My mind has been everywhere this week. Perhaps it’s the stress of the end of the semester (and the looming final grades that will undoubtedly be my worst thus far in life), or perhaps I’m bugging out about my new job, or perhaps I’m over-tired…I’m not really sure. I’ve felt like a miniature Socrates riddled with ADHD this week, thinking about all kinds of deep stuff but never being able to connect the dots because my head keeps bouncing around. I think I’ve finally centered on one topic that has bothered, perplexed, intrigued me: everyone’s never ending discontentment – or, in other words, people will always be pissy about something, no matter where they are in life.
I’m not immune to the epidemic, but I think I’m finally becoming aware of it. Understanding is the first step to change, right? So no matter where we are, we’ll always want something else. Pretty normal example: a lot of high school students complain about their lack of freedom. “Ugh, I just wish I could drive!” or “High school is so boring!” Meanwhile, a lot of college students (myself included) miss high school. They miss seeing their friends everyday, miss playing sports or a specific team they were on (I think about my basketball brotherhood every day, though today I’m only in contact with a couple of those guys), miss the easy classes (okay, college is easy sometimes too, but high school was pretty much laughable), miss not having to pay for everything, and just generally miss adolescence.
Here’s another example: when people are single, they tend to seek relationships. They strive to feel wanted, needed, loved. They want someone to sleep next to, someone to validate their existence. But when people are in a relationship, they envy their “single self” who had the freedom to do whatever he/she wanted, who didn’t have to worry about the significant other’s problems, who could chase anyone.
I think of some lyrics from the Trace Adkins song You’re Gonna Miss This: “These are some good times, so take a good look around. You may not know it now, but you’re gonna miss this.”
Let’s not talk about how I got on this train of thought by watching 17 Again – hey, it really wasn’t that bad, and I swear it was the only thing on TV – but instead let’s talk about why this sad reality is, well, reality. When posed the question of why people will never be satisfied, one of my friends said something interesting on Facebook: “When you’re happy in the moment, it’s likely you’re not conscious of it. You’re living it.”
Isn’t that a sad thought? Any time you’re happy, you won’t be aware of it. And any time you’re aware of how you feel, you’ll be missing the time you were happy…because that’s when you were actually living, not reflecting. I guess I just wish we could be doing both at the same time.
My point here: soak up life as much as you can. It’s gonna be gone soon. We are such a minor blip in the scale of history – Here today, gone tomorrow. Grandchildren today, grandparents tomorrow. How did it get so late so soon?
Soak up everything, during every time, as much as you can. Close your eyes, take a long, deep breath, and just thank God. Try to be happy and appreciate the moment, because you will miss exactly where you are right now.
“Now and then it’s good to pause in our pursuit of happiness and just be happy.” – Guillaume Apollinaire