Overwhelmed - me, in a word. Being a teenager is stressful and exciting and so many more ranges of emotions both good and bad, but primarily, for me, being a teenager is overwhelming. Juggling homework, grades, friends, family, my future and my well-being can get tough, and at times I find myself dropping ball after ball. I constantly find myself looking to things in the future, worrying about tomorrow and forgetting to live in the now. Or I’m remembering golden moments in my past that I wish I could relive; less and less time is spent appreciating the things in the moment.
Everyone is either focused on getting back to something: a person, place, time, or moment; something in some time that we miss and wish we could go back to. Or they are focused on something in the future: a test, summer, college, the weekend; something in the future we find ourselves consumed with. We forget to appreciate the now and where we are at this moment; we forget to look around and realize that the moments we are experiencing right now are making up the moments we eventually will want to relive.
Instead of focusing on getting back to the memories and moments I’ve already made, I’ve realized I’m going to look back at these moments I’m living right now and want to come back to them. These memories and adventures I’m experiencing will be the moments I smile upon in my future; these will be the days I wish I could come back to. It makes me appreciate the moments I’m experiencing as they happen, making the moment more magical knowing that these are my golden days.
Instead of looking at my future worrying about what might or might not happen, I’ve noticed myself taking more and more time to step back and observe where I am in my life currently; to notice who I am with and what we’re doing. I look at my friend’s smile, wondering how it will look in 40 years surrounded by wrinkles, and I wonder what he will be smiling at. I look forward to things that won’t deter me from appreciating the now, I think about things that enhance the moments in which I’m living.
Now, the only thing I truly stress out about or overwhelms me, other than the occasional test or grade of course, is the thought that I am not doing enough in my wild, teenage years; that I won’t have enough memorable moments to look back on 20 years from now and want to get back to; the possibility that I will ever think to myself in the future, “wow, I wish I did more when I was younger, I wish I had more memories to look back on”. I want to have crazy memories with my friends, staying up all night together; eating ice cream out of the carton; having picnics in parks; going to concerts on school nights; hot tubbing late at night; every single thing that can be accomplished by a teenage girl and her wonderful, little group of friends, I want to do. I want to be able to look back at them 20 years from now and want to come back to those moments. These are the things I will look forward to in my future, and in 20 years, these will be the moments I’ll want to come back to.
So, I recommend that everyone just slow down. Take a moment and appreciate what is happening in this moment right now. Don’t find yourself always looking to the future, or focusing on the past, find yourself in the moment. Realize how you are making the memories you’ll want to relive right now, and make them good ones.