Anywhere but here

We have all faced a moment in time when we were stuck somewhere and thought we would rather be anywhere in the world right now, other than where we are.

For whatever reason, where you are is no longer resonating with you and that nagging feeling in your soul that life could be live differently starts to pound unrelentingly.

We idealise lives in far away, exotic places. We imagine vibrant communities of happy people surrounded by laughter and wine as the good times in foreign land roll on endlessly.

Everyone faces this at some point in their lives.

It’s important though to remember that when you are feeling this way, that the grass isn’t always as green as you think. The glamorous photos you’ve seen on social media, the happy smiles, the cliffs falling away to the ocean are all staged. Enhanced. Filtered. They are not real life. They are a snapshot in an instant of time. The very best moment and then some. Edited to illicit maximum effect and envy.

A friend told me yesterday about someone taking a selfie on the rocks at Ben Buckler point at North Bondi. A beautiful piece of coastline with crisp blue water where people can dive in off the rocks only 20 minutes from Sydney’s CBD. This person taking a selfie, put his arm up in front of his head and beamed with the most radiant smile he could muster, eyes alight as though he was truly having the most wonderful time. Only to then drop the camera down and his face instantly returned to the snarl, downward turned frown and he continued his walk along the coastal rocks.

It was a funny image to consider. The difference between what he portrayed online to his social media buddies and then the actual reality.

There are more and more disturbing statistics coming out about how toxic social media can be We are being socially conditioned by these platforms and we are still not clear on the ramifications of this conditioning. There is already evidence of rising levels of anxiety, depression and youth suicide with social media frequently cited as one of the factors contributing to this growing sense of unease amongst young people.

So I guess the point of this post is to encourage us all to remember to be present and appreciate what we have in the here and now. We can dream of far off, exotic places and think how much better our lives would be if we were there, but the reality is often not quite as it is being idealised in your head.

That said, if you have an unrelenting desire to go travel, or buy the latest tech gadget or check out the hot new bar opening, do it!

Life is both long and short. You will always have plenty of time to pick back up where you were in that career if you decide you need to pack up and go. But life is also short in that you don’t want to sit around wondering what if and then get too far down the track that you never end up doing what your heart desires.

Sometimes we may think we wish we were anywhere but here, but while we are here, let’s appreciate the moment, be thankful for the past and raise a toast to the future.

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