On Being Happy in the Present

being happy in the present

I’m officially at the point where I’m closer to the day I move away from Boston than to the day I moved to Boston. It’s surreal to think that, in a matter of weeks, this life I’ve created for myself, all on my own, will disappear. My apartment will belong to someone else. Another person will step in at my internship. I won’t be able to go to the ice cream shop downstairs whenever I want a scoop. All of the steps forward I so bravely made will fall away when I return home to Maryland.

It’s such a tragedy that, as soon as I begin to feel fully at home, wholly a part of a great community, I have to start counting down the days until it’s gone. For the first time in my life, I’m dreading the future. Instead of starry-eyed yearnings for tomorrow, I’m striving to savor every single moment, trying to live for the present and appreciate what I have now, today, right this second.

As someone who has so carefully planned her future, I know how easy it is to get wrapped up in the schedules, the details and the deadlines and forget to be present. It’s even easier to believe that this “future” holds the secret to happiness, to believe that as soon as it materializes, all of your problems will be solved. But, that’s just not true–how happy you are relies on you and you alone. 

being happy charles river boston
Looking out over the Charles on a warm day.

The temporary nature of my semester in Boston has given me new eyes with which to look both at the world and at my life. I’ve come to appreciate the notion of intention: intentional friendships, intentional time management, intentional involvement. It’s better to have a few friends you know really well and actively keep up with than many with whom you’re merely acquainted. It’s better to be deeply involved in a handful of activities than half-heartedly involved in many.

Being happy with the present does not mean you don’t get sad or angry or upset–it’s only natural to feel like that. Being happy with the present means knowing that you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be, knowing that you don’t need anything else to complete you. It means taking a look at your surroundings and realizing how lucky you are and remembering how far you’ve already come, not focusing on how far you have yet to go. Sure, I know how important goals are–I have countless goals myself. But if all we do is live life looking forwards, planning for a tomorrow that is always just out of our reach, we will never find that happiness we so desperately seek.

So right now, I am striving towards being happy in the present and not taking any moment for granted, because it will all be gone before I know it.  


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More about Kelly

Hi, I’m Kelly! I’m here to give busy college students a guide to navigating the modern theatre world. I’m passionate about spreading my love of theatre, traveling, and trying new things.

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