Right Here, Right Now

In an interview I recently had with Fine and Performing Arts Interim Dean Paul Kassel, he said something that deeply resonated with me: what you are doing right now in this moment is the most important thing going on in your life.

He could’ve been referring to so many things — for a moment, I feared he thought I was checking my phone for text messages and I quickly became self-conscious. I regained composure as I listened to him go on with our conversation, easing my way back into self-confidence in my reporting.

Though our conversation was about an upcoming theater production, I felt as though all sorts of red flags went up in my mind. I’m a little over a month into my senior year,  and father time has been playing with my state of mind.

I’ve spent much of my life being a nostalgic person, always thinking through past memories and looking through old journals, introspectively wondering “Why?” and “What if?” With graduation near on the horizon, I find myself speaking to others while seeking answers within myself. I’ve come to treat journalism as a therapeutic trade, because aren’t we all just looking to get a nice quote out or spoken about us at the end of the day? Maybe that’s my public relations concentration speaking. At the end of the day, our majors are mere words on paper. What really matters is the education we’ve extracted from our time at college.

Over the years, my larger circle of friends and I have seen each other less and less as we’ve individually become “insanely” busy. What we all really mean is that we’ve really devoted ourselves to the things that truly matter the most to us.

I guiltily admit to judging some friends for their lack of presence in my life, a moment of judgement I consider a waste of time because we should instead be proud of each other’s unrelenting pursuits. Time is all we have.

I mentioned this in a past article but losing my iPhone during my semester abroad absolutely allowed me to better appreciate my months of living in another country. Friends, we can only make plans and cancel them a limited number of times before we start to rule out being “friends.” Friends, when we’re together, let’s keep our phones away.  Friends, let’s enjoy the last run of months when we’re but a few minutes away from being able to see each other. Let us respect the decisions we make as individuals and support each other as we can. Time is all we have.

As I listen to Drake’s evocative outros while writing this, placing this much importance on right now is not a matter of YOLO (sorry, Drake!) This is about worrying less and valuing each and every day we’re given.

In balancing my ambition, I’ve unfortunately had to make the decision to step down from my position as The Oracle’s Arts and Entertainment editor. In my past few years of being on the Oracle staff, I learned the art of reporting and have met an amazing bunch of people who have collectively shown me the importance of doing what you love. Most have graduated and are sprinkled across the tri-state area, and whether it’s love for reporting hard news, a love for a worn book’s smell, an infatuation with dogs, an insane love for the Mets and Rangers, a fondness of theater or odd appreciation for cheeseburgers, they have all shown me the power of pursuing and paying attention to what is in front of them.

I want to be in the know of what’s in front of me, live in the now, appreciate the present in all its wonder and uncertainty and love insanely.