Back From the Future

No I didn’t write the title of that much-loved film incorrectly. I’ve never been one of those people who regret the past. In fact, I always say that I found the subjunctive mood to be the most meaningless (the grammar enthusiasts will know what I’m talking about). I stand behind what I do/don’t do without tampering, and coexist peacefully with all the things I’ve done and haven’t done. The one subject I do fail in however is the future. Plans, scenarios, and worries whirl around in my mind.

For years we’ve been told that our lives are wasted thinking about what could possibly occur, rather than what’s already happened. We know perfectly well how little actually ‘happens’ to us. Most of the time, we only live out those negative scenarios in our minds. The sad part is that we’ve made ourselves miserable enough for no reason and missed out on particular moments because of it. Those precious minutes. Just like Dale Carnegie says, it was all about learning “to live until bedtime”. Putting away those wrenching worries and just living out that particular day.

However, that was only one side of the coin. Because it wasn’t just negative scenarios that were preoccupying our minds in the present. A vacation we were looking forward to, a celebration we were excited about, or a job we’d been wanting for a long time, were also elicitors. There’s no doubt that the anticipation of something could be more enjoyable than its realization, but the issue was about correctly adjusting the emotional dosage. Because the worries that inhabit our gut like a brick, as well as the exultant daydreams, actually do the same thing: eliminate the present moment.

Now let’s imagine a train journey. We’re going to a lovely place. We’re sitting by the window. Would we enjoy the view and every moment (i.e. life itself), or shut our eyes tight and only open them when we arrived?

I ruined a lot of train rides in my time. I know it was stupid of me, but I have no intention of doing it again. That’s why I’m returning to where I need to be. With my full heart and soul.

And with open eyes.



Translated by Feride Yalav-Heckeroth

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