In my essay, I tackle the idea of living in the now. My goal for my essay was to enlighten people on how important and impactful small moments can be. How we should appreciate what we have in front of us because nothing is a given. I am proud of the work I did to make it clear and elaborate with the help of my peer editors. For my next Essay, I want to make sure that I have multiple people look at my essay so that I can get a lot of feedback and advice.
LIVING IN THE PRESENT
by Nile Shareef-Trudeau
This is about recognizing all the blessings that are right in front of me. All the blessings that I pass up because of the toxic conditioning I have as an American. Unlike many people around the world, the way my country is set up has made me think I have all the time in the world. An infinity of tomorrows. Because of this, I take so much for granted. I’ve felt so sure that tomorrow will come. I stay stuck in times past or fantasies of the future. Instead of living; appreciating each day as the amazing blessing that it is.
There’s a recurring event that happens at least once a day in a nook known as my room. A feeling of anticipation of what’s to come, from sounds so familiar yet mysterious. Two little feet, size twelve in kids, traveling up my staircase. I await all the possibilities. At times these feet are loud and clunky, at others slow and creeping. From these two sounds, I can tell who it is. The seven-year-old stinker of a sister I love so dearly. The incredible and loving little Lama of mine.
I can’t count all the times I’ve been annoyed when she comes up my stairs. I often didn’t care about the magical things, thoughts, and ideas she had to offer. I had sunglasses that covered the light that she radiated when she came into my room without even realizing it.
Though this event passed for small and insignificant, with my new realizations, it provides me with an opportunity to instead soak in and savor every moment of it. I could count each step it takes for her to reach me. Hear the clicking her tongue makes as she speaks. Feel how my heart warms in her presence, each little thing she does. Looking at her in a gaze of amazement, taking in all that she is. Her soul stands personified in front of me, and I’m in love with it.
Little moments are often overlooked but it is in these moments that we feel the most. Many people don’t appreciate these moments as much as they should. In these moments it can be hard to be completely present. However, if you can get there you truly feel alive. You experience raw cut emotions of realization. I am living right now, in this moment. I’m feeling, seeing, hearing. Each moment of life is a blessing and it should be understood/treated as such.
I went through a rough patch last year where I was sucked into a tornado of negative emotions. I chose to cut my hair as a release.
I felt a twinkle of insanity; an uncontrollable excitement rushed over me as I gripped the scissors in my hand. Cutting away my luscious lion mane and knowing feelings of rebirth and self-empowerment. “I feel a heavy weight lifting,” I said to my sister Lotus on the other side of the call. All the shadows my hair cast on my shoulders and nape of my neck being shown to the light. Now with all I’ve uncovered about myself, I can move forward. I wanted so badly to move on from this state of being. Growth is all I was looking for, so I cut my hair off. In that moment I allowed myself to feel. To take a chance. Brushing past all the thoughts that tried to tell me I would regret my decision. Not knowing what the outcome would be but not caring because if not now, when?
As American people, we are programmed to walk through life looking for a bigger picture. We are constantly thinking about the future. We wonder and work to figure out how we will harness it. With this being said, we miss out on all the important things: the nows. By being stuck on the future and dwelling on the past, we miss out on exploring, enjoying, and exercising the present moment. To do things just because: like examining details of a drawing; A simple creation from my mind: how the drawing on my wall consists of a hand, but this hand specifically is a left hand. That of which is gripping a small book with its pudgy fingers. These things often seem insignificant. Some may say, “Why would I sit around and look at the junk in my room?” What people don’t understand is by doing these things we begin to live in a world so real. Getting to know the present moment. Tomorrow isn’t certain, and the past is said and done. This is what it’s all about. Putting in the work to evaluate things we can change that are right in front of us. Rather than looking for things that are no longer in our grasp. Not to mention, we begin to get rid of this idea that life is boring but instead fascinating. With each moment and thing a new adventure. Then, and only then, will you be living your life in color.