Life; Not a Race

Vincent Van Patten

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Photo by Sergio Capuzzimati on Unsplash

Balance. Even the word seems balanced; unmovable, stable, peaceful. Arms outspread where life can try to grab ahold, but the core stays strong. Not leaning too far one way nor the other, the morning sun and dusky moon, juxtaposed, contending, yet through it all, at ease.

Balance.

Balance has never come easily to me; I tend to go all in, figuring I might as well push myself if I’m going to pursue an endeavor. This weekend, after a week without an hour to spare and seldom time to think or just be, I questioned what I’m truly after.

At certain points, my mind felt like a maelstrom of thoughts swirling in my head. I could hardly see through the storm. I stood beneath like Atlas, attempting to hold up a semblance of the tumultuous sky.

I want to give this life everything I have — I want to discover what I’m capable of. But I found myself not feeling like me.

I believe control is an illusion, as trying to control what happens in our world often does more harm than good. We decide, however, where to allocate our time. That’s choice.

Istrive to be at peace no matter what life presents. But taking on too much, spreading ourselves too thin, doing things just to feel like we’re moving forward as I was, is no sustainable plan for the long haul.

Life is an infinite game. There’s no winning. No finish line. Life will never become any less hectic. It’s up to us to make changes when necessary.

When I turned on my phone this morning and glanced at the two opposing fish of yin and yang swimming by each other, I realized it was time to pump the breaks.

A balanced life for me entails cherishing the present, no matter the circumstances I’m in. It allows room to breathe and space to do it. I will work hard; but life is more than work.

I want to know that what I’m doing matters, because there’s not enough time to only prepare for the future.

I’m alive, here, today, to watch the sun go up and down. I will breathe deeply.

I will continue to seek balance so when my last day comes, there won’t be anything left to do, nor moments missed to look into the sky or the eyes of another beautiful soul, simply looking back.

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My name is Vincent Van Patten. This is my home, a place to share who I am and what lights my soul on fire. I’m a writer, media creator, and co-host of The Dare to Dream Podcast. Most importantly, I’m an inspired citizen of our ever-changing world. I strive to learn all that I can about how we’ve progressed to where we are today as individual cultures and as a planet. It’s my passion to fill every day with exploration and creativity no matter where I am, whether in California crafting my latest project or on my way to discover someplace new. By writing about my experiences, connecting with people and the earth, and remaining present, I always feel at home. I write to express my perspective of daily living, from the thoughts in my head to the relationships we share as human beings. I write about travel, culture, books, life, philosophy, spirituality, health, self-improvement, and history. I also write poetry and short stories  —  doing so soothes the soul. I believe we’re here to challenge ourselves by questioning all we think we know. When we do, we open our minds to a way of living we could never have imagined. This life is a journey with no finish line in sight. I hope to leave a positive impact with every step I take.

Del Mar, CA
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