Living in the Present
I have trouble living in the present. It’s too easy to dream about the future or reminisce about the past. On the other hand, I think that living too much in the present leads to impulsiveness and hedonism. So how do you find the right balance?
For a couple of years after my college study abroad in Spain, I found myself reminiscing to the point of depression. Even when I was off having new adventures in Samoa, I kept dwelling on those past memories of Spain. I even went as far as to write an unpublished novel about it. Later, as I made a life for myself here in Dallas, I incorporated those memories of Spain into the present day aspects of my psyche. Without realizing I was even doing it, I was able to take the best parts of my Spain trip and incorporate them in my day-to-day life.
I had a lot of friends in Spain, and every day was an adventure. Pretty soon, I got spoiled having 30-40 friends and going out 3-4 times a week. I realized, after several years, that this was the thing that I missed most about my study abroad. It wasn’t the cool architecture or the cheap drinks. It wasn’t the beach or the lack of having to do any real work. All these things were awesome, but they weren’t the essence of the trip. The essence was that big and strong network of friends, who I got to spend almost every day with.
Over many years and with much effort, I have made friendships here in Dallas. My friends and I do fun and active things as often as possible. I really like this solid social foundation, and so far, it has been key to my happiness as an adult. I still need to find more happiness in my work life and in my physical health, but like everyone else in this world, I am a work in progress. In the mean time, I’ll try to keep living in the present.