In a world that revolves around preparing for the future, how do we learn to be in the moment?
21 years of education have now come down to 182 days. 182 days from now, I will add the most humbling, yet terrifying letters to my name…the infamous M.D. I think it is safe to say that I am a pretty goal oriented person. I would not have come this far without the years of obsessive planning, diligent studying, and tenacity. However, I struggle with taking time to enjoy the smaller day to day moments around me. But Kelly was able to do this with such grace under every circumstance. She had her eye on the future but was always able to live in the present. To master this perfect balance something I continue to strive for each day.
I always felt a special connection to Kelly because we both continued our education to pursue professional degrees. She understood what it meant to make sacrifices for our careers. And she was always there with plenty of words of wisdom when the stress of school was getting to be just a little too much. I remember confiding in Kelly when I was originally waitlisted for medical school. She comforted me through my disappointment but made sure to remind me to not worry so much about the future and focus on the present. She told me to appreciate my successes thus far and just try to make the most of each day. The rest will work itself out. She said the little moments are what I will remember 20 years from now. I know very well to never doubt Kelly, and here I am getting ready to graduate as a doctor. Kelly has always been wise beyond her years. She was able to learn to be in the moment as life was happening around her. To have grasped such a concept and applied it to her own life is to be commended.
It is all too easy get caught up in trying to reach goals and get to the next step, that we forget to slow down and soak in the small moments that make up our lives. Learning to be in the moment lets us live a purposeful life without regrets. It allows us to clear our mind of trivial stresses and focus on our own well-being. We are great at planning our lives, but we need to learn to actually live. Years from now, I won’t remember the stress of studying for tests, but I will remember the very normal Sunday afternoon coffee date Kelly and I had in August of 2015- unknowingly the last time I would ever see my dear friend.
I hope we can all strive to actually live our lives rather than just plan them. Take a moment to enjoy that warm cup of coffee in the morning before tackling the day. Take a break from the “to do” lists for a day and do something fun for yourself. Wake up on Saturday morning to watch the first snowfall of the year blanket the earth. If we can live by Kelly’s virtues, we can have the same rich, fulfilling life she had.