Words of the Week: The Present

Lately I am completely obsessed with the future yet feeling anchored by the past. Is that normal for a senior nearing graduation? I like to think it is, but at the same time, I sometimes feel as though I’m totally getting in my own head. Do you know what I mean?

I spend shuttle rides and walks to class obsessing over where I’ll work and end up living. In the moments before I fall asleep, I find myself recalling everything from the past four years here at school. I feel as though I am caught in between two very, very different worlds and completely undecided over which one I’d rather be in, so instead of choosing, I have one foot in each.

I am also someone who gets extremely anxious. About almost all things. When I was younger, I used to get very anxious and nervous about paying for things at a cash register by myself. I would always ask my mom or even younger sister to do it for me. While I’m over that anxiety (thankfully!), I have recently been facing much anxiety about the future. I spend phone conversations with my mom in a near panic – Will I ever get married? Where am I going to end up living? How many children will I have if I even have them at all?! – Thankfully, my mom always knows the right thing to say. But still, these anxieties have come to haunt me at times of change, like, well…right now.

I also feel a magnetic pull towards the past. I have a hard time letting go. I feel, again, caught between my yearn to move on and my irrepressible yearn to hold on with all my might, scared of forgetting the things that have happened to me, the people I’ve met, the lessons I’ve learned, the sights I’ve seen, and the places I’ve been.

With all of these desires, pulls, thoughts, and (sometimes) full-on battles I have going on within my own head, I find myself so often letting moments pass me by. All too frequently, I find myself missing out on what’s going on right now: the present.

This past weekend I saw this quote and it brought me to a full reflection of how I’ve been battling with myself over the past and future:

present moment

After reading this, I felt really…inspired. I realize that because of the way I am and who I am, I’m never going to stop planning for, wondering about, and dreaming of the future. I also know I will never fully be able to let go of things that have happened to me in the past. But, like I said, when I read this quote, I felt an irresistible pull to live more in the moment. It made me realize that if, in moments of past/future distress, I reassert my focus on what’s going on right now, I can not only allow myself to calm down but also enjoy life more.

Graduation is less than a month away, and these last days here at Quinnipiac are definitely going to be pretty special. Monumental, even. I want to look back at them and realize I enjoyed them, that I remember these last QU moments with my friends and sorority sisters, in my dorm, around Hamden, and at the library. I am thankful that this quote shall serve as a reminder to actively do so.

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