This I Believe

Laura - Lake Forest, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30

Life is all about small moments of perfection. Those fleeting, instantaneous moments when all of the puzzle pieces seem to fall into place, moments that are usually gone before you even realized what has occurred. Perhaps perfection is not the right word, because I don’t mean that life is a search for perfection or that I wish my life was perfect. Maybe the word I’m looking for is clarity, because in those moments a sense of peace and completeness fills you. As if for a split second the meaning of life has become clear, but as soon as you start to understand, it is gone, a dream, a wisp, but it leaves you with its memory.

My moment of clarity has stayed with me and has changed the way I live my life. I learned how to live in the present, how to forget about past sorrows and push aside, for a time, future worries. For three weeks, during the summer before my junior year, I left home for the first time and went to Hawaii for an outdoor adventure trip with ten strangers. What unfolded over that time, changed me forever. This trip forced me to step outside my comfort zone. As a result of this I learned how to be comfortable in my own skin. I stopped second guessing myself and trying to please other people, and instead focused on me. Not in an egotistical way, but trying to become the best me that I could possibly be.

Everything can together for me the last night of my trip. It was as if everything finally clicked. I was suddenly so much more assertive, confident, and sure of myself. I remember standing atop a sand dune and feeling the sweeping wind of the ocean move around me. It was a moment when everything fit and made sense. For a second the thought crossed my mind that I was leaving tomorrow, that I was going home and leaving this place and these people, but then another thought took over, “Don’t worry about it.” I was truly living in the moment. I was completely at peace with myself and with the world around me.

My point is not to forget about the past or throw all goals and ambitions to the wind, but every once and a while to stop, breathe and remember that the past is done, the future has yet to occur, but the present is what is happening right here, right now.