I want to amount to something in this vast world of ours. I want to find my purpose and fulfill it. I want to have made a positive impact….even if it is just on one person. Failure of this desire is my worst fear.
Aspirations are great, essential, inevitable even. They keep us on track, focused and motivated. They lend us a sense of purpose, of reason to get out from under the covers on rainy days. But, we often fail to recognize the grey area, the area that maybe isn’t so greatly saturated. Aspirations, too, can cause obsession, stifling unspontaneity, and amnesia of the present. It is easy to fall victim to the latter, constantly thinking about what will happen instead of what is happening at the moment. To a certain extent, we can’t control the future….this is not philosophical in nature, but rather pure fact. So why do we tend to concentrate all our attention on tomorrow instead of today?
I guess it’s just nature, an ingrained part of our collective genome. We are opportunistic, always in search of what will be….what could be rather. We can’t wait to get into a good college, then get a good job, then get married and start a family, and after that, become retired and move away to some isolated Floridian beachtown. But, if at every step in life, we are always waiting for what comes next, will we ever be able to enjoy the blessing of the present? If we only live for the future, we never truly will live, as reaching the future is unattainable. We will be left dull and regretful, knowing we wasted our life worrying instead of enjoying the moment.
I’m probably the last person who should be talking, considering the fact that my whole life, I’ve looked onward. I mean, the very fuel that drives an eating disorder is the relentless pursuit of future gains (or, more appropriately, losses). I was never looking for instant gratification, because I knew I would never find it….Instead, I listened to the voice that told me to, “Just wait….It will all be worth it. A little suffering now is worth a better future of thinness and pride.” Well, it’s safe to say that that future never came. Instead, all that came was isolation and depression and hospitalization and emptiness and rivers of tears. I missed out on the present for so long because I was on a race to catch up to the future.
If you choose to embark on this obsessive and totally miserable journey, just know that there is no secret map leading to a treasure chest filled with the future you dream of. It isn’t that simple. You will find yourself only going in circles and circles, until one day, you wake up and realize how much of your life you missed out on.
So, live in the present, because it is a loyal companion that is always there for you. Make right now memorable. I dare you to let go of tomorrow, and hold on to today. Cease the moment. Carpe diem.