One of the hallmarks of my personality is my ability to be present. For example, I do not remember until I am within five miles of my home that I have a dog. Silly as it may sound, when I am at college there are no pictures or even other animals to trigger the thought that I too have a dog at home. Hank (the easily forgotten dog) doesn’t seem to mind. He still greets me at the door with a loud bark and wagging tail.
But lately, I have found it more difficult to be present. I feel this tug between the foggy future and the fleeting present. The last semester of college is upon us, and I sometimes wonder how we got here so quickly.
I find myself wanting to keep memories in jars. I love the sound of pounding feet up the stairs as my housemate joyfully shrieks for the other. I love the conversations that wrap around the kitchen counter and dining room table. I love seeing my sister roll her eyes at me when I arrive back at home. I know that it will happen again, but these moments are becoming more and more precious to me. I want to keep them in a jar, so I know I can visit them again in their fullest. I do not like thinking that in a few months these sounds and sights will no longer be at my fingertips.
And then I begin to feel silly for being so nostalgic before the moment has even passed. And in many ways, it is foolish. I will regret not living fully this semester, of being present with those I love so dearly and adventuring in this unique time of life. The reality is that sometimes I do not want to make anymore memories so I have no more to miss.
To be gratefully present with a hopeful eye to the future is a grace and skill. We are often in the “in-betweens” of life, transitioning to a new season whether we recognize it or not. The past may not be held in our hands and our future cannot be touched. We live presently with the past and future as the continual bookends.
I know my memory will fade and I will never be able to recreate this season of life. Its uniqueness is what makes it so bittersweet. I am thankful the seasons of life are so different, so we may reflect and appreciate them as they come and go.
So, here’s my February challenge to myself: To no longer live, love, and adventure from a place of fear. The gift of present moment is far too precious not to open. May be a little easier said then done.