I’ve spent a lifetime waiting for a moment. Waiting for the moments that will, I believe, bring me the happiness that I deserve and worked so hard for. I, like many others have fallen foul of believing that waiting for these moments is all that there is in life and I have been waiting for moments since I can remember.
When I was 12 I couldn’t wait until I was 16. I couldn’t wait because when I was 16 I could apply for my driving theory test and get a car eventually. To me, that was the pinnacle of age. It was going to be my gateway to freedom, to a life and to my happiness. Because how, if at all, could I find happiness as a 12 year old trying to forge independence when he lived so far away from all his friends, and even public transport. It’s worth pointing out that I lived in the countryside, away from absolutely everything.
16 came and went, and I was still unhappy.
When I was 16 I couldn’t wait until I was 18. I couldn’t wait because when I was 18 I would no longer have to approach some bald and sour bouncer and try to convince him rather sheepishly that my brothers passport, was actually my own, and that the photo was taken so long ago that I am now completely unrecognisable; that there was surly some mistake if he or she did not let me into the club. You could compare it to trying to convince a man or woman, that the orange that they are holding is actually an apple. Mind you, it worked every time.
This was the pinnacle of happiness for me. But 18 it came and it went, and I still found myself waiting for those moments, waiting for my happiness and I think it is a curse we all fall victim to at some stage because sometimes waiting for moments are all we have.
When I was 20, I couldn’t wait to be 21, because then I would be finished college. I found it too easy and I was for want of a better word, bored of it. I felt like if I could just finish college I could move away and then I would be happy.
The days fast approached and all of a sudden I was finished college. I was going to be leaving Ireland in two weeks to move to London for an unknown length of time – I was elated at the thought of it. But all it was was the thought. The thought of the moment. I would imagine my life, laying on my bed in the evenings when I had nothing to do. I was about to go to chase my dreams and I couldn’t bear the waiting. I tried to put a pointer on the moment. I tried to imagine at what point the moment would become real for me. The truth of it all is that it never did really.
I awoke that day with a sense of foreboding. I was frightened because I had no idea what to expect and all of a sudden the moment I had been waiting for was in reach…just out of reach.
That is where it stayed.
When I landed I was uneasy, I wanted to get to where I was staying. I said to myself that that would be the moment. Then I can relax. Then I can get on with my life and enjoy the moment for myself. I could relish the idea that I had finally done what I wanted to do. The reality of the situation was that the moment kept eluding me. Kept slipping away.
If I could just find an apartment now, then I will be happy. If I can just find another job for when my contract ends, then I will be happy.
Three months past and there I was, on my bed again, at home, in my parents in the house which 10 years previous as an angst 12 year old that I had tried so hard to leave. I was still there. My London dreams in tatters, I was home.
When I was 21 I decided I wanted to go back to college. If only I could save up enough money to pay for a masters, then I will have my life back on track and I will be happy. I worked hard over the next year, chasing the moment that my bank balance matched the course fee of a few thousand.
That was the moment.
I can remember the day that it hit it. I was elated. But now i had to get in, I had a whole new battle on my hands, the moment was pushed away. If only I can get back into the course. Then I will be happy. If only I can have the cap lifted from my grades which was imposed in second year while I was sick, then I will be able to apply for it, and then I will be happy.
That too, came and went.
If only I could live next to the college, and be near the Mardyke Gym so that I can run and gym whenever I wanted, then I will be happy.
That too, came, and went.
If only college would start. I would have less free time and be using my brain, then I will be happy and now that that is upon me, that too has come and the moment I have waited for seems to be drifting further away.
It struck me that spending your life chasing moments is not a good way to live. That’s not a life. It’s an existence. In existential moments such as these I find great comfort in writing. Maybe if we took each day individually and put some effort into making today the best it can be, the moments will come to you instead of you chasing them.
In moments we chase, we place being content on some external happening instead of trying to find it within.
I have spent my life chasing moments. I have spent it wasting away the days waiting for happiness to find me. I am 23 now, and it took 11 years for that realisation to hit me, it hit me as I waited in line to get my new student card.
Chasing moments in life is not what it’s about, if you chase a moment you’ll soon find that years go by without meaning which makes forging a meaning from life far too difficult down the line.
Live in your moments, don’t chase them.