As my 23rd birthday approaches, I’ve lately been reflecting on the idea of getting older and everything that comes with it.
I remember the days when I was younger and anyone who was older than me was automatically considered cool because they could do the things I wasn’t allowed to. I remember being so mesmerized by the idea that my life would basically become better once I was older. That was my whole ideology. I saw the fourth graders have picnics outside the school- so I couldn’t wait to turn eight to eat my snack in that fancy park too, the middle schoolers had dances that constantly left out the rest of us- so I couldn’t wait to turn eleven, twelve, or thirteen so I could dance the school day away, and I literally couldn’t wait to be a senior for most of my high school days. But where was the fun in that?
As a current 22-year-old still figuring out what exactly I’m supposed to be doing in this life, it’s interesting to reminisce over the days when I looked forward to the things I don’t currently have and don’t remember experiencing. Don’t get me wrong, it’s healthy to look forward to the things that we want, but it’s also unhealthy not to be present; to wish where you are away.
The biggest lesson I’ve learned in my life so far has been the lesson of staying as present as possible. At first, I thought it was just something nice to hear or say, but lately I’ve been experiencing the end results and what that can, unfortunately, take from you. I’ve lost friends that I’ve admired, I’ve developed an inability to keep in touch with everyone I’ve met, and I’ve become an introvert; wanting to stay inside all the time because I can get so worried about my future that I sometimes encourage myself to keep working on resumes, writing articles, and planning like crazy.
The very practice I repeatedly performed as a kid I, unfortunately, took with me when I grew up. The fact that I was a six-year-old who couldn’t wait to turn eight robbed me of my year as first grader when I should’ve appreciated that fact that I was allowed to just build sandcastles and color in my book instead of doing harder math homework or helping my parents with the chores. When I was in high school, instead of daydreaming about the life I was going to live in my twenties- I should have been living the life I was supposed to.
Living in the moment is more than words said, it’s a healthy practice of staying positive and embracing whatever comes your way so the minute you start to reminisce about the past, instead of feeling regretful or ashamed, you feel satisfied and proud.