the importance of being present

april 25th 2017

The present. It’s more tangible than the future, or even more near than the past; although, to actually exist in it is something quite difficult for many of us. I personally struggle with this on a daily basis. I wake up in the morning & think about what I’m going to eat for breakfast. Then, while eating it, I start to mentally plan out my day. Class, workout, eat lunch; or eat lunch, then workout, then do homework. Planning begins to consume so much of my day that it’s more like: class, plan workout, plan what to eat for lunch, plan what homework to do first, plan dinner, plan weekend, plan breakfast for tomorrow. Once I’ve successfully completed one plan, I move onto the next. I think it’s important to keep yourself on track and make sure you’re getting your shiz done; however, I think most of us can agree that we need to start planning time to not plan at all. That was contradictory. So, let me rephrase. We need to spend more time just being. To stop in our tracks, become aware, look at our surroundings, listen to the sounds vibrating through our ears, and recognize the scents that are filling our nostrils with each swift breath. To exist without thinking about what happened or what has yet to.

Time flies. When you’re in college working on projects that take hours, or studying for tests on material you couldn’t give two flying flapjacks about, it’s easy to fall into a rut. It’s easy to become a slave to routine, to live thinking about what’s next or worried about deadlines days & weeks away. It’s common to become unhappy or stressed or even eager for time to pass. To just wish it were the weekend so you can be done with your 3D design sculpture that has fallen apart on you over and over and instead, be sitting in a dirty pleather booth drinking a margarita in a glass that’s bigger than your head, eating chips & guac with your friends. You see, I have been there. But the truth is… even time spent on things we don’t want to be doing is still time. And time does not stop for us silly humans. Time is something we cannot get back.

I want to start making a conscious effort about this. In every moment I start getting frustrated, or stressed, or start dreaming of that overly sized, overly salty (who am I kidding, there’s never too much salt) margarita, to appreciate something about this particular space in time that I’m in. Whether it’s looking out the window and appreciating the view from my college dorm that soon, will not be my view anymore. Starting to shift my focus from research to the John Mayer song I had playing in the background, thanking the earth for his beauteous voice and well, whole being. Or even just taking a second to breath, noticing my belly rising up and falling back down as I do, and being grateful for just being alive. Find or do something that’ll make you appreciate the moment you’re in or the places you are at this very moment. ‘Cause guess what, you. Yes, I’m talking to you. YOU will never ever be exactly the same as you are right now. Find comfort in that, appreciate that. Time is scarce, every moment is precious. So let’s start to make sure of that.

-Mands

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