Impermanence is Permanent

I’m sitting cross-legged on the soft white sand of the beach. Back straight, perfect posture. My eyes are closed but I can see the crystal clear water rhythmically move in a pattern that never quite repeats itself. Vibrant turquoise pours itself to the right, shortly followed by uneven waves rolling towards the shore. My wild curls dancing with the wind. The breeze brushes against my skin, making it’s way under my loose tank top and embracing me with a liveliness that contradicts this calm.

What a beautiful, peaceful, uplifting, and freeing meditative state I find myself in.

Except… it’s not real. Though wouldn’t it be nice if it were?

As of late, my mind has been wandering to a variety of places, twisting and turning into paths that aren’t always ending with a brightly lit picture like the one I’ve painted above. Though really, that sounds pretty nice, I hope to be there soon.

Of course, I try to write positive posts highlighting my carefree moments filled with light, joy, and beauty… but let’s face it… life can get kind of ugly sometimes. It’s not even about living in Korea, miles away from the comforts of home (and when I say home, I mean, people who undoubtedly & unconditionally love you – I finally know what “home is where the heart is” means!) … life just tends to unfold and refold itself in waves, in phases, in the open, and in secret places. Suddenly, hidden compartments of your mind you weren’t always aware existed reveal themselves to you. Brought on by interactions with others, experience, challenge, growth, boredom, happiness?

Recently, the idea of impermanence has been weaseling its way to the forefront of my mind. Impermanence and the way it’s so solidly intertwined with timing, or lack thereof.

There’s something both frightening and comforting in the philosophy that everything in life is fleeting.

Being someone with a history of overanalyzing (key word: history – kicked that habit to the curb!) However, I sometimes still find myself getting caught up thinking that silly things are set in stone. I made a bad impression. I had an awkward moment. I wasn’t my best version of me. I raised a question that made someone feel uncomfortable, opened them up and made them feel vulnerable. I feel this way, they feel that way… our paths will never meet.

I forget I’m allowed to change. We’re allowed to change. We can change our moods, attitudes, beliefs, perspectives, judgments, opinions, and philosophies. Just the same way life possesses a certain movement, a constant fluidity, our interpersonal relationships, external and internal conflicts, they have the same capacity to take shape, break down, and be re-sculpted into something new.

Timing also plays an interesting role in all of this. Sometimes it seems as if we’ve missed our chance, or an event didn’t go as planned, we could’ve met our potential soul mate if everything had played out perfectly. I find that people’s paths tend to cross, re-cross, then cross again. It’s easy to forget that because permanence often overshadows impermanence.

We’re all tied to our own string, twisting and turning, half the time following what we’re supposed to do, half the time leading ourselves towards what we want to do. If you decide to jump ship and switch to a different color, texture, or pace,  ain’t nobody gunna stop you. Okay, how did life’s path suddenly turn into an analogy containing string? It’s definitely my mom, she always comes up with these nonsensical, yet brilliant analogies.

But really, when it comes down to it we gotta put away all these unrealistic expectations. Expectations of the roles we neatly place on our friends, families, and co-workers. Expectations of certain events playing out to your favor. Expectations of being validated and assured by people who have no desire to give that to you, or awareness that you need it.

There’s a fine line we walk when we idealize and fantasize. That dangerous territory can be inspiring, or heartbreaking. It’s an art to find and maintain that healthy balance.

In the end, it tends to boil down to the same thing. We are usually our own biggest obstacle. In a way, that’s a good thing. How empowering to take control of your own life and actively decide you’re going to make it what you want it to be.

Because guess what?

You can.

Hwajinpo Lake - Neighboring town to Geojin

Hwajinpo Lake – Neighboring town to Geojin

Hwajinpo Lake

Hwajinpo Lake

Hwajinpo Lake

Hwajinpo Lake

If you’ve made it this far…. also here’s a little treat. My buddy recently introduced me to Cashmere Cat which I have been really diggin’!

My two favorite songs so far: Mirror Maru and Paws

About mshahar6

I'm 25 years old, graduated from UCSB with a B.A. in Psychology and a minor in Education and Applied Psychology. I was working as a Behavior Interventionist for the last 4 years and decided to do something completely out of my comfort zone and teach English in South Korea for a year! I thought it'd be fun to document my experience, travels, growth, and keep my friends and family in the loop with this blog. Who know where this adventure may lead me?
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