Monday, October 7, 2013

The Spectacular Now: A Response

By: Michael Ginsburg

I’m sure you’ve heard the adage “live in the now”. While I’m not sure if I’d argue to live by coined phrases like this, I certainly agree with it. Each day we live, for the most part, is taken for granted; as are the things we possess and the people we have in our lives. Life’s plotline, whether it is predetermined or not, is ours to live—not for tomorrow, but today.
Something that haunts me everyday is my need to worry about the future and what’s ahead of me. Since I was a child, I remember many instances of this. When I was about 6 years old, my parents told me I was going to start playing in a basketball league in a few weeks. I bawled my eyes out for about an hour or so. Years later, I was set to go on a trip to Israel. I was excited all year for it, but as the time to leave grew nearer, I became increasingly nervous. The anxiety of going away bothered me for weeks leading up to it.
In each of these instances, the fear of the unknown rattled me to the point where it affected daily living. Something that was going to happen in the future gnawed at me before it even started. Hence, I was living two, three even four weeks ahead of where I actually was, which left me unable to enjoy the present.
Looking back on both of those examples, I can’t help but laugh at myself. Basketball, for at least 14 years, was a centerpiece of my life. Perhaps you’ve heard of Malcolm Gladwell’s theory that claims it takes 10,000 hours of practice to be considered an expert at something, like basketball or playing the piano. I once tried to calculate how much time I actually spent playing basketball and came up with an estimate of 2,521 hours of practice. This comes out to roughly 105 days of my life thus far, spent playing basketball. This sport that once had me crying because of my fear to play turned out to be one of the most important things in my life.
On a similar note, my trip to Israel—over which I lost many hours of sleep—was undoubtedly one of the best trips of my life.  I had experiences that I’ll never forget and met friends that I’ll always love.  It’s funny to think how naïve I was when I sat around worrying about everything that could possibly go wrong.
My point is obvious, right? Whether you need to declare your major or begin playing a new sport, is irrelevant. They both entail this lack of certainty and make you think about what’s ahead of you. While it’s not always bad to look ahead, there just isn’t a reason to let the future ruin the present. Don’t worry about tomorrow; it’s out of your control. Everything plays itself out—for the better or worse. Everything turns out okay in the end, and if it’s not okay, it’s not the end. If it’s meant to be, it will. These clichéd adages are the ones to consider in our daily life. Enjoy the journey as much, if not more than the destination.
In the wise words of Eric Cartman, “I don’t like thinking about what I want to be when I grow up, because when I grow up, I want to be something that I know I can never be.”  I couldn’t agree more.

Check out previous post here: The Spectacular Now

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