Here and Now ~ Blog Five

Have you ever been told, “just live in the moment”?  I’ve been told that a handful of times. Ok, great advice…but what does that mean? I’m alive, I’m here….what else? Does it mean to be flexible, be spontaneous?  Carpe Diem..?

One thing about blogging, while I really don’t actually love to organize and write about my thoughts, it does make me think more. So, here’s what I think “living in the moment” means. To be present in your own life, engaged with the environment around you, and appreciative of the day’s blessings. Often we live in the past, dwelling over mistakes. Other times we are worried about the future and what’s coming next. But what about today? What’s going on now, what can you do to make today count…to make today different…to make today better…

I think I struggle at times with being present in my own life and just living in the moment. Right now, I’m at a college that is not exactly what I expected. My experience isn’t typical; I didn’t rush for a sorority, I don’t live in a dorm, my university doesn’t have a lot of organized and well-established student organizations, there are no Friday night football games, 97% of the students are commuters, and there is basically no campus life. All that being said, it is not the most conducive environment to getting involved or (making friends for that matter), and my weekends are pretty quiet. On top of that, the program I am in is not exactly as specialized in my interests as I would like it to be…whereas other colleges have an entire school just dedicated to my program of interest. So, while I wouldn’t say I’m “unhappy”, I would say I’m in need of a change. That is why I have decided to transfer to a different university next semester, a decision I am so excited about! However, I think this decision has made it a little hard to be present where I am at. I get in moods where I don’t care to meet new people because I’m leaving in a few months anyway…or I think, “what’s the point in reaching out to that friend, they’ll only be in my life a few more months”, “Why go above the bare minimum at work, it’s just a temporary job?”. The routine of life can become mundane. I tend to take on the mindset that I just need to show up to class, clock in at work, clock out, go home, do the same tomorrow…and it’s nothing more than that; get through these days and move on to bigger, better things. My mind fills with thoughts of this great experience I think I’m going to have next semester and how much better things will be. Sometimes I worry about if my future plans will work out and if I’m making the right decision, other times I’m wishing I was back a few years ago remaking a decision, back a few months ago enjoying the people I was around, back a few hours ago wishing I had woken up earlier this morning…

But, the matter of the fact is that I’m not back in 2015 , deciding where to go to college. I’m not in a new university with a more exciting campus. I’m not in a state with beautiful weather and no rush hour traffic. I’m not around the same people I used to spend every day with. But, that’s my reality and I can’t change it right now. I also can’t live in the past or wish away my days with thoughts of the future. I mean really, how often do we break our backs trying to figure out our future plans, just to have God say, “No, actually that’s not what I had in mind.”?

When I take the chance to be present in this moment I’m in now, I realize some things. I’m lucky to be getting an education. The city lights when I drive home in a few minutes are going to leave me in awe, like they do every night. I may spend more time alone now than I used to, but I’ve also gotten more of an opportunity for self-reflection than I’ve ever had time for.I’m finding out exactly what I want out of my life; not being influenced by what other people think I should want.  I’m experiencing city life, something I’ve always been curious about. Now that I have fewer distractions, I’m focusing more on my school work than I ever have before. And, most importantly, I have made meaningful friendships here that I hope last a lifetime. To live in the moment I’m in…I need to remember these things all the time, embrace them, make even more memories, and still make an effort to make connections and strengthen my relationships. I don’t want these next months to go by, look back, and not have anything worthwhile to say or remember about my last two years.

Isn’t it a bit ungrateful to have our minds be consistently in the past or in the future, not in this moment? We should be praising God for what we’ve got going on now, and taking full advantage of it. Take in the surroundings, make connections, talk, listen, and appreciate this moment. I think when our lives aren’t what we think is “ideal”, it can be hard to be present in your reality, hard to accept and make the most of your reality…

I don’t want to look back on my time in Cleveland and wish I had gone to the lake more, wish I had gone to see my friends more, wish I had made more connections and memories with my classmates, or wish I had appreciated the things I do love about Cleveland more. Living for the moment is about being aware of the moment, peaceful in your reality, present in your routine (not just going through the motions), and participating in all the opportunities and potential relationships thrown your way each day…

Maybe you aren’t where you want to be. But, you are exactly where you are supposed to be, so be there. 

And no matter where you are, you’re still in the presence of God, make each moment count. 

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