On Being Present


If you think about how a person moves through the world, it’s more than “amazing.”  You took your first step once.  First!  On chubby little baby legs.  There isn’t a word for that.  And I think we forget how good a human life can be.

I think our lives branch out in vast and beautiful ways.  Like, if you dropped a gallon of milk to the floor and watched it spread.  I think that’s how people are.

I think there are words I said to someone once that they remember from time to time, though I don’t remember saying them.  Someone, somewhere, remembers how you opened the door for them at the department store.  Someone remembers grading your papers.  Seeing you on the platform in a train station.

We might go from being madly in love with someone to never wanting to see them again, but that doesn’t change the fact that our life meant something to them.  And when you think about how much you do in your life – every regret, every hope – you realize becoming an adult is accomplishing something.  But more than that, you kind’ve become aware that you’re a part of something larger.  For me, it’s a little like this.

It’s this royal blue, heart-shaped glass necklace with white stars on it that I lost at the cafeteria in third grade.  Playing blob tag on sawdust in a horse arena at Girl Scout camp.  How I got asked to a dance on bleachers with a box of Cheerios in my hands.  The way he put his palm against the wall and his face close to mine when he said, “I love you.”

Even in the best circumstances, happiness is elusive.  Even feelings of accomplishment – professional successes – are short-lived, and then it’s on to the next thing.  Sometimes, we’re kind’ve like butterflies in a box banging against the glass.

But if you can kind’ve remind yourself to take yourself less seriously…Remember that your journey is so beautiful, and small things, like your sense of humor, your smile, your intelligence, your laugh – brighten the world.  And other people think of and are inspired by you.

Most of us spend so much time searching for happiness and security, it’s sort of like, “Will we always do that?”  And I don’t want to be that person.

Once, I had glow-in-the-dark stars on my ceiling and loved Black Beauty.  I know that that girl, would be disappointed if I let her down like that.  If I stopped seeing the beauty in the world, and stopped paying attention to the present moment.  If I stopped listening to my heart.  If I gave into my fears.

So don’t do that!  And I won’t, either.

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