In the Moment
December 30, 2022
Jihu Lee (she/her/hers), Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
How many of us constantly look forward to the “next big thing”? How many have also experienced finally arriving at said “big thing” only to be anxious for the next thing? I call this “Schroedinger’s lifestyle,” in which it feels impossible to be present in the moment that is occurring at a given time.
Last fall during my sophomore year in college, I had a very intense schedule on top of the fact that it was also my first time on campus after the pandemic had kept us home online during my freshman year. Almost immediately once school started in the fall, I couldn’t wait for winter break. While I definitely enjoyed campus life, I was eager for the semester to end because of how exhausting my schedule already was and even started counting down the weeks.
By the time winter break came, I was initially excited and deeply relieved that the moment I had been waiting for was finally here. However, I quickly realized that I was too restless and burnt to fully enjoy the break. I felt guilty about relaxing and – surprise – wanted the following semester to begin as soon as possible so that I could relish in productivity again.
With the rise of the Omicron Variant at the time, the spring semester began online for the first two weeks before we were all confirmed to return to campus. These two weeks were immensely challenging for me, but it was also my final turning point for the mindset I carried every day. I made a promise to myself that if we were able to go back to school in person, I would treasure every little moment. When I returned to the campus that I had missed so much, I was fully determined to be present, no matter what was going on. I could not believe I had had the audacity to count down the precious weeks I was able to spend in the fall. Even amidst the high stress that I unavoidably encounter, I am learning to let it coexist with joy.
Just as importantly, longing for the past is also detrimental to living in the moment. Of course, nostalgia and fond reminiscence are valuable, but being stuck in the past has consequences for our well-being. One of the biggest reasons I find myself wishing for the past is the realization that I’d still had so much time. Even a year ago from today, I was worried that things were moving too fast. And now, I look back and see how much life had been awaiting me and that I was far from running out of time. With this in mind, I am learning how to make the most out of the present moment, no matter how uncertain or anxious I feel about the future. And by living fully in the moment, I can make memories and create a past that won’t need grieving.
All of this is certainly easier said than done. I myself am far from an expert and have only reached this point after facing adversity and life lessons first hand. But I hope we can all help relieve ourselves of any pressures we face – whether they are from past decisions or fear of the future – by remembering that there is only now. The past has passed and the future is not here yet. And by channeling our energy to the present, hopefully we can build ourselves both a past and a future worth remembering.
My name is Jihu, and I’m from Salt Lake City, Utah! I have been with Low Entropy since May 2021. Some of the things I love are reading, writing, listening to music, playing with my dogs and spending time with my sister!
At Low Entropy, we believe changing the world starts with changing ourselves.
Founded in 2015, Low Entropy Facilitates conversations that encourage diversity and promote inclusivity.
We understand that life can be confusing at times. It can seem challenging and sometimes you may feel like no one really “gets you.” We offer an opportunity to connect with others who have the capacity to understand you.