i am a planner.
and i am also the kind of person that starts to think about two years from now before the day is even finished. up to this point in my life, it has been very helpful; i have been able to accomplish what i have hoped and i’m one step closer to getting to where i want to be. however, this trait also typically has me thinking about tomorrow rather than enjoying today.
i can remember back to high school where i eagerly awaited graduation and the opportunity to leave my hometown, live on my own, and attend college for the first time. i was excited for something new. i counted down the days and packed my bags way too early. looking back, those are some of my most cherished memories and moments. high school was when i learned about what i loved to do and found out who i wanted to be. when i finally moved and got settled in to michigan to begin my undergraduate degree, i was already thinking about where i would go next. i was in a hurry to meet my academic requirements and graduate on time. my undergraduate experience was extremely challenging, but even more rewarding. i can remember back to the times when i talked about not being able to “wait until i got a job” and counting down the days until i didn’t have to worry about school. i thought college was stressful and hard. but in reality, i was able to see more of the world in those four years of undergrad than i have been able to see my entire life. during my year off from school, i spent my time working to pay off graduate school for the following year. i was eager to start graduate school and even more excited to finish it.
and so here i am today. thinking about all the days and time i spent wishing i was where i am now. here i am, remembering dressing up for high school football games, decorating for dances, and going to my first formal dance. and here i am, being nostalgic over my visits abroad to turkey and egypt. reminiscing over my first fall in michigan, smiling over my first failed chemistry exam. and here i am, thinking about about how much more i could have enjoyed the moment if i had realized that i wouldn’t be in that place forever. i am not regretful, nor do i want to be living in the past, but i am learning about how to live for today.
today was meaningful because i just want to be here. because i wasn’t thinking about yesterday or preparing for tomorrow. i spent today enjoying today. i appreciated my tiredness and the challenge of juggling different commitments. i thought about everything i was learning and all of the amazing people that have entered my life because of my internship, if only for a few short moments. i smiled over writing one of my last few papers for graduate school. and i was thankful for exactly where i am.
i spent high school planning for college, and undergrad planning for graduate school. i spent last year getting ready for this year, and i’m using this year to prepare for next year’s job. and i’ll use next year’s job to pay off my student loans and to get myself established…and once i get established, i’ll start preparing for a house/marriage/children/retirement/etc… i could go on and on. the point is, planning is fine and often necessary, but along the way, remember to appreciate where you are now.
in the process of wishing away my time, i found that i was actually wishing away my life. of course i am eager for what comes next, but what about what’s happening now? i have the rest of my life to worry about my future, but i only get one chance to experience today. and cherish it.
they say life is what happens when you are busy making plans… i am the first to say that planning is wonderful, but so is life when you give yourself the chance to truly live it.
today was meaningful because i wished for today.