After returning from a friendly ultimate frisbee tournament this weekend, I realized how happy it made me feel.
The whole weekend was spent outside in the sunny weather, playing sports and games that I love. The friendliness of the frisbee community sets an incredibly chill atmosphere. By moving and playing so much, my consciousness is completely taken away from normal life to fully dedicate its sensory inputs to experiencing what is happening right here and right now. It might sound like a flow state. In any case, I think it is goal-worthy to try to pursue moments in life that facilitate this captivating quality of enjoyment.
It also joys me to see myself be the strongest that I have ever been, even though my knees are slightly permanently damaged and I am still struggling to accept that. The work I have put into calisthenics training over the years has built me more capable of controlling and manipulating my body. It is truly fascinating to see what I am capable of sometimes. While still practicing the balance for my handstand, I was surprised to notice that I could offer helpful tips to others to improve their upside-down balancing acts. Being outside and pushing our bodies to perform tricks and endurance tests feels so incredibly satisfying.
On my journey back to Amsterdam I was still riding a happiness high that put me in a meditative state. Zipping through Wageningen and its surroundings made me reflect on memories from years ago, when I often traveled here to see Kyra. Those memories are emotionally very powerful. At times they might even make me feel sad or melancholic, because all of those happy moments appear to have been gone forever without any opportunity for me to experience it again. In part, this is true, of course. I won't ever experience it exactly the same again. But this is also not the real problem, I think. The truly terrifying part is that the future is so uncertain. Will I ever experience moments so beautiful and meaningful again?
Now that I am reflecting on these again, I find it interesting to notice which moments actually bubble up from memory. Those are the moments when we were going grocery shopping on Kyra's only bike together, cycling up the hill again, walking around the Arboretum with the setting sun, hearing the subtle peace and natural interwovenness of Wageningen, gathering for board game nights in Kyra's room, swimming in the Rhine on lazy summer days. My memories are mostly from outside experiences; moments actively taking in engaging environments and dynamic signals. I think therein lies a good lesson for how I want to live my life meaningfully.
And though reflecting on those memories might make me feel nostalgic, I have also come to realize that new memories and experiences will happen. Nevermind how uncertain the future might be, I am learning to trust that I will find myself in many more meaningful moments.
It is not only chance that brings us into those moments, naturally. This weekend also made me realize that there are so many possible futures that I could pursue. If I just talked with this person a bit longer, or if I approached this other person instead of lingering around somewhere. So many life experiences originate from small interactions with humans. And there is no need to feel pressure, it often just flows organically. But it does pay off to actively think and act on the interactions you enjoy. And then, these interactions can lead to amazing journeys, travels, hobbies, passions, friendships, and love. This is visualized nicely by Tim Urban's illustration:
Also see Derek Sivers's book on how to live. I've read and listened to small fragments, and its words are very inspiring. A small taste:
When people ask the meaning of life, they're looking for a story.
But there is no story.
Life is a billion little moments.
They're not a part of anything.