination, a lie I choose to believe to propel myself from one moment to the next.
This year has been a haze of airports and hotel rooms. When you’re constantly packing, unpacking and wheeling around a suitcase, it’s easy to lose your sense of “home.” For me, nothing really feels like home anymore; home is what I can pack into my suitcase and fit into the overhead bin.
I feel like I only exist in transit, in the distance between cities. I’m never settled, instead always biding my time until I have to be en route again. And I’ve made a lot of excuses for myself because of this. After a brief spell in San Francisco, I’ll come back to LA and convince myself that it’s ok if I don’t leave my apartment for a week, it’s ok if I hole up in my room with my puppy and interact with no other humans, I deserve to relax a bit. But then the week is up and I’m back on a flight to San Francisco, rinse and repeat.
It’s a dangerous cycle, vacillating between such extremes. When I’m in LA I transform into a sloth of a person - I crawl out of bed with little to no urgency, don’t wear makeup, don’t leave my apartment, don’t bother to wear real pants. But when I’m in San Francisco I’m social, I’m chatty, I’m charming, I’m the superhero version of myself. It’s exhausting. Most of the time I just feel like an emotionally vacant husk of a person, running on auto-pilot from point A to point B. It makes me uncomfortable to think that my identity and ego are somehow tied to what city I happen to be in.
I tell myself that when I have “more time,” that elusive, slinky creature, “time,” I’ll make more of an effort to pursue my hobbies. I’ll go to yoga. I’ll immerse myself in art and culture. I’ll dance. I’ll write. When I have more time, I’ll live more purposefully, I’ll leave more than just a pile of dead skin cells behind. But I never have “more time,” I only have the present time, a fleeting, finite resource.
Consider this a conscious effort to accept the time I have, to fill it with what brings my life meaning, to remind myself that my identity extends beyond the boundaries of my suitcase.