Commando in the City

Robert - Lake Bluff, Illinois
Entered on September 28, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: carpe diem

If there is one creed that I’ve tried to live my life by, it is this: seize the moment. My belief in this saying has allowed me to forge countless memories, but more importantly, it has enabled me to get through events that may otherwise be bothersome if dwelled upon. I believe that we could learn to enjoy our lives more if we were all willing to live more in the moment rather than constantly worry about the future. If we were to all live in the moment, many of us would act more like the person we really are deep down inside, rather than the one we feel others expect us to be. This is important to me because I often feel, especially as a High School student, that many of my peers only act in a way that is deemed “cool” by others. Opportunities to experience something new, or out of the ordinary, only come along so often; as I’ve learned, if you forget about what others think, you may find yourself having a once in a lifetime experience.

One particular story comes to mind when I think of the living in the moment ideal. A few years back, while visiting family in New York, my family and I decided to take a day trip to New York City. Though we had done this many times, this particular trip has always stood out from the rest, and ultimately became one of my family’s favorite stories. On this mid-July trip to New York, as a twelve year old child, I managed to forget to put on my underwear before leaving the house. I was completely oblivious to the fact that I had forgotten a key article of clothing until my brief visit to the restroom at Grand Central Station. Now, I can’t speak for everyone, but I’m fairly confident that this would be quite embarrassing for many individuals. However, at the time, I thought it was one of the most amusing things I’d ever experienced. I quickly rushed out of the bathroom to share my wardrobe mishap with the rest of my family, who, needless to say, were amused but at the same time horrified that their Middle School boy couldn’t even remember to put on his underwear before he left home. My parents recommended that I go to the nearest clothing outlet to purchase a proper pair of boxers, fearing that in this exposing state that I would, well, expose myself; but I was having none of that. I knew that this was, hopefully, a once in a lifetime event and I wanted to milk it for all it was worth. That day I experienced New York city in a way I never had before, all the usual feelings I associated with NYC were amplified; from the warm breeze whipping down the streets, to the heat given off by the subway grates, and of course the rush of wind created by the unpredictable cabbies.

Though I am not necessarily proud of this momentary lapse of judgement that July morning, I am proud of how I reacted to this event. Had I been too nervous about the embarrassment that would come with forgetting to put on my underwear, I never would have shared this story with anyone, nor would I have enjoyed the rare new feelings I experienced in New York that day. Instead, my day in the city would have consisted of constant paranoia towards my precarious position, as well as the loss of a great story that my whole family was able to share. This event taught me many lessons that have stayed with me through this very day. My mistake has allowed me to realize the importance of learning from all my mistakes, rather than just cursing and casting them aside; to this day I have never again forgotten my underwear. In hindsight, I’ve looked back upon this story and realized that it is also an example of the self-confidence I posses. My confidence in myself continually assures me to be my own person and to follow my instincts. This unlikely event is a prime example of my living in the moment, and hopefully an incentive for others to do the same; living in the moment, that is. As far as your fashion choices when going to a city, well, I’ll leave that up to you.