Potential Future Realities
For the last five years I’ve been in a battle against depression, a battle against numbness, and a battle against existential angst and identity crisis after identity crisis. I was stuck in a huge rut of numbness, succumbing to my desire to isolate myself from the world because I was hurt.
For me, all of high school was hell on earth. Literally. I felt so alien from my peers. I felt like I was socially awkward and a pariah. I felt like I was missing something, and everyone else had everything together. I so desperately wanted to be a part of everything that was going on in life, yet I felt inadequate. I felt like an elementary school boy who snuck into high school and was trying to pass off as ‘one of them’.
Yet, I hated my self-given isolation. I wouldn’t let myself go out there and be who I knew I wanted to be and who I really am. I was waiting for something to come together. I was waiting for the right friends, the right people who wanted a deep relationship. The right girl. The right job. The right time to actually patch things up with someone I was at odds with. The right time to get involved at school. The right time to start practicing guitar. The right time to pray, write, read, and go do awesome stuff with friends. I was waiting on myself and others.
Waiting for everything to ‘click’ and be off to a good life, the life I saw in the movies.
Well, reality is nothing like disney movies unfortunately. The right person might not come into your life and suddenly change everything. That mentor who gives you good perspective might not be there. That invite to a road trip, or to join that school club might not fall into your lap and give you the opportunity to get connected.
For me, I was always living in potential future realities, and it was killing me. I was trying to calculate my every move to make the best future. But I forgot that I was alive then. I missed out on five good years of life because I wasn’t dealing with the past, and was stuck living in the potential future reality 
Don’t make that mistake.
Right now you’re alive. Right now you have people in your life. They may not be the people you had hoped for. Maybe they’re hard to be around sometimes. Maybe you wished to be friends with that other person who moved away, or got married and doesn’t have time anymore. But do you have who you have.
And you know what? You can make them those friends. That job that might not be your dream job can be that job. That position you’re in can be amazing. You can enjoy it. But you have to re-frame your perspective. Instead of negating the goodness of where you are now with the better-ness of a potential future reality, forget the future. Don’t worry about tomorrow. Today has enough worry of its own. Today has enough life to live without trying to perfectly direct everything into a blissful tomorrow.
I’m learning to become an expert re-framer.
I’m learning to live instead of planning to live.
I’m learning to care about who I do have, which is everyone around me, instead of finding the people I always dreamed of, the college movie friend experience.
I’m learning to realize that I won’t just wake up having been transformed into that person who I want to be, with the situations I dream of having.
I’ve got to realize I can be that person now. I can live into the reality of who I am, especially with Jesus. I can live into the reality of who God is, and what He has for me. I can realize that each and every person here is as valuable as myself, and as loved as I am. Each person has just as complex and intricate of a life story as mine. All of them are loved by God, and I am learning to love them the same.
So maybe I wrote this because you can relate to me, or maybe I just needed to hear it again and again myself. Maybe you’re a person, like me, who lives in the potential future realities instead of basking in the presence of God in the present. Please, don’t make the mistake I made for five years of missing out on now because you’re stuck in the potential future realities you dream in your head. Make the people you have now those friends. Make the job you have that job. Make the school you go to that school. Make the life you have that life. And realize the person you are now can be that person. If something isn’t going well, change it if you can and if it’s a wise and Godly decision at the time.
You are loved,
– Drew Loewen
A potential future reality is an idea of what you hope your future life to look like. It’s a path you want to be reality in the future. It’s a way you wish to direct your whole life. You really want it. But, this potentially future reality isn’t reality. It’s an illusion. It’s smoke and mirrors. ↩
Post Image Edited with Creative Commons Modification License. Original Image by Malinda Rathnayake