As an adult and a writer I have come to realize something that makes my skin crawl a little bit: life is one long cliche. Everything in life can probably be boiled down to a phrase consisting of ten words or less. But cliches came from some sort of truth, right? There had to be enough people that shared a similar experience and resulting sentiment to create the common cliches. Ones that have already made themselves known in my life include "Love is blind", "Absence makes the heart grow fonder", "Ignorance is bliss", and "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger". The one that has recently played a prevalent role, however, is "Life is about the journey, not the destination."
Cringeworthy, right? I'm pretty sure that phrase was my high school graduating class' quote, and I balked at it even then. However looking back on my essay about presence I realize just how applicable it is. To summarize, my essay on presence reflects on my struggle to embody it. I find myself missing the past, excited for the future, and ignoring the present. It is only as time moves on that I find that moment in time, once present but now past, was just as wonderful as all of my other fond memories.
Today I connected that phrase, "Life is about the journey..." to my lifelong quest for presence. If I can realize and remember that my current state is the sweetest piece of the pie then I'll never feel the pull to be somewhere else. The past is over and done with, spoken for and set in stone. Some parts I yearn to go back to, but it's easy to remember the good and not the bad. The future is so far out there that it doesn't deserve much thought. Sure, I think about where I want to be in five years and how to get there, but I need to stop focusing on my upcoming vacation and, in doing so, ignoring the beauty of the moment. The moment is the ripest, juiciest peach. The present can be anything I want it to be, and that is really the best of all worlds. Life is about the journey, not the destination and not the launch pad.
Published by Alison Howe