Reminiscing

in #story10 months ago (edited)

Facebook Memories have been making me melancholy lately. Just yesterday the article below came up from April 12, 2016. So much has changed since then that I feel like it’s a lifetime ago.

The 2016 version of me had already been writing for around twenty-four years without much success to speak of. He was twenty one years deep into a dead end career with an insurance company but had long ago given up on rising through the corporate ranks.

When I read these Facebook Memory posts I wish I could go back in time and speak to my 2016 self and reassure him, “In just three months you’ll discover a blogging platform built on something called a blockchain and there you will finally find your audience. Get ready because your life is going to change quickly and in a big way. In seven months you’ll be speaking at this platform’s first conference in Amsterdam, in two years you’ll quit your job and will be writing for a living. All of your hard work will start to pay off and you’ll be living a life beyond your wildest dream.”

It’s strange now to be reminded of just how clear my vision was back then. Here's the post:

Make Each Moment Paradise

My wife and I are on day three of our St. Thomas vacation and she decided to get her nails done in a little nail salon on the tourist strip in Red Hook and I decided to explore the area a bit.

I bought a baseball cap to shield my sunburned forehead, chatted with the shopkeeper and she offered me a seat on her "husband couch" until my wife's nails were done but breathing noxious fumes and reading old magazines didn’t sound like any fun so I declined.

Having seen all of the tourist shops I could bare (two) I simply stood outside in the blazing heat hoping I wouldn't get charged with loitering. A baby iguana scurried right up to my feet and stared at me tilting his head. Right then I realized that I should make the most of this quiet moment. I decided to catch up on my email for a few minutes so I read James Altucher's latest blog on minimalism and really connected with it.

After I read his blog post I was inspired to write this one, and thought about how everything is connected. Each of our actions cause a ripple effect of which we'll never know the full extent of. In a way each of us is a tiny epicenter.

Since studying the Tao Te Ching and trying to put its teachings into practice I've learned life is about surrendering to and making the most of each and every moment. Do I always remember to do this? No, but when I do life just flows better. A successful and joyful life is about learning the lessons, then teaching the lessons you learn in the subtlest most unobtrusive way possible. Most often the best way to teach is merely by example.

Sometimes the very best moments in life are completely spontaneous, so we must be prepared to be awake enough to notice when they arise. These moments can be triggered by a blog post or a baby iguana. Your guards must be down and your heart must be open.


"I know this trip to St. Thomas is the first leg of the future my wife and I have dreamed about for years: traveling the world; writing; meeting interesting new people; learning; teaching; and loving." - 2016 Me


So many people move to a beautiful place like Saint Thomas believing that living there will solve all of their problems. This much I have learned, paradise is not a place. Paradise is more like an attitude, it's a state of being. You must begin by radiating happiness wherever your feet are currently planted. When you begin to do this your life will start to miraculously change for the better.

I know this trip to St. Thomas is the first leg of the future my wife and I have dreamed about for years: traveling the world; writing; meeting interesting new people; learning; teaching; and loving.

I have many more miles to put on these feet, many more beautiful places to visit and so much more to learn but paradise, I've already found.

~The End~


I'm beyond grateful for everything this community has done for me. I say this community because Hive is carrying the torch that Steemit started. The original magic that everyone made in 2016 very much lives here.

Know that whatever goals you're working towards are attainable. Success isn't for slackers. Work smart, run towards what makes you feel uneasy and pushes you out of your comfort zone, and always...ALWAYS be cognizant of the quality of your inner thoughts.

This life and even this brutal world can be an amazing place if we make it so.

Enjoy the rest of your week everyone!

Eric

--

(Gif from Giphy.com. Photos are original.)


alt text

Poetry should move us, it should change us, it should glitch our brains, shift our moods to another frequency. Poetry should evoke feelings of melancholy, whimsy, it should remind us what it feels like to be in love, or cause us to think about something in a completely different way. I view poetry, and all art really, as a temporary and fragile bridge between our world and a more pure and refined one. This is a world we could bring into creation if enough of us believed in it. This book is ephemera, destined to end up forgotten, lingering on some dusty shelf or tucked away in a dark attic. Yet the words, they will live on in memory. I hope these words become a part of you, bubble up into your memory when you least expect them to and make you feel a little more alive.

Pick up a copy of Ephemera today on Amazon.



alt text

Most of us have experienced a moment of perfect peace at least once in our lives. In these moments we lose ourselves and feel connected to everything. I call these mindful moments. Words can’t describe how complete they make us feel.

These moments are usually fragile, evaporating in seconds. What if there was a way to train your mind to experience more of them? It’s deceptively easy and requires nothing more than a subtle shift in mindset. My new book, Mindful Moments, will teach you to be much more content despite the chaos and imperfect circumstances continuing to unfold around you. Upgrade your life experience today for only $15.99 on Amazon.com.



Let’s Keep In Touch

www.ericvancewalton.net

Sort:  

Wait, so are you there now or you were there in 2016? Or both? :) Either way, that is pretty awesome. Nothing tropical for me, but I was sitting on the deck on Sunday because the temperatures were actually in the 60's and I ended up getting sunburned on my head! I only mention that because it was so nice to be out on the deck that I didn't notice or care (at the time). I guess that could be considered paradise. I think I was thinking about where we should move to, so I am not sure if that counts though! :)

We haven't been down there since 2020 but hope to get back this fall, possibly. : ) I'm glad to hear the weather's breaking in your corner of the world! When I talked to my Mom this morning we realized it was twice as warm in Ohio (68) as it was here in Sedona (33) this morning. Such crazy weather this year!

I think we CAN be happy anywhere but some places take more effort than others. : )

We have some storms coming in today and I think the temps are going to drop back down for the weekend. Back in the 40's last I looked. It has been pretty crazy so far this year. Even the Winter wasn't really the Winter I expected. My biggest thing lately is trying to appreciate every day. I feel like I look forward to the weekends so much and then they are here and gone, I'm wasting a lot of time living for the weekend and I likely have less days ahead of me than I do behind me, so they are precious.

What a roller coaster! That's how it's been in MN too. We're praying that the temps stabilize a bit before we head back on the 22nd.

Oh man, I remember those days vividly. I had over twenty years of living for the weekends and it makes time speed by. Changing your mindset is truly the key but it's so easy to lose focus. I've noticed it's like reoccurring amnesia. I find that even after all these years I'm in a constant state of refocusing on the moment and gratitude. I don't expect that'll ever change.

You're not giving me much hope! I guess that is just part of being human. If it wasn't there wouldn't be songs and poems and movies about enjoying the little moments. Having a 9 to 5 (or thereabouts) definitely makes it hard. When you work all day and then go home just to go to bed it doesn't leave you much time to savor the little things! I'll be there soon I hope. I am jonesing for a trip to the East Coast within the next couple of years.

Oh, sorry! I didn't mean it's not attainable but it's just like herding sheep. You have to constantly remind yourself to stay focused on the moment and gratitude. Life's irritations and drama has a way of seeping through the cracks. There's some great camping up and down the east coast. We use to take our pop-up camper along the coast of New England and made some of the best memories. There was a camp ground called "The Boston Hub" and we used to use that as a home base to make little trips into the city. That was back in the 80's, I'm not even sure if it's still there.

Yeah, I was commenting more on the US work system than I was on your advice. :) The current system we live in makes any of that stuff hard. I am still on the fence about whether we will go the camping route when we go or do the hotel thing. I remember camping in Bar Harbor when I was a kid and that was pretty awesome. Like the idea of having our little car to zip around in though!

I'm beyond grateful for everything this community has done for me

I believe the impact of hive is tremendous and a live changer which I believe individuals in the blockchain can testify as well with numerous opportunites attached to it to change lives positively.

I very much agree. People have to be diligent and put in the work here. I see so many get discouraged and rage quit but if they would only keep fine tuning their approach until they discovered what works they would see the true magic of this platform.

I believe nothing good comes easy so for you to really achieve success one need to work for it with determination, consistency and hardwork

That is a good mindset to have! Best of luck to you!

Sometimes the very best moments in life are completely spontaneous, so we must be prepared to be awake enough to notice when they arise

We tend to think that we can create the very best moments in our life. However, it also might come by itself one day, one moment... then makes us happy.

...In just three months you’ll find this blogging platform and you will finally find your audience...

Lucky you. I wish I had met HIVE in the first times of it so that I would have spent that wasted time for this wonderful blockchain and made myself-my account grew bigger. However, I am 4 years old here, not bad :)

I believe, in a way, we can manifest certain moments, or should I say "coax" them into being with the proper mindset.

I was VERY lucky to have found the platform so early on. July-October of 2016 were insane. I actually signed up in April or May but couldn't get my password to work until July 5th of 2016. I almost didn't pursue it after it didn't work. If I hadn't I wouldn't be where I am today.

Congrats on 4 years!

Thank you. Congrats your 6th year ;)

The most inspiring thing I have read so far.

21 years is such a long time and I am glad you have found paradise in yourself.

I really need to pick up the attitude of making the most out of every opportunity handed over to me.

This is a really great post and I appreciate you for putting this together.

I am inspired.

I hope you get to Africa in your journey round the world.

Or maybe when I relocate I intend to have a hang out with you

I'm glad this struck a nerve with you @bhoa! I would really like to see Africa. I believe that developing nations will eventually be the center (or at least a major player) in a new decentralized world. It would be fun to hang at some point in the future.

Till then .. Do have a nice week ahead

Hello dear friend @ericvancewalton good afternoon
How good it would be to be able to go back in time, and warn us of all the beautiful things that are going to happen to us
Without a doubt, the blockchain has changed our lives significantly, and this is just beginning.
Excellent final message, success depends largely on our actions
I take this opportunity to wish you a splendid afternoon

Be happy there .

Good morning! It would be so nice to be able to jump back a decade or two to give your past self warnings or advice. Thank you and I hope you have a good rest of the week!

But why melancholy? You're in an infinitely better place, in many respects, than you were in 2016, right ? :)

This is just...perfect. I've been searching for that paradise for months, yet it seems with each step I take, I get a little further from it. How do you radiate happiness? Or rather, how did you get there? (Because I don't think there are easy-outs or ways to "hack" it)

Melancholy for the past, I guess. That period of my life 2016-2019 was so damned exciting. It was akin to a rocket launching. The truth is I was probably most vulnerable during those years, financially anyway. No regular income and maybe six months worth of living expenses. As we grow older we tend to view the past with rose-colored glasses and see things as much better than they really were. So there is some of that too. : )

I think you begin to radiate happiness by doing what truly ignites and satisfies your soul, being deeply curious and making a commitment to become a better version of you every day, having enough confidence in yourself to take measured risks. That's how I got there anyway. Once you pursue and achieve this state you become like a magnet that attracts good things and more opportunities into your life.

You're right, there are no "hacks" for it that are of any lasting value. Everyone's path is different and each of us have to find what our own happiness is. It sounds like writing/traveling might be yours?

Once you find that just run towards it. Then cultivate a state of gratitude for having found it. Staying in that state of gratitude can be tough because no matter what we great things we might achieve we tend to grow accustomed to them and then take them for granted. Gratitude is simply taking none of those great things for granted. I have to occasionally remind myself of this. It truly is like herding sheep...one of those little [email protected] stray from time to time and you have to guide it back. I hope this all makes sense. I kind of rambled there a bit. Lol.

As we grow older we tend to view the past with rose-colored glasses and see things as much better than they really were.

Considering the years that followed, I guess that's not hard to do, at all. But it seems you're in a pretty great place now, as well.

I hope this all makes sense. I kind of rambled there a bit. Lol.

Yes, it does. More than I could tell you. Thank you.

Today, I felt the same as if I had been in the past when I heard my favorite song from the distant 97. It's not what we see that matters. What matters is what we feel. Only what is felt and experienced is never forgotten, this is the main component of memories.

Music has a way of taking me back sometimes too. Have you every heard an older song that you really connected with and have no idea why? I heard Haydn's String Quartet in F Major "Serenade Quartet" for the first time and it was so familiar and gave me such a good feeling. Maybe it was from a past life? I'm not sure but it was a magical experience.

How time flies and that's how the things we worry about often turn out great which makes us ask why we were bothered in the first place. I don't go a day without checking my Facebook memories. Words and pictures are powerful and they are reminders of how things used to be.

That is so true, so often we worry for nothing. Memories is, by far, my favorite aspect of Facebook these days. The platform as a whole is disappointing but it's nice to get those little reminders of the past in your feed.

Absolutely disappointing...but the birthday reminders and memories force me to go there. 😍😍😍

Really agree with your words that success isn't for slackers. Work smart, run towards what makes you feel uneasy and pushes you out of your comfort zone, and always...ALWAYS be cognizant of the quality of your inner thoughts. I also want to get success in my life.

Hi Eric, yes...you are right, Facebook is one of the right place to store all the memories that ever existed in this life. Sometimes going back in time is one way to be grateful for this life that we used to be happy. Have a nice day, Eric..

So true. Thanks Eliana! Enjoy your Friday.

A successful and joyful life is about learning the lessons.

You are absolutely right.
If someone has done something wrong in the past one must learn from the mistakes instead of regret.

Congratulations @ericvancewalton! You have completed the following achievement on the Hive blockchain and have been rewarded with new badge(s):

You received more than 210000 HP as payout for your posts, comments and curation.
Your next payout target is 212000 HP.
The unit is Hive Power equivalent because post and comment rewards can be split into HP and HBD

You can view your badges on your board and compare yourself to others in the Ranking
If you no longer want to receive notifications, reply to this comment with the word STOP

To support your work, I also upvoted your post!

Check out the last post from @hivebuzz:

Hive Power Up Month - Feedback from April day 6