Living in the moment is one of the most difficult things you can do. Most people are constantly either dwelling on the past or so fixated on the future that they can't enjoy what is right in front of them. I am no exception to this, but I am working very very hard to re- program my thinking.
Coming from the communities that I have been involved with, there has never been any shortage of talk regarding the dismantling of the status quo. Whether it's Christians, politicians, the rich, the corporations or just the idea of authority in general being evil, most of my peers and myself over the years have denounced normalcy and all of its adherents with a fire- borne passion.
The problem was, we were all a little too naive and gung ho about "change" to come up with a pragmatic game plan for building our perfect alternative society. Instead we opted to sit around and whine about how much everything sucked. Sure we made a lot of great music and artwork dedicated to the inherent suckiness of modern American life, but let's face it, we were all pretty freakin unhappy and self defeating in the end.
I have spent many many man hours dwelling on my past and hoping for better days. I'd reflect on my past in times of despair, happiness and even boredom, pulling up mental movies of things that would either cheer me up or bring me down, only to realize that none of it had anything whatsoever to do with what my current task at hand was.
Being as eccentric as I am, I have to cast a very wide net to find people I can really relate to. I've had many many people tell me that I could really fit in if I wanted to and that I don't have to be an outsider, but it is part of my programming NOT to fit in. Plus, I'm only 5'4 and have always stuck out like a sore thumb anyway, so I might as well embrace my eccentricities and use them towards a positive goal. I have also seen our rapidly deteriorating modern world, and frankly, it does little to impress me, but the speculation that better times are/ were in the past or future is of little comfort to me anymore as well.
The thing that sucks is the bitter, cold loneliness that accompanies my odd and creative nature. It is during times of extreme loneliness and desperation that my mind presses the rewind and/ or fast forward buttons and wishes to recall times long ago when I was happy and felt powerful, or times that haven't happened yet where I hope I'll feel the same way.
It is in times of sadness that I find myself thinking of times gone by where I was treated badly by someone and end up getting even more depressed. It is in times of self consciousness and uncertainty that I resolve to think "Oh, this person is just like all those shitty people I've interacted with before" when I miss opportunities that are presented to me. It is in times of beating myself up and thinking of all the things I regret in life that I forget to really experience and enjoy life in the here and now.
We sometimes forget that very few problems are insurmountable. To be fair, one can never truly quantify suffering, but those who are able to live through shitty situations and come out on top are people who inspire me. I have had my fair share of suffering and personal setbacks in my life, but when I really think about it, it is nothing compared to what a lot of people have been through. The old adage of "Well at least you aren't crippled, burned or blind" has never comforted me, but it is true, I do have good things and good people in my life, and I am sometimes a little too self pitying to recognize that.