You Think You Have Time
Ah, the Sonoran Desert in the middle of summer. A logical person would say that is the worst time to go on a midday walk to Elephant Head.
Pat and Katie Wimpari do not fall into this "logical" category.
Back in July, the Dude* and I were hiking a rough, sandy road toward Elephant Head, a rock formation south of Tucson, Arizona. Some people say that the mountain resembles the head of an elephant.
*The Dude; my father.
Not to be confused with Jeff Bridge's character in "The Big Lebowski." When spotted in a bowling alley, there is a striking resemblance. Or while standing near beautiful rugs. The Dude abides, man.
My dad and I spotted many animals as we walked along. Cottontails bolted across the parched openness to cover. From the shrubs, a jack rabbit bounded out, stopped to twist one ear in our direction. At one point though a large insect hummed loudly by my face. As this zeppelin of a bug flew past, the Dude stated that the insect was a tarantula hawk. Immediately I leaned back and turned toward him, pure fear and disgust etched into my eyes.
Me: So a flying spider just flew right by my face?
The Dude: No, no, it's like a giant wasp.
Me: Oh, because that makes it better.
The Dude: It eats tarantulas.
Me: That is great yet terrifying.
He went on to explain how the females hunt tarantulas, and continue to create generation after generation of tarantula hawks by using them as hosts for their larvae. Sometimes the capabilities of the animal kingdom give me simultaneous feelings of admiration and fear.
As we continued, we came across a toad that did not make it across one of the tire divots. Upon closer inspection, it was frozen in time. The skin had begun to disintegrate. Its last attempts at reaching a place of refuge an almost indiscernible trail a few feet back from where it crawled to a halt at the mercy of the desert.
On my 1,800 mile trip across the states at the beginning of the summer, I had a lot of time to sing and put on amazing one-woman concerts. Tour dates to be released soon. I also had many hours to think as the country flew by.
Some of the following lines I have heard a lot in my young life. Me saying a few of them myself.
"Oh I wish I could!"
"I can't, I just can't."
"Maybe in another life."
"Oo, tight on money."
"I wish that was me!"
"Where did the time go?!"
"I'm waiting for the right time."
That frog in the Sonoran desert probably wished it could have made it across the road to shelter and shade. It missed the right time though to start hopping along before the sun came sweltering down.
People wish they had pursued art. Took a career path in computer science. Or hiked the Pacific Crest Trail. Or kept exercising after high school graduation.
If you are unhappy or not satisfied with any aspect of your life, it is always the right time to change that.
Always the right time, eh?
Yep, that's right.
Your intuition knows when it is the right time, but sometimes your mind is not always on the same page. From mulling over conversations and my own experiences, I think the following notions play a very large part in various aspects of our lives and in our pursuits of happiness.
Influence and comparison:
We are social creatures, so automatically taking others thoughts and opinions into consideration is natural. When making a decision we might think about what our parent's would say, our family, if peers in our social circles would think it is cool, or if the decision lines up with the identities and stigmas we associate ourselves with.
Fearing change and the unknown:
It can be terrifying not knowing what could happen in the future. Whether that is losing job stability, or having to start fresh in another city. The longer you are committed to a job, a city, a boy/girlfriend, the harder it is to separate yourself from the relationship. Because you spent so much of your time working late nights, exploring every block and enjoying all the food trucks, or spending the holidays with your partner's family each year; it is like you feel obligated to stay where you are and with the familiarity. But you are NOT obligated. You can leave the job. You can Instagram your food at new restaurants. You can end it with someone that does not give your heart peace anymore. A big part of self love means making sure you are benefitting from all the relationships in your life.
This is a big one. At least, for me it is. A quote that helped guide me through big changes earlier in the year while I was rewiring my brain -
"To change your life, you need to change your priorities."
I made a cute wallpaper for my phone with the quote smack dab in the middle. Made it my lock screen. And with the way us millennials use our phones, I looked at it multiple times a day. I stated it every time I entered in the passcode. It was my mantra multiple times a day, for many days. Which brings me to the secret of life.
Gratitude and the Law of Attraction:
It is an amazing thing to be alive and human. To think critically, to admire the wonders of the world, to build relationships and connect with each other. To be at peace and in the present. It can be rough sometimes putting your thoughts in check constantly, though. Within a split second a surge of rage or harsh judgement can emerge. The continual flow of these split second (or longer) thoughts is
1) no bueno for your blood pressure, and
2) not cool, bruh.
A quote from my good friend, Buddha -
"We are what we think."
That negativity builds and builds, and soon you are solely a magnet for all the things you say you do not want or need. That ain't no way to live, man! If you say out loud or jot down in a journal every day what you are grateful for - I swear that in time, your positive thoughts will manifest into anything you need.
We do not have time to waste. And not saying you should call the nearest sky diving company and jump out of a plane. If you want to do that though, The Minimalists recommend experiencing that YOLO moment in Glacier National Park - just google images of "Montana Glacier National Park". You will not be disappointed.
Do not wait to pursue your passions. Do what makes you happy.
Apply for that job. Tell that guy you like him (or that you don't).
Or tell that girl. Follow your arrow.
Dive in (or out). Go after the oppurtunity that awaits you.
Surround yourself with people who care about you. That support your dreams and priorities.
Laugh whenever you can.
Jam out to Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez if it makes you feel good. I do.
P.S. The Dude and I do not plan on walking through the desert in the middle of a summer day ever again. And do NOT google images of "tarantula hawks."