Holding onto the NOW in life

As a high schooler, I am living in one of the most “crucial times of my life,” according to my family, my friends, and my teachers. I am told that now is the time to decide where I want to go in life, what I want to do, and who I want to become. Much of my life is focused on preparing for whatever is going to happen next in my life: Going to college, going to graduate school, getting married, having a family, etc. It is often hard for me to take myself out of the routine–yes, even in the summer–of doing whatever I need to do for my future. I tell myself that I need to get Task A done so that as soon as it’s done, I can start on Task B, and then Task C.

But this vicious cycle of living just to get things done forces me to walk blindly through one of the most “crucial times in my life.” I need to learn how to embrace the present. Live in the moment. Appreciate what I have NOW, instead of always figuring out what I’m going to do next.

Even with regard to this project, it’s very difficult to get out of the vicious cycle of sending emails, making phone calls, editing proposals, contacting organizations, keeping up my blog, and readjusting my timeline of the project. Sometimes, I get so wrapped up in my to-do list that I forget the purpose of this project–Ultimately, I am doing this for the children of the “Zabaleen.” The purpose of all my work is not to check off the boxes on my to-do list–It’s to raise money to buy laptops for an incredibly needy population in my family’s home country.

So instead of worrying about the money, the deadlines, the paperwork, the emails, and the phone calls, I need to take a step back and live in the moment. Not only will this project hopefully impact the children of the “Zabaleen,” but so far, this project has also had a tremendous impact on who I am and who I have become. I am starting to understand what I want to do with my life and how I want to spend my time. I need to appreciate how far I’ve already come instead of freaking out about the future and what it holds.

“Happiness is not about collecting material things or beautiful memories. It’s about having a deep feeling of contentment and knowing that life is a blessing.”


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