Column – Striving to live in the now by learning from the past

Paige Comaduran and Paige Comaduran

The Golden Gate Bridge was my passageway into endless exploration when I was a child.

The majority of my weekends consisted of Tom Sawyer-like adventures, roughing it around San Francisco with my two favorite people: my dad and little sister. They were the simplest pleasures, like wandering around Golden Gate Park‘s natural labyrinths and wide grass valleys, or riding the subway without direction and aimlessly roaming the cornucopia of concrete roads and skyscrapers.

I was in awe of the silhouettes of darkened skyscrapers sprinkled with lights that reflected in the bay at night. My small forefinger traced the skyline of the buildings along the fogged car window as we entered the city.

These are the small moments I miss in my life. I miss being a susceptible, ignorant child and feeling those overwhelming emotions of wonder and admiration for the world.

But as I grew, my trips to the city were few and far between. The responsibilities and stresses of growing older began to pile down on me. Soon there was little to enjoy, and worry became my primary feeling.

I think as we grow older we become accustomed to mediocrity, and we are less enthusiastic about simple experiences that used to spark curiosity in us like they did when we were children. And because of this, adults have created an average world, living on autopilot without enthusiasm and consciousness in their everyday lives.

We lose the child in us.

Being a full-time student means constantly living for the future. The daily grind of classes and homework bog us down. The menial tasks of every day can definitely squeeze the enjoyment out of life. Most of us spend half our lives preparing for the life we dream about. So why not, during this duration of your life, live consciously-be curious again among your everyday circumstances.

When I was in high school, every day was the same, but that’s because I didn’t see the nuances or subtle eccentricities added into my school days. I forgot to live in the present and heighten the use of my senses. Doing this will have you in awe of anything.

Then I read “Power of Now” and its subsequent book “A New Earth,” both by Eckhart Tolle. The core themes of these philosophical books imply the importance of focusing one’s attention on the present moment. With this basic knowledge, humanity can gain contentment.

This is why my ultimate dream is to be an international travel journalist. I want to be amazed with life again, discovering the differences in cultures around the world and surrounding myself with a life I’m not used to. I love spontaneity.

However, at the same time, I want to enjoy the “right now” – the present. College is bittersweet because while we are living for the future we are still engaging in the classic college experience and soaking in the knowledge and unique experiences that come along with each day.

My advice: enjoy living in the present, no matter your circumstances.