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The best thing about living in the moment is that you truly enjoy every single day.
And the worst thing is that you live in the moment, but the world doesn’t.
In May I had my “don’t be sad covid grads!” graduation ceremony a year and a half after finishing my degree. My family flew into the city all the way from across the ocean for this, we were looking forward to this Yankee Stadium celebration and I was crazy excited to see Taylor Swift in person. And my classmates after over a year. But mostly Taylor.
In the morning of the ceremony, I realized I never received my tickets for this graduation. It didn’t take me long to realize that it’s because I never purchased tickets for this. Because I don’t plan stuff, remember, I’m in the moment! I saw it on the website that RSVP deadline was weeks ago, and that they didn’t give out any more tickets. It wasn’t the loveliest day, as you can imagine, but I slid into every single NYU person’s DMs to ask if they had extra tickets and eventually I found three guest tickets and one student ticket as we were pulling over to the stadium!
So the story has a happy ending: I got to celebrate my graduation at Yankee Stadium! My family didn’t come all the way to miss the ceremony! Well, I didn’t see Taylor because she was there for the 2022 grads and not us covid grads, but still, it was cute knowing that we shared the same space a few hours apart.
And honestly, deep down I knew I’d be able to find us tickets and I knew we wouldn’t miss it because the universe wouldn’t do that to me, but it was a huge wake up call: living in the moment is the best, but it has consequences.
You know how I said you can live in the moment but the world doesn’t? That’s the main issue. It’s perfect other than that. You only think about what’s here and now and just leave the rest. So it means you stop planning for the future as well as dwelling on the past. Both come as a relief at first, but it’s not all fun and games.
Say you wanna take a trip, there’s something magical about waking up and just wanting to getaway and doing so the next day. How liberating! But trips usually require tickets and accommodation so it’s not guaranteed that you’ll find one the last minute. And a lot of cool places or activities ask you to make reservations weeks before. Plus, everything becomes more expensive so you may end up doing less of the fun stuff. You may even miss your graduation.
And when you stop thinking about the past, yes you let go of bad memories and regrets, or what could’ve or should’ve happened, but it also means letting of the important things that we shouldn’t actually forget. This can be a political cause, a social justice thing: some things need to be remembered and brought up.
Keeping these in mind, I still think living in the moment is the best.
Because I didn’t always live in the moment. In fact, I wasn’t in the moment at all, I was all in the future. Maybe because I had the biggest dreams in the world and you can just daydream all day long and feel as if you’ve achieved all those things. Besides, I was in a long distance relationship so to be together, you gotta meet either in the past or in your future dreams. And it was beautiful, because we had everything there, but not so much here and now.
That’s probably why I tend to teleport into the future often, because I can have anything I want when I allow my mind to run free but I’m constantly pulling myself back to the moment when I catch my mind rushing to the future.
Because most of the times, the future doesn’t end up being what you imagined it would be like, and you end up spending your precious time on an illusion where you could have enjoyed what’s here and now. I got so disappointed so many times that I had to learn to bring myself back to the moment.
So I’m not effortlessly living in the moment, I actively remember to bring myself back to the moment whenever I feel my mind is drifting away from what’s here and now. Because that’s when the good stuff comes along.
You live without worries or anxieties, because unless there’s some crisis here and now that you need to address, you’re good. This means giving your 100% to what’s in front of you, so you thrive in whatever project you’re working on, and you have better relationships and deeper connections with the people in your life because you give them your undivided attention.
Besides, when you live in the moment, you naturally follow your flow, and it’s as if the world lines up for you and eventually it all works out. I mean I made it to my graduation, didn’t I?