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Friday, June 14, 2024
The Observer

Is that it?

Is that it?  While those of you may or may not agree with the sentiments written in the following paragraphs, that is not the point. For all “man” and “woman” have lived, experienced and thought about their lives in different and unique ways. The words yet to come are just one’s own formulation and understanding of life as a whole. The idea of this is not to teach, yet it is meant to bring light to areas of one's life that may have gone unnoticed.  Written for all those who are living, without actually living. For all those who are doing, without actually doing.  Life, or that is, the life that “humans” have created, is all but just a game. A game that is played, without actually being played. At least for some. Since the day we were born, our parents, or those who raised us, have set certain “rules” for us to follow. A way in which life is meant to be “lived.” No matter your background, all humans have had a set of ideals and priorities taught to them, for the way they should live their lives. This has become the way of life for all.  In this life, there are “wins” and there are “losses.” The wins and the losses are defined by the way in which we have been taught to live. Achievements are what we have been taught bring value to our lives, and are what allow us to feel “fulfilled.” Yet how many times have you achieved something and thought, “Is that it?”  This very feeling of emptiness was the key to my understanding of the way life simply is. This feeling of “Is that it?” allowed me to understand that it was sadly, only “it.”  But why?  We have been taught since a young age that achievements and successes are what bring our lives value. We have focused and fought for the feeling of fulfillment, and in that, have chased these achievements and successes. But when you finally reach your goal and achieve what you have “given” your life to, why does it feel so empty? Why do we not feel more?  This is because the gift is not in whether we succeed or fail. The gift is hidden within the journey to get there. The only way to truly feel the magnitude of life, and to feel the magnitude of success is to cherish the journey to get there. To be there, when you are there.  When we are so focused on the definition of success that we have been taught, when we are so focused on not failing, we miss the true gift.  The gift of life. The gift of experiences. The gift of being where you are, blended in the flow of the entire universe, where nothing else in the world matters.  The power and the feeling you are looking for when you are striving for success is hidden in the time that you spend thinking about getting there. It is lost in the chaos and the built-in chatter of your mind where you are constantly thinking ahead. Where you are constantly thinking behind. That is where the power is lost. That is where the “it” is disguised.  When you are able to get to a point in your life when you find yourself in the flow of life, do not cherish it, do not think of it. Live it. For it is in that very moment, in that very flow of time, that fulfillment can be found. As long as you are there, when you are there.  When you do not live in the time that you are in, when you can not find yourself lost in the flow of life, moving weightlessly throughout reality — the very “it” that you cherish so much, is lost and never to be found again.  The human brain's conditioning to move towards these “successes” that have been taught to us, prevents us from being where we need to be. It prevents us from feeling the “it,” from feeling the gift that life really is.  While we may achieve these “successes” we all seek so vehemently, what are they really worth if we are left feeling, “Is that it?”  They may be worth putting on your transcript or they may be worth telling your friends about. But when you are in your waning moments of life, in your waning moments of conscious thought, what will they really be worth? That question can only be answered by those who did the “living.”  If you let your life pass away with only your goals of “success” in mind, you are left with what you accomplished. Yet, you will be left with a life that was not lived.  If you live your life where you are, when you are there, you are left with all that you experienced. You are left with life.  So the next time you accomplish something powerful, something that you “lived” for, look back and ask yourself if you were truly there throughout the journey. Ask yourself if you were there, in the moments that have now passed, that have gotten you to this exact moment, reading this exact word.  For if not, there is your answer to, “Is that it?”

Ryan Carmichael

sophomore

Sept. 22

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.