8:31 AM: Now I am really, completely awake.
9:06 AM: Now I am perfectly, overwhelmingly awake.
9:34 AM: Now I am superlatively, actually awake.
– Clive Wearing, the man with the 30 second memory
Moment to moment and right now, there are no mistakes and no need to start over. Life already does that for us.
Living radically in the present means that every moment is a fresh start without the albatross of a single piece of personal baggage. We tend to think that this is just a nice idea rather than the actual conditions of our reality. In that sense, we deny what’s happening within our present sensory reality and instead choose to live within fantasies and imagination we call memory.
What’s the definition of a imagination? “Something that only exists or happens in your mind”, says Miriam Webster
It’s now been a bit more than six weeks since my job and I parted ways. What’s been most challenging for my mind to wrap itself around is the fact that should I choose, I am completely free to reinvent myself as anything at all. And I have to admit that working in contracting alongside my husband does have an appeal. So does learning a new trade, or returning to school to complete an MFA in writing. Because the world is wide open, I’ve actually had to be careful to make choices based not on habit and conditioning, but on the direction that comes from following the path to passion and purpose. I’m learning to step into the rolling current of deep interest, meaning, desire, and purpose. It’s a matter of stepping into flow.
What’s Past, has passed.
Memories don’t actually live anywhere, and neither do the habits they nurture. There’s no physical address for my 16th birthday, though snipping away at parts of the brain is said to short circuit recall of specific events. Since no one’s been rooting around in my head lately, my memories and habits are most likely intact except for a bit of decay as they fade from the limelight. I have no way of telling whether that’s true, though, because there are no witnesses to my point of view. In that sense, these they’re ghosts I tend to cling to as if they are real, or as though they actually exist somewhere in present reality just because I recall them.
They’re not. They’re wisps of images, uprisings of associated emotions, and probably easily disputed. My only reason for hanging onto them is not because they’re necessary to navigate my current situation, but because they are my stake in the ground. They are how I define the image of myself, for better or worse. Mostly for worse.
A Clean Slate
In truth, I am a tabula rasa, free to take a new turn along any well worn path, or to not drag our past along with me. The memories have no shape or form, and no hands to grasp or cling. I no longer need to mistake their appearance for their substance.
In taking a good look, they have no hold and in my future, there are only possibilities.