This summer has been a trip.
Here I am in Berlin. I'm sitting in my friends' apartment for which I am absolutely starry-eyed. The big windows are open. It's breezy and the weather is crisp and sunny. Crows are cawing and a great playlist is playing. The smell of bread cascades in with waves. I can almost feel the soft dough between my fingers and the thought that's at the forefront of my mind is something that's been a reoccurring thought throughout my young adulthood.
It started when I realized within myself this ability to be perpetually unsatisfied, and in turn, perpetually unhappy in a sense. I don't mean unhappy in the sense that you're a catastrophic grumpy-grump everyday, scowling at everyone that dares cross your path and I don't mean unsatisfied in the sense that the piece of cheesecake you just inhaled just didn't hit the spot like it did last time. It's ever so subtle, and so much more rupturing. It's the constant background drum of wanting more, of "yeah, this is great, but..." It's ennui. It's getting where you were going, settling in, and frothing at the mouth for that new place over there.
I've struggled with this mentality for a very long time. It was a personality trait I laughed off and labeled as wanderlust. Now, being here in Berlin, and seeing this attribute in others, I'm struck by how consuming this mentality is. This feeling sets in like a mist, a fog that cascades down over your psyche. It appears to me like we're giant mouths, violently gorging ourselves, and leaving these places or people or things in our wake still intact, but wasted, a bit more pale in comparison.
Once well into the rabbit hole, it's easy to recognize that people envy us, but we end up scratching our heads, because we personally are looking out to something else we've begun to covet. That haze is so thick, yet so clear, that we forget we're standing right where we wanted to be and we don't realize that we're taking it for granted. All we know is that we want to be somewhere else or have something else - that where we are right now is not enough.
When we get somewhere, is it that all the shininess starts crumbling and we realize it wasn't worth the salivation or do we become so numb, so unappreciative of it, that it loses its luster in our eyes? At any time, I think it could be both. I suppose this runs right into the thought of the grass being greener on the other side. Sometimes I think it very well may be, but I also think we should strive to strengthen our discernment and embrace more gratefulness for the life we presently hold in our hands and witness around us. Yes, I'm saying the exact same thing so many people before me have said.
The negative is so much easier to come by in this existence, isn't it? Why not seek out, or rather, just recognize the good, the special? Bad days, bad phases are guaranteed. Take two extra seconds to gaze at the sky - stars or no stars. Take two extra seconds to literally smell the roses that you may pass. Seek beauty in your surroundings - windows, doors, buildings, landscapes, food, nature, loved ones, strangers. It will change your life.
And yes, I'm aware it's much easier for me to be on this pulpit having just come back from an extended stay in fucking Germany, BUT in my defense, I have striven to exercise this mentality in my everyday life. Germany just further called me on my shit. Wherever you are, whatever you're doing, - sit, stand, kneel - and look around you. Take in everything, all of your senses. Reflect on what brought you where you are and the positive pieces of your present position in life. Do you owe gratefulness to someone who has helped you? Did you kick ass and make something happen for yourself? Are you merely just in a pleasant place by happenstance? Revel in it. Meditate in it. Soak it in.
Placement really does change perception. It's funny to me that I found myself in Berlin, one of the greatest cities I've experienced, one of the places I've personally most coveted, and this realization hit me - not sitting at home in contemplation, or sitting at a local, favorite spot of mine basking in the glory of home.
I hope that you are able to experience your surroundings with a new perception. And, if you find truth in the urge that moves you forward, that the grass is greener on the other side, I hope you have the patience and the gratefulness to be present and humbled by the beauty.
Until next time - smell the damn roses!