This time last year, I was slowly finishing up my yoga teacher training. In the midst of finishing my practicum hours, my anatomy assignments, my last rounds of weekend intensives, I was also toeing into the world of actual teaching. I was finding opportunities and opportunities were falling into my lap. I was eyeing my first-ever professional-grade yoga mat (no more $10 shred-o-matic mats from Marshall’s for me!). I was buying tingshas to end savasana with and a little notebook to fill with any and all quotes to end the class with. After spending the second half of 2013 wondering what in the world my life would be like now that I had left the early education world behind, life was bursting at the seams with potential. I felt manic with energy and promise.
And as I was sending emails and eyeing expensive yoga mats and buying little knick-knacks that I’d use for my class, I kept telling myself:
“Savor this. It will not last.”
Of course the feeling will not last. Eventually things will lose its novelty. The new yoga mat will start fading in color. Promise & actualization will only overlap so much, and new emotions & experiences will settle in. Even when things stick around, the baseline will be raised or lowered, creating a new default.
I don’t say it to be cynical. I don’t say it to put a negative spin on a positive emotion. It’s just a reminder.
Savor this. It will not last.
It was what I told myself as I biked to my preschool classroom in Medford, knowing full well what waited for me when I walked into the classroom. I would hang a right down a residential neighborhood, where the trees arched over the street. As the road dipped into a gentle hill, I would gaze up at the sky through the trees and feel the breeze and take in a sweet, calming breath. My ritual, every morning, when the weather permitted.
Savor this. It might be your only moment of peace in the entire day. And it will not last.
I told myself that during my wedding, in the midst of the chaos and music and love and revelry. I tell myself that on every vacation, every trip to somewhere new and different. I tell myself that when a good friend cracks a joke and I can’t help but laugh with my entire body and forget that the world isn’t one gigantic good time.
Take it in. Take in as much as you can. Experience it with every sense. Savor it like the sweetest of meals. It will not last.
Somewhere along the line, I found myself returning to that sentiment. Somewhere along the line, it stopped being something saved only for those good occasions. I started saying it when tides would change and tables would turn, when there were tears in my eyes or a lump in my throat. I started reminding myself of it when my heart would hurt or my soul would ache something unfathomable.
Savor this. It will not last.
Savor this. Take in the stress and the frustration and the confusion and the worry. Take in every damn part of it. Experience it with every sense. Take it in because life isn’t one gigantic good time. It is a lot more than those serene moments. There are dips and cravats and goddamn if you’re going to try to avoid them.
Savor this because it will not last. Even at the height of your emotions, part of you knows this. Savor it because soon enough there’ll be a new emotion. Nothing is permanent. Take that in and don’t use it to set a timer, counting down until it’s over. Take that in and understand what you’re feeling.
Don’t run. Those emotions mean you’re alive.
Savor it because you are not the same person you were last year, or the year before that, or the year before that. And you won’t be the same person next year, or the year after. Savor it because you are on one hell of a ride, because life is one hell of a ride, and it is of no use to duck and cover.
Savor this. You will look back on these times differently, so don’t catch yourself doing nothing but craning your neck forward.
Now, here I am, a year later. Plugging away at a lifelong passion that I dare to now call part of my career. Tirelessly querying agents about one manuscript and getting ready to self-publish another. I’m researching graphic designers & ISBN purchasing and mapping out marketing strategies on top of marketing strategies. There’s a hint of that potential that last year provided. I look at what might be in store for me and I can’t help but get giddy and frightened and excited and petrified. I’ve long-abandoned the concept of a five-year plan and have become oddly comfortable with winging it on the day-to-day. I make my to-do list and diligently check off tasks and at times feel downright manic with energy and promise. Things are bursting at the seams with potential and it’s hard not to get overwhelmed at the sight of it all.
Savor it. It will not last.