lesson I: don't forget to enjoy the journey
It is difficult to live inside the moment, rather than waiting until after it has passed to appreciate it. Tonight, I’m having one last dinner with my friends before summer. The past year we have lived together, celebrated each other, went on adventures around the city, and grew closer through our shared experiences. All of those nights we sat in our bedrooms joking and gossiping with each other seemed insignificant at the time, but now I realize there are no more to look forward to. One is studying abroad next semester, and will be thousands of miles away from the tiny life we’ve created. Countless moments I spontaneously ran downstairs to be in their company have come to a halting end. Too often, we are guilty of taking mundane situations for granted. We know these circumstances are not permanent, but they remain constant for a part of our day to day lives, until one day everything shifts.
Often, we are too wrapped up in meaningless details to appreciate all that is happening around us. Days seem to blend together monotonously - school, work, social life, sleep, repeat. There were many times the past few months when I felt like I had fallen into a predictable pattern, and was desperately trying to make each day exciting again. I have come to realize that life isn’t about creating ‘perfect’ moments, it is about appreciating where you are, instead of wishing you were somewhere else. It is risky to imagine how situations will play out. We become frustrated when the universe intervenes, taking us in another direction we did not plan for. I have found the more we try and control fate, the faster it steps in to show us that we are powerless. We cannot arrange our lives to reflect a mental image we have created. As much as we want to predict the future, it is a great ambiguity.
I blinked twice and another year has come and gone. The one lesson I learned above all else was that I should have taken a step back and appreciated the blessings around me while I still had them, because nothing is permanent. We are all walking along a road to nowhere, traveling at the speed of light toward oblivion. We send postcards to loved ones when we reach our destination, assuming that the most beautiful moments only happen once we have achieved an arbitrary goal. I do not want to live in regret, staring blankly out the car window, failing to appreciate the scenery because I am waiting impatiently for the road to end. Be present. Cherish the people around you and the place you are in, even when you are stuck wishing you could be anywhere else. Enjoy the journey before it forces you down another path, and life as you know it becomes a vision of the past.
lesson 2 coming next week…