Very recently, I stumbled across an old blog post I had written during my senior year of college when I was 21 years old. I am 24 now and, not only did the post inspire me to get back to my writing roots, it also made me realize just how pertinent its message is to me even today, three years later.
Being a senior in college, I was at a crossroads of change. I felt the highest level of uncertainty that I had experienced up to that point in my life (although I have come to learn now that few things are all that certain). I have always had a vivid imagination and curiosity, but it was at this point that I also started an introspective journey that will continue throughout my lifetime. I began delving into what was important to me, and many of my discoveries have led me to the person I am today.
So without further adieu, here I am beginning this portion of my new site with a throwback. A post about living in the present moment. ☺
Wherever You Go There You Are (Published on April 25, 2013)
There’s no doubt that, at 21 years old, there’s a whole lot about people that I have yet to figure out. One thing I have come to understand, however, is that people today live in the past and the future so much more than they live in the present. I’m guilty of it. We’re all guilty of it. And I think something needs to change. And no, I don’t mean that people should be embracing the kind of living in the present that entails making rebellious, awful decisions that they later regret. I don’t really even mean to make use of the famous phrase “Carpe Diem” that, although I believe to be important, has sort of lost its significance to me because of its overuse.
I guess what I mean is to enjoy what you have while you have it, to make feelings of gratitude a bigger part of your life, and to realize happiness only comes from within because, frankly, you can’t escape from yourself. I think the phrase that best conveys what I mean is “Wherever you go, there you are.
I first heard this phrase many years ago but its importance to me didn’t really sink in until a few months ago as I realized my life was completely unplanned after college was over. My worry about the future started to really mess with my happiness, and then it hit me. In elementary school I was worried about making good grades so I could be placed in the high-performance classes at my middle school. In middle school I was worried about making good grades so I could take honors and AP classes in high school. In high school I was always thinking ahead to college admissions. Once I got to college, I was always thinking ahead to either graduate school, law school, or job searching (I have ultimately decided against grad school and law school for the time being). And that’s only academics! Never mind life’s many other worries about the past and future.
Not to say I was always in a constant state of worry, because that definitely isn’t true. But now that I don’t have a set plan, I realize how much planning ahead has been a constant thought in the back of my mind for my whole life. This is why I’ve decided to do one thing for myself. Stop. Worrying.
Realizing where you are in the moment and how much you’ve accomplished up to this point is one of the greatest things you can do for your well-being. It’s the reason this phrase is used so often in meditation and yoga. It brings you a state of inner peace.
So if you’re like me and tend to be labeled as a “worrier,” try replacing the worries in the back of your mind with this phrase. You might be surprised at how valuable a little less worry and a little more gratitude can be.