Right now you’re reading this article you found probably on Facebook from some link a friend shared, but where are you really? Are you thinking about tomorrow’s classes or what you’re doing this weekend? Or maybe you’re thinking about the awkward conversation you had with some guy yesterday, or obsessing over if you made the right choice for your major because you’re stuck in it now. Is your mind ever not thinking about tomorrow or yesterday? Are you ever just thinking about this moment right now?
As 20-somethings we are constantly told to look towards the future, asked what our “plans” are for the future, and being prepared for the real world. We are made to believe that the future holds all the answers and if we just get there then life will be great. The problems comes from not knowing where our “future” is, so we constantly obsess over it, try to plan for it, and attempt to figure out how to get to our future.
On the other hand, we use our past to determine this future; the degree we chose in sophomore year determines what jobs we can apply for after we graduate; people we have dated have determined the “type” we like; past relationships determine how we act in future ones. We are told that your past is what makes you who you are.
Twenty-somethings are usually discouraged by what they’ve done in the past, which makes them apprehensive by what may happen in the future. News flash: we are already in the real world, my friends. This is it; right here, right now. This is life happening. There isn’t a start time for when life actually begins and we can start living it; if there ever were one, it’d be called birth. At any moment you are allowed to do what you want, you don’t have to wait for some alarm to go off to allow you to travel, get that funky haircut, or apply for that awesome internship. The moment is now.
I’m tired of hearing people make plans. Not mark-a-day-in-the-calendar plans, but general “oh yeah we have to do that sometime” plans. You’re not going to do it. Take out you’re calendar, stop reading this article, and go live life. If we keep being passive about our lives, experiences are just going to pass us right by. You’ll be sitting in your room five years down the road and think “crap, what have I even done with my life?”
The only thing in life that is guaranteed is this very moment right now. Who knows what’s going to happen this weekend, tomorrow, or even an hour from now. Fulfilling the present moment with things that make you happy will help you move on from the past and encourage you for the future. You can’t question what happened yesterday or who hurt you a year ago. You can’t figure out what will happen tomorrow, what career you’ll have, or who you’ll marry (if you even do).
You can only be sure of who you are right now and be confident in that. Who cares what stupid mistake you made freshmen year at a party or if you have no idea what’s happening after college? Frankly, everyone has made dumb mistakes, no one knows what’s happening after college, and no one really has it all together yet (or ever). Even though we’re told by our parents, advisors, or anybody older than us that we have to “look, prepare, and plan” for our future, there’s only so much that we can do. The same people telling us that we need to know what we’re doing in our future have no idea what they’ll be doing in theirs.
Be content and have peace with what has happened in the past. Be confident and excited for the future. But please stop obsessing over last night’s shenanigans or tomorrow’s challenges. I just simply challenge you to live for the now.
Feature image via Flickr