How to Figure Out the Ideal Distance

Take any one “thing” in your life, whether it be an activity, a person, a place.  And know that there exists an ideal distance between you and that thing.

How to figure out the ideal distance is simple.  Get far away from it, and stay there a while.  Do you miss it?

Or get very close to it, and stay there a while.  Do you feel the need to get away?

The zone where you feel most comfortable exist between those two extremes.  When you are there, you will be at peace with your distance to the thing.

Of course, the ideal distance isn’t a static thing, either.  After being close to something, say a full-time job, and enjoying it for a while, you may find that one day you feel the need to get away.  You go on a vacation and expect to miss your job, but actually you don’t.  Your ideal distance has changed.

There were periods in my life when I attempted to leave my guitar.  I went weeks without touching it.  Not touching it almost became the norm.  Except that every once in a while I would stop and realize that I missed it.  Even though the guitar was frustrating to me.  I couldn’t play very well, I wasn’t anywhere near where I thought I was supposed to be.  I wasn’t having fun, so I would give up.  Maybe I need to find something else, maybe I wasn’t meant to pursue this.  I took vacations from my guitar, to test my relationship to guitar playing.

But I did miss it.  So I went back.  Turns out what I needed to let go was my idea of how good I was supposed to be, not the guitar playing.  When I stopped beating myself up for not being as good as I wanted to be, I started enjoying it again.  I remembered why I wanted to play it to begin with.

Relationships can be tricky, but keep in mind that your heart knows the ideal distance.  You should listen, if it tells you to get away, or get closer.  Sometimes other factors may be interfering with your sense of the ideal distance.  But your heart knows.  I’m learning to trust mine.