Social scientists define “flow” as the “mental state of operation in which a person performing an activity is fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and enjoyment in the process of the activity.”
Flow is what makes writers write, artists create, and to-do listers draw more and more of those delicious horizontal lines. It’s one of the best feelings to have… and one that seems to be out of grasp for me as of late.
“Energized focus” can be difficult to harness when life is flying by at an alarming speed. I blinked and seven months passed, chock-full of memories and significant experiences that I am still trying to process while simultaneously coping with the fact that in two months I will be home again. And that home is temporary… because I don’t really know where I will be living or what I will be doing in the next few months. I vacillate between loving and hating the unknown. Lately, my focus seems to be bouncing from past to present to future then back again within what seems like seconds.
“Full involvement” is hard when your head is swirling with new ideas, places, people, and cultures. I tend to want to do it all, see it all, and be it all – but on the quest to not miss a thing and the desire to get it all right, one can become over-involved and end up failing to see some of the most important things or feel the most important feelings. Just as my head is going in multiple directions, my heart is spreading thin – stretched between towns and states and continents. The knowledge that it will be like this for the rest of my life both horrifies and delights me. A constant longing is the price you pay for caring for more people and calling more places home.
Luckily, the past is where it belongs and the future will be there when it’s time. So, for my final months in Europe, I will strive to continue to be present in every moment. To reclaim my flow. To breathe, focus, learn, create, and enjoy.
“Enjoyment.” It’s one thing that has been here with me quite consistently these past seven months… and I have the pictures to prove it…