Saturday, November 5, 2011
What you are about to read is a this I believe essay, it's not an essay in which to preach or teach others how to live. It's also not an essay in which you rant or you give the history of your religion. A This I Believe essay is about how you, only you, live daily, how you live, your mantra. This Is What I Believe.
Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale; my hand clenched the wooden pencil guiding it across the paper; I focused on the simple task of breathing—inhale, exhale. The confirmation “Something just changed, I’m sorry, we can’t be together,” still rang in my ears, mimicking an echo by bouncing off the walls of my skull. As I processed the words, my diaphragm seemed to collapse, crushing my lungs into oblivion. I hunkered down on the corner of my bed, dressed and ready for an outing with friends, only-- I couldn’t; I was frozen. I was baffled, affixed in that moment, I didn’t budge. I just listened to the distortedly, broken, sobs cracking from my convulsing chest and bursting through my mouth. My mom rushed home from work once she received a text my step dad sent stating, “Meg is uncontrollably sobbing, and I don’t know what to do.” My mom reeled me out of that duration. She bequeathed me the advice of “All you can do is keep breathing.” I broke out the art supplies and drew lungs over and over, rechanneling my focus on the present and breathing.
I believe my life is my breath. I’m determined to live as I breathe; full and deep. The present is alive, periodically adjoined with me, dancing alongside me throughout time. The present is my oxygen, I breathe it in—it stirs in me, gifts me animation and before I know it, I’ve absorbed everything I can muster; and it transforms into carbon dioxide, so I exhale, it emerges into the past, a memory. It’s so easy to focus on the break up with Stephen; the past. It’s so easy to focus on the future; deny myself the life I can live now and say “I’ll do it later.” Say I scamper away from how I feel in a moment; that feeling will last longer, leaping moment to moment, robbing more power than it deserves. The pure reason I keep enduring, is my oxygen. I believe it’s essential I live in the present or—I’ll never live authentically.
"Be here now, be somewhere else later. Is that so difficult?" (David Barder) I bear no tangible grasp of time besides the present moment; not the clock, not the sun, not the rotation of the world; the present. The past is merely a series of memories and thoughts, chronologically composed and bogged down in my mind. The future is an illusion, a dream, an idea that retains no promise or certainty. The present is certain and inevitable. How I live right now, is how I live my life. I can’t alter the past or predict the future, both are out of my dominance, but what I do right now is up to me. If I live each moment of my life with purpose, meaning and excitement; then I can only fathom that my life will be impregnated with purpose, and meaning, and excitement. This, I believe, live in the present, and I’ll truly live.