By Adriana Owens
Whether one says this phrase with certainty or to be ironic, chances are they aren’t ready to live up to this mentality. Though many people in this generation claim to live with a carpe-diem lifestyle, the term often masks their true feelings or actions.
I too, have caught myself in the same web of lies when I vow to seize the day, no matter what turmoil was thrown my way. It is so easy to fall into this trap; I have fallen victim to how tempting it is to complain about every aspect of my life, no matter how trivial.
In winter it is easy to swear that our fingers are “literally” falling off because of the cold. It is easy to desperately wish for the warm rays of the sun to lightly touch our skin as they do in the summer. Then a few months pass and summer approaches, and now it’s too hot and we are “literally” dying.
It’s human nature to want something that is out of reach, but it is also human nature to not take in the beauty of these things when we do have them.
Instead of relishing in the beauty of nature, we pull out our phones and upload pictures of flowers, trees and sunsets to instagram. We put a filter over nature that clouds our memories– remembering only a screen. Only a picture that was posted 52 weeks ago. And then we wish to be back on our camping trips and vacations, amongst the same nature we neglected when we should have been marveling in its beauty.
We all want things. We crave them. We romanticize them.
Then they come and we lose sight of just how much we wished for them.
In high school, we can’t wait for college to come. We have aspirations. We apply for colleges until we fall asleep at the computer. We type essays until our fingers are numb, and then pray that we make it into our dream school. When we get that letter of acceptance that we so desperately wished for, it’s not enough. Entering college is too difficult. The classes are too hard. We think about dropping out or doing the bare minimum just to get a degree.
But why can’t we hold on to those same aspirations all of our lives? Why do we have to lose sight of what we wanted once we have it?
It is a shame that we can never live in the moment content with our lives.
The four years that most of us spend getting a degree will pass so quickly. Graduation day will be here before we know it, and we will be walking across the stage with tears welled up in our eyes, wondering why we spent so much of our time complaining about our course load, and not enough time soaking in the brilliance of it all.
We’ll come to realize that there was not enough time spent enjoying the bonds formed with roommates our freshman year, the chants memorized at football games or the collection of free T-shirts we went through great lengths to get.
Instead, we put an instagram filter over our whole lives. We live in tweets and facebook posts instead of in the now. Tagging ourselves in locations but not fully aware of where we are.
I guess what I’m trying to say, is that we could all take some time to stop and reflect on our current lives.
Instead of loosely using the term “YOLO” as a volatile motto, we should actually live it. We shouldn’t latch on to this lifestyle if we do the complete opposite. We should stop seeing every beautiful moment in our lives as a way of getting instagram likes while failing to comprehend its allure.
Life isn’t perfect. Everyday won’t be perfect, but we should cherish the moments that we do have, before it’s too late.
Adriana Owens studies journalism. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @TheSagebrush.