3:14 a.m. My mind wanders to a place it can only reach in the stillness of the night. This is where I seek solace under a soft ivory blanket without any worries of the outside world. Silence. 5:47 a.m. I exhale a deep breath I didn’t know I had been holding as I watch the sky turn from a pale yellow to a shade that can only be described as cotton candy. I remember devouring my first bag of it when I was a child, the pink and blue sugar sticking to every part of my face complete with a smile much too big to fit. Nostalgia. 1:32 p.m. I see my best friend after two weeks. Her arms wrap around me and it is familiar, I sink into a much-needed long hug that doesn’t turn awkward. A few minutes later we are laughing until we can’t breathe over something that nobody else would find remotely funny. Love. 4:15 p.m., my dad is driving and our song comes on the radio. The similarities between us are undeniable, from our horrible dancing to our taste in obscure alternative music. Family.
Why do I remember these moments? Are these memories important? Will I remember them in a month, a year, 5 years? Probably not. Our lives are made up of so many events that they all become a blur. We take for granted these moments that make us who we are. There are times where one will feel so indescribably happy that everything that is wrong and ugly in the world disappears. There are times where one becomes nothing but a mess of skin, bones, and negativity that consumes every fiber of their being. I don’t want to forget these moments. I don’t want to forget what it felt like when my baby sister held my finger in her tiny hand for the first time, and how I knew I would never be the first one to let go. I don’t want to forget seeing lions roam the African savannah while I, a mere human, stood in awe of the beauty of earth. I don’t want to forget when my great grandmother died and I spent the whole night awake with my mother, crying, even though I had never met her. This was the night I learned what loss felt like.
One thing that I know for sure is that I fall in love with these beautiful moments. I fall in love with the way a stranger can go on for hours about something they are truly passionate about. I fall in love with the way a lover is able to touch more than just one’s body, but touch their mind, soul, and heart. In today’s world, we are so fixated upon the idea of everything being fast paced. There is instant coffee, minute rice, and texting. There are people constantly rushing to get from one place to the other, not able to sit in traffic for thirty seconds without looking for a different route. When showing a friend a video on YouTube, it has to load in ten seconds or less or they will lose their interest completely. There is no time to sit back and really appreciate the moments before they’re gone.
So, sit back. Take a moment to appreciate how the sun hits your eyes and turns them from dark brown to hazel. Read your favorite book again, even if you’ve already read it ten times. Watch the way people around you smile, how some have dimples right in the middle of their cheeks and some avoid smiling with their teeth because they have braces. Look up from your phone long enough to notice the leaves changing color and the fact that your neighbor just had a baby. Lose yourself in a dance even if you are the worst dancer in the world. Go for a run without headphones. Strike up a conversation with an old friend.
Let yourself be completely immersed in the present, even if it’s just for a few seconds.