Being Young

The Land of the Now

For me, lately, Now has been crowned Queen.

I don’t know how many of my contemporaries feel this way, but for me, everything has become all about Now. Now is the time, says even my Facebook feed, to get married or engaged. To travel the world. To move from a good job to an even better one. To found a start-up. To apply and get selected for PhD programmes. Research programmes. Fellowship programmes. Everything, it seems, is to happen Now.

But this strange zeitgeist shoves me towards a different direction, whispering something else. It tells me I must grab hold of my dreams Now and holding fast unto them, follow them. It is easy to lose sight. It is easy to sit back after a dull day at work, to slouch in front of the computer screen watching TV shows after TV shows, as riveting as they may be. It is easy and frankly quite maliciously pleasant to watch the day slip by, slip into the night. To know that yet another day of my youthful life has gone by, never to come back again.

 

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Welcome to the Now Now Land

It is youth, really, that has stirred me up into this awakening, handed me this carpe diem-esque urge. I realise how weak I am, and think how much weaker I shall still be in twenty more years. My limbs are frail and hands flimsy, long hours at study and reading and no exercise have poofed all vigour out of them. I must redeem myself, while I am young, and reclaim the vigour I have willingly let go.

So Now is the time when we dream, chase the dream, and capture it. Do all that we want. Because Now is when we can. Now is also when whether we like it or not, we are bound to make mistakes and can expect, and be granted, forgiveness, both from others as well as ourselves.

Ah, youth, the Now of me. They say you won’t look as good as you do when you are young. I try reminding that to my round, full face. My flabby arms, my inflating belly. Sometimes, I am really stricken by my own youth, by how fresh and clear and bright I look. By the very roundness of my cheeks I otherwise sulk over so. I suppose part of my wonder at my own youth lies in the fact, and my painful awareness of it at almost all the time, of the transience of youth. All that I have, fresh looks, big belly and all, it won’t be there with me in as good-looks as right now.

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So, all the youth out there – in time, though certainly not Now, we will get there, wherever we’ve set out for ourselves to reach. Now is not the time to bask in fantasies of achievements or bawl over having achieved absolutely nothing yet. Nor to wallow in self-doubt and self-pity. Now is the time to focus a determined gaze on the aim ahead, walk persistently towards it until we’re there, really there.

 

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