You are late to work, again.
The most direct route is closed today, so you’re forced to go the back way. The way which brings with it countless stop and yield signs, traffic lights turning morosely yellow and envy green, flashing to that irritable red at which you must wait for other cars to proceed to evade an accident.
For me, going the back way is a pain. Who has time for stopping so many times in a row? I need to get to my destination ASAP! I need that rush of energy going 50 mph down a straight-away in a 30 mph zone. Ugh, these pitiful, slow cars, in my way again.
It has not been until just very recently, recent as in today, that I have realized that these street signs tell us more than how to drive as a law-abiding citizen.
Lately, I have noticed that I tend to live in every moment but the present. Much of my thinking time is spent day-dreaming of my town back in Connecticut, and how dew is now forming on the grass and the sound of humming birds becomes more profound with each new sunrise. Often, I think about my future: what am I going to do with my life? Where is my major going to take me? What am I doing tomorrow? What is for dinner? But never does the question: “how is the present right now?” ever cross my mind.
And so I am that impatient car, idling in traffic, itching in my seat for that taunting red glare to switch to green so that I may continue to advance with my day.
So long as I stare and moan, and sit annoyed at that red light, so do I stare, sit in boredom and neglect to appreciate and live in the moment.
These stop signs and red lights on the road are not merely telling me “stop, or you’ll get hit,” but rather telling me, “stop or you’ll miss life!” I must stop in the present. I must cease to think of my past and my future. I have already lived them, why live them twice? If I do not live in the present now, what will I have to cherish in the future?
The present is just the past in tomorrow’s narration of today. Make it a good story!!!
So far as I am concerned, my story of my life currently would be a repeat of yesterday and the day after. Because I do not live in the present, my story lacks interest and excitement; but on a more severe note, my story lacks happiness.
What happiness can be found if all I do is reflect and reflect on the past?
I have been simply shining a mirror over the same roll of film for the past few weeks. I must now develop new film. I must take new photographs. The old ones are just mere snapshots of what was, but in no means do they depict the now. For change has occurred over these past few weeks, I must develop a new roll of film. Once that new roll of film has been developed, I can hope and surely so, anticipate that it will not mirror my previous roll, for if it does then I have certainly not taken enough snapshots of the present, bur rather have allowed my aperture and shutter speed to fixate itself to those previous photographs.
Thus, by ensuring and making it a goal of mine to everyday wake up and just think of how I am feeling right now, I can ensure that I have new rolls of film developed each week, and heck, each day, and each hour. Because if I am truly living in the present, then no moment will have achieved the same exposure as the next, or if it does, then it should seem out of consequence that I share the same emotion or in camera language,” exposure”, as experienced in this moment as in the next– and not, as I stand in opposition to, a sharing of yesterday’s emotion with the now, for that would be living in the past.
All in all, I have realized my need to spring out of the past. I must blast-off from the landing of my past and launch myself into the out-of-the-world-awesome feeling of the now. The now is where it is at my friends, and we can experience and enjoy it when we decide to sit with patience and peace at the stop signs.