Deep within the dense and hazy unknown,
The forthcoming terrain is unclear.
Through the thick fog,
I merely glimpse my own outstretched hand.
The rising tide will erase my footprints in the sand.
Soon, my memory will be all that I have
Of this place that I now stand.
I feel a fresh, gentle breeze
Tickle my skin and whisper in my ears.
As I relent the strain to see ahead,
My revelation is crystal clear…
I am here.
I am here.
I am here.
I wrote this poem in an attempt to express the struggle I feel when trying to “be present” while making life decisions that affect my future.
My instincts are to always be planning something, improving something, achieving something, or working towards something. For the past ten years, I have been operating full-steam ahead. I was never happy with what I had. I always wanted to be somewhere else. Somewhere better.
People called me an overachiever. I took offense to that. I could not grasp their reasoning. Why would working one’s hardest be an exceptional thing to do? It mind-boggled me. My mantra was, “If you do your very best, you cannot fail.”
Even if I went back in time today, I would not be able to convince myself to do anything less than work as hard as possible. Where does that leave me today? Today, I am tired. Frankly, I am feeling flat-out jaded.
Maybe this fatigue is temporary. Maybe it isn’t. Maybe, the tired feeling I have today is more important than any of the hard work I ever did. Maybe my fatigue has brought me some much-needed clarity.
I want less. I want to do less. I want to be more by being more of myself — by nurturing the parts of myself that are separate from my achievement-based identity.
I have no doubt that the overachiever inside of me will eventually try to resurface and take over my life. Which is why my new mantra is, “Do less, be more.”
Do less, be more. At first, it made sense in a metaphysical sort of way. But, as soon as I let myself start living life more presently, I slowed down enough to actually get to know myself. As I got to know myself, I started to feel like myself. And the feelings — unbeknownst to me — are where true clarity comes from.