The only moment that matters is right now

BRODY HALL, Copy Editor

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I had been toying with the idea of writing this piece for a while, like the way a thought lingers, weaving itself in and out of your consciousness like an uninvited visitor, popping out of nowhere and begging for your attention. I think this may come from a place of anxiety, or maybe denial. To this, I’m still working out the details.

As a young American, I believe that knowledge is power and that power should be distributed among the classes and the people. To that, I believe that is the duty of any decent human being to share what they have learned so that maybe someone else in the same situation can learn something useful as well.

I would like to begin by saying that I am no expert—on anything. In all my years of living, I don’t think there’s been any skill of mine that has blossomed and grown to the point of perfection. Sure, I can read and write well, and I may know how to bartend—or what’s that fancy word now? Mixology? — but this is merely arbitrary to my entire point. I am, though, human enough to know that my experience is completely and utterly different than every other person on this planet. Even I, a firm believer in the concept of non-duality and that we really are just one, can understand that there will always be separations that divide us. But within those separations, the borders and the labels, provide us with all the more with perspective and wisdom.

I have learned that life goes on, to put it bluntly. At 22 years old, I have seen new children born, family and friends die and everything that can possibly lie between those two bookends. I have learned that at some point, you must give up your attachment to specific moments and realize there’s only one that matters: Right now.

Learning this is never easy; I can assure you of that. At some point, you wake up with a hangover, realize the party’s over, clean up the beer cans and empty the ash trays and put yourself back in the motion of day-to-day life. You wake up thinking of something embarrassing you did or said years ago, calling yourself a fool. But eventually you fall back asleep. You’re getting a D+ in a course throughout the entire semester up until final’s week when all your extra credit that you’ve spent hours working on goes in and you get that B+ you knew you could get—but you don’t attribute it to your worth. Even if you did get a D, or even an F, you’d still live to tell the tale.

Friendships fade without you even noticing it. Your ex moves and gets engaged. You’re diagnosed with another kind of mental illness. “The Simpsons” are renewed once again. Things eventually always return to the bellowed state of normality.

There are moments when you’re crying over what you’ve lost, screaming that you’ll never go on, that you’ll never get over it. Somehow, though, months or maybe even years later, you look back at that blubbering, crying self and wonder who that person was. Why could they possibly have been crying over something like that? You don’t recognize yourself sometimes–whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Life changes all the time, most of the time without us even noticing that something is different. As much fun as it would be to revisit our old selves and go through the same experiences one more time, just to soak it all in, it is best to remind ourselves that this is utterly impossible and can never happen. Being able to let go of what once was there and say hello to what’s to come is one of the most exciting and beautiful experiences that comes in life. The best part of finishing one novel is that you get to start a new one.

After all of this, I hope this meditation comes from a place of peace, perhaps even nostalgia. One where I can look back on it all, sad for it all to be over, but grateful I got to experience it all in the first place.

As a senior only months away from graduation, I have to say goodbye to my undergraduate experience and goodbye to most of my “young” adult life. Thank you for the laughter, crying, anxiety, smiling, road trips, late nights, fun, depression, aliveness, friends, love, emotion, passion, anger, teachers, healing, jobs, adventure and liberation.

Looking back on it all now, it was whirlwind of momentary madness. But in it, it was all that existed.

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