There’s a million adages about living in the present and not putting too much focus on your past or future. Unless the present sucks. Then there’s a million adages about looking for the rainbow or the silver lining when your troubles have passed. But careful, if your future is too bright there are a million adages about never forgetting where you are from and keeping true to your roots.

The best mirror is an old friend. The best is yet to come. Whatever is, is best.

Why so many conflicting quotable proverbs? If the future is so wonderful, why is everyone afraid of the unknown that ever lurks before us? If the past should be forgotten, why are we doomed to repeat it if we forget? If the present is the time to focus on, why do we place so much value on where we grew up, or where we see ourselves in five years?

It is hard to dream about starting a new life in a place far away when you’re still stuck in your old life. Until my partner and I finish renovating our house and sell it, find gainful employment in the Pacific Northwest, and get rid of all of the stuff we don’t plan to move, we are here. Stuck in the life we are eager to leave.

Everyday we go through our stuff, paring down to the necessities. We have said goodbye to loads of sentimental stuff we no longer want to haul around. Its like breaking up with someone every day. Every day we browse for job opportunities. Its like cheating on the job you’ve had for nearly a decade. Every day we do something to the house we think a potential buyer would like. Its like fixing your house up just so you won’t have to live there. The emotional toll is exhausting. We are surviving day to day in a timeless wasteland of “not yet, but soon.”

Without looking too far ahead, we will pack up our Subaru and pull out of our driveway for the last time. We will cross thousands of miles of American deserts and mountains and plains and arrive at a place where the clock will begin ticking again. A place with new neighbors. A place with new colleagues. A place with animals we’ve only seen in textbooks and on tv. A place with a different political majority. A place with different weather patterns. A place in a different time zone. A time zone two hours behind the place we currently live and yet, a place in our future. A future I cannot stop thinking about in my present.

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