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  • Shelby Wilburn

Elsewhere



I'm never fully HERE.


I live in a dimension trapped between illuminating rectangles and push notification vibrations. Where I'm reminded of everything I'll never be, but also all of what I could possibly become. It's hard for me to step away sometimes. My hands are magnetically drawn to tapping my screen, as my eyes instantly unlock worlds far away.

Elsewhere.


Maybe, that's the issue. My mind is always tethered to somewhere other than here. Dreaming of the day when I can travel safely again. Wistfully drowning in someone else's feed. Planning for 5 years from now. It's never enough to just be here. Alive, working remote during a pandemic, with my health and safety. It's never enough to have a roof over my head and to be able to put food on my table. I talk about gratitude a lot because I AM grateful. Yet, that grateful heart also is entangled with always wanting more. I honestly can say it's a blessing and a curse. I have such an internal drive and motivation to reach for the stars. Though I'm starting to wonder if that reach is causing me to lose sight of what is within close proximity.


At a time in the past, I wanted THIS. To be able to indulge in working from home, slowing down, having more personal time, even WEAR PAJAMAS ALL DAY. My past self longed to be here. In this exact moment. In a deeper sense, I longed to feel comfortable in my skin and able to speak up about my life in ways that matters. I agonized over wanting stability. I daydreamed of falling in love and feeling supported. I fought to have clarity in direction.

And I have all of those things now...So why do I forget that? Why do I always need more?


How do we balance ambition with presence? How do we unwire the conditioning that tells us we must make something of ourselves? How do we come to terms with the fact our legacy may never be "historical"? But deep within those questions that taunt me daily, I think I've found the answer. We live by pre-described definitions. Naturally what we SEE will influence the way we approach our lives. Our education and career path choices, style, beauty, the ethics and morals we live with. Our perception is constructed by the information we digest, both consciously and subconsciously. So here I sit at my computer trying to ask myself: What is MY definition of a fulfilled life? Where did THAT definition come from? Is that life even the one I WANT?


Our attention is dissected into tiny pieces and scattered out across such a vast spectrum. We never really sit with ourselves because bits of our heart, mind, and soul are floating in limbo. Dreaming of "what's next". Living in someone else's curated digital reality. Planning for a tomorrow we don't really even know is promised to us. We pay for our future with the present. Yes, there are many payments that should be made (i.e health, wellness, connection). But in this moment of stillness, I ask myself:

Am I maxing out my life credit line ?


Always existing elsewhere and justifying it as a formidable grind. All while the truth surrounds us daily. We might never be in a printed textbook, but we'll be etched into the memories of people who love us. We might never own a mansion, but our adorably decorated apartment can still swell with joy. What forces are pulling you into a million different directions? What has you always feeling now isn't enough? If for a second, just stop. Turn everything off and sit with yourself. Your whole self. Dive into the center of what makes you who you are. And for every characteristic or value you think of, ask yourself...... My glowing phone screen reflects off the polish of my black desk. And here I am again.


Wanting to be elsewhere.


-Shelby


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Shelby Wilburn

Exist in every space as if you're meant to be there.

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