I feel like I’m constantly waiting for something to happen. That perhaps my present life is just a build-up for something better. It feels like I’ve been living for the future since forever. Since college became a goal when I was still years away from attending it, and my career seemed like an impending do or doom.

Now that I’m out of that chasing mentality and lead a calmer life, that nagging feeling still seeps into my mind every once in a while. Do I not like my life? What am I waiting for?

I feel a need to run away from my current life and re-invent myself completely. Whenever I move away, I feel it’s necessary to leave the past behind to fully devote myself to this new environment. But I also do it because I want to spare myself from seeing the friendships that will fade away.

But I think this trauma-triggered response has also reinforced my main life goal: to live the world. To learn a new language, struggle with the cultural shock, and become as close as I can to living like a local. Complete, then repeat. This process of learning, struggling, and adjusting is what makes my life meaningful. And I like to do it by myself. I guess I fear that if I hold on to my past life too much, it will prevent me from fully living in the present.

I preach living in the present, yet I am constantly planning for that to come. To live in the present is to acknowledge that your current lifetime will go by faster than you can say “I need more time.” To truly live life as you know best, because there are no second chances for time.

As a young person still, I guess I am still reinventing myself because it’s a palpable reminder of my mortality. I’ve been here in Taiwan for over 14 months now, and even if I stay here for another year or so, I will be gone faster than I can say “I came here to escape COVID” (too late, anyway). It’s been easier to consider what matters to me knowing that I will be gone soon. It’s really simple, actually: my hobbies, family, work. Everything else is secondary. Once I formed this hierarchical pyramid in my mind, I stopped obsessing over the secondary factors. There’s no time for them.


  1. exactly! memento mori, things come by and pass so quickly, we need to remember that nothing is permanent and to enjoy the fleeting moments of the present as much as possible

    • ah yes, memento mori was the term i was trying to remember. think of death, and think of it fondly as a reminder to live.

  2. Aldrin Fernandez Reply

    Time, always is our enemy. Whatever it is in your mind don’t wait for it to happen, just make it happen. Go! Go! Go!.