If I wished I were There, then I wouldn’t be Here. There, where it is beautiful and the weather is fine and the air is good. Here. To realize Here is to sit in a steam room and take a deep breath. With lungfuls of steam instead of air, my mind tells fairy tales about not being able to breathe and I want to run to where the air is good. I make myself sit Here and try to convince myself there is enough air to breathe Here. I let it envelope me, the steam, the heat, the moisture, the panic and it is unbearable because I am finally sitting with myself, the Me of Here, Today.
If I were There, then I wouldn’t have to be the Me that is Here. I could be the Me that I’ve always wanted, dreamed, hoped, because you can always make that true when the time is not Now. But I am Here and it is Now and I can barely stand another moment of lungs full of hot steam and I panic because I am finally facing who I Am. I am not as wonderful as the Me that is There and that now-told-lie makes me gasp and I can barely hold on to Here. I tell myself to breathe, small, shallow breaths and I concentrate and my mind goes quiet and takes Panic with him.
I am not as bad as the Me that thought I should be There. The steam becomes so thick that everything else disappears, but I am breathing and I am Here. So, I am Here and not There and if I can learn to breathe when there is almost no air, then I can be Here. I let it envelope me, the steam, the heat, the moisture and it finally feels relaxing.