Make your now spectacular

COMMENTARY BY
KAREN MENNELLA

Another semester is gone. Maybe you are finishing your first year of college. Maybe you are realizing you are halfway done. Maybe you are holding on to how much fun you and your friends had turning 21 years old. Or maybe you are graduating and leaving for the last time.

Wherever you are in your Scranton journey, I find that a very bittersweet feeling falls upon us all this time of year. It is fun, exciting, frightening and stressful all at the same time. If you are like me, you get reflective about your year and think about what the future will be like. You think about how the past eight months were nothing like what you thought they would be, in both good and bad ways. You then try to plan out the future, even though you know life has a funny way of taking control. Once you have contemplated the past and the future, all you can focus on is the now.

We all have a little bit of that carpe diem spirit in us. Screw the past. Do not worry about the future. Enjoy life. We want to make our lives matter, but more importantly we want to enjoy them as well.

It truly is a great notion, but much too often we end up avoiding life when we embrace this lifestyle. We use it as an excuse to ignore the problems we face, the tasks we must get done and the reality we want to avoid. By doing that we isolate ourselves from the very lives we are trying to enjoy.

Living in the now means much more than just relaxing and having fun. In order to actually embrace it, you have to be honest with your feelings. Do what you love. Be with whom you love. Follow your dreams no matter how difficult they are to achieve. Do things that excite you. Make mistakes, and do not be afraid to make them. If you do make a mistake, fix it. Follow through on promises, plans and commitments. Take chances. Be spontaneous. Let people into your life. And love every single minute of it.

“It’s fine to just live in the now, but the best part about now, is there’s another one tomorrow. And I’m going to start making them count,” character Sutter Keely says in the movie, “The Spectacular Now.”

What makes this idea so wonderful is that it is not finite — it is constant. Every day is a gift, whether it is in the past, future or right now. So do not get so lost in the moment that you forget that. Make the now count. Make the now spectacular.

Contact the writer:
karen.mennella@scranton.edu

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