It’s so easy to get caught up in the moment and just as easy as it is to get caught up in that moment, it’s even easier to get pulled right back out of it.
There was an assignment given to me recently by my creative writing professor and he told us to write about a time that “made us think.” It could’ve been anything a personal experience, something we’ve read, even something we saw that wasn’t intended for us, literally anything. The rules were simple if we could recall it and it altered our views on something just a little bit, write. With writer’s block being my specialty, I had no idea what made me “think” enough to change any moral positions of mine and thinking about it only made me even more frustrated so I did what any normal paper-writing procrastinator does…I took a break. This wasn’t a normal break though I mean obviously not I went to the park, but this was more along the lines of an inspirational break. I had so many (mediocre) ideas spinning around in my head but I couldn’t get any two of those ideas to connect and make sense to make a page worth of magic no, that would be asking for way too much. Surprisingly when I went to the park, because this never happens when I decide to make a beautiful day a “park day,” it was full of families feeding ducks, dog parents, children running around, and the occasional football or frisbee soaring through the sky. This was perfect, in this airy environment how could I not make something click? So there I was, the mysterious girl at the table with a laptop, I always wondered deeply about those kinds of people because how in the world do you find a connection to the internet at the park? Technology is the answer and more specifically cell phone hotspot connections, but back to the life lesson at hand here. Watching these people enjoy their time at the park made me realize that sometimes, I don’t enjoy things…I mean truly to the core, show appreciation to every last detail, enjoy things. Actually, as a human being, I don’t think we don’t enjoy things to their full potential on purpose, it’s just that we’re too caught up in the moment and there goes that weird phrase again. I don’t want to ramble too much mainly because I’m becoming one with my italics but I also just wanted to share my inspirational break discovery with whoever may be reading so here we are..
A poem that made me think is “The Ode on a Distant Prospect of Eton College” by Thomas Gray where a man reflects on his childhood times in an English boarding school, Eton College, compared to where he is currently, seemingly grown and miserable. When he was in school, the only thing that he was required to do was have fun and enjoy the time with his friends but he admits that while witnessing those moments first-hand, he didn’t fully appreciate what he had. Fast forward to the present day, he is an adult with more responsibilities and stressors of the world than free-time and joy. This poem was a reading requirement in a British literature class I took the previous semester and it’s usually stories, or in this case poems that I can relate to, that leave greater mental imprints on me than other literary works. The reason this story stuck with me was unclear at first, but after my brainstorming trip to the park rereading it made me think about all of the times that I was a child and mentioned how I couldn’t wait to be older, even when I hear kids now say, and I can’t believe I actually used that word “kids”, they say that they can’t wait until they’re a certain age just because, like I did, they found something that an adult was doing way more appealing than they were at that moment. Now that I’m a tad bit older I sometimes find myself thinking about how nice it would be to be a few years younger again, I’d be satisfied if I could just go back for a few minutes and appreciate those naps we took in kindergarten.
That was the “incident that made me think” not as morally altering as most of the other presented pieces but life-changing nonetheless. I could say that the entire poem and witnessing someone else’s life regret, for lack of better words, through writing was a wake-up call for me but looking at it now I’m almost positive that it wouldn’t do this poem justice. I’m not sure why out of all the thoughts I’d managed to muster up that day that, that one, in particular, stood out the most but the recollection of the poem and the feelings that trailed closely behind it seemed to be a gentle reminder that while an experience is something great, each individual’s is different and instead of wishing to have an experience like someone else you should instead appreciate yours, because you’ll end up in a never ending loop of “I wish,” sorrow, and regret.
This is the start of a pretty interesting semester.