…or Yolo as popular culture dictates it nowadays. “You only live once’ sadly seems to be used as an excuse for wild or outrageous behavior, instead of what it should mean….that we don’t waste a single second feeling not good enough, or letting tough times hinder us from living life to the full.
Living for the now is not something I find easy. Life always seems to be easier lived in two places, the past, and the future, clearly neither of those being the now. Lots of times when you’ve just come through a period of change its so easy to still live in the past, to hold on to memories and people, that are better off let go. Other times its impossible not to live in tomorrow and the future planning things and stressing about events coming up.
Right now in my life I seem to be boomeranging to and from each side, barely catching my breath enough to focus on living in the now. With Ucas applications and University looming, preparing my portfolio and my university applications it’s all I can do not to live in the future when lots of my work and headspace are entirely focused on my future. Yet a month ago all I could do was live in the past, of AS year ,friendship I had made, and people I had met, I was stuck down memory lane and it was stopping me from living right here, right now.
A long time ago I realized that I need to stop saying “I will be happy when….” And we all do it, sub-consciously even. It can range from “I will be happy once I know I’ve got into Uni” to just “I will be happy when this day is finally over”. But whether its long term or short term its still hindering us from enjoying each day for what it is. Now my rose tinted spectacles, and silver lined clouds aren’t naïve enough to think that a change in perspective is all we need to enjoy each day no matter what it throws at us…..we all are human and all of us have bad days that just are bad no matter our best efforts to turn them around.
But all of us can for a second take a step back, and look at our lives, see the time when we’re living in the past, or living too much in the future. And all of us can admit we need to stop saying “I will be happy when” and say “I will be happy now”. Sometimes I’ve realized its easier to give in to the tears, to the frustrations of a long day at work, to your irritation at your inconsiderate friend or sibling, its easier just to sit down and let your anger fester, or to too cry. Its easier to wallow….and then we can wonder why it is it seems so hard to be happy. When actually being happy sometimes takes work, its not like the movies where the birds singing and the sun shining guarantees a great day, sometimes being happy is harder than to just give in to a bad day. But its worth it, to stare those obstacles down and say “I refuse to give in to this situation” and to not let it rob you of happiness…..because after all YOLO…
So for now all we can do….” is not look back and grieve over the past for it is gone, and do not be troubled about the future, for it has not yet come instead live in the present, and make it so beautiful that it will be worth remembering.”