Parsley, Sage, Rosemary, and Time

Simon and Garfunkel are my guardian angels. I mean, most of their songs are pretty depressing, describing some kind of life struggle or posing some existential question; but they really know what to say, even if they don't have the answers, they capture the essence of what it means to be human, to not know what's going to happen and still appreciate the beauty of it all. Their music has been the soundtrack to my life while I've been in Switzerland. I listen to their somber harmonies on the tram, twiddling my thumbs and watching the scenery change before me.


As of late, my main challenge has been to take each moment as it comes and to put the best energy and focus I can into the task at hand; this is much easier planned than done. It's that same old self-improvement monologue, the one that seems so achievable at nighttime when you're laying in bed and deciding that you'll go to the gym everyday next week. It's so easy to have future discipline, to make a plan to deprive yourself of sugar tomorrow, having just eaten your weight in cookies and chocolate. 

Making a grand international move comes with certain self-imposed expectations. You tell yourself: everything is going to be different, that you'll gain a new lease on life, and that perhaps your true purpose will come to light. Thing is, once you uproot your life and drop it back down somewhere else, it's human nature to try to pick up the pieces and put them all back together the way they were before. When you realize that you're re-sculpting this new life to resemble the old one, you try to compensate by taking on all the things you had always planned to do before, but never got to.

Naturally, taking on too many projects at once is counterproductive. Suddenly, you realize you're the master of none, just going through the motions, and those grand plans of getting into shape or learning a new language become that 20 minute stroll and reading a few pages of that German children's book about zoo animals. But it's not because you don't have goals, it's not because you're lazy, it's because you don't yet have clarity of vision. You have an idea of some future self and a blurry path on how to get there.

But taking a moment to appreciate what you can do right now, those baby steps don't seem so stupid anymore. You just take it a day at a time, a walk here, a few pages there, and eventually the path seems a little less daunting. The best part is that Simon and Garfunkel's wisdom is always applicable... maybe it really is "all happening at the Zoo."