I never thought that I could be so nostalgic while sitting in a chair in the mall while my mom shops for clothes. As I sit on the seats right across from JCPenny, I see people walking by with places to go and I wonder what they have on their minds. I see a man sleeping on the couch on the left of me. Right across from me is an old man reading a book. He looks completely focused on the book, but he looks up occasionally to see the people around him. I wish I could go up to him and talk to him because it is at this time, I miss my grandfather more than anything. Looking back on my life, my grandparents lived with me for more than half of my life. So many things have changed since then: I moved to the United States; I lost my grandparents; I graduated from high school, and I am going off to college this August. I have learned so much so far in my life, especially in high school. I’m the kind of person who takes a long time to get used to changes in my life, but I have learned that change is inevitable. So now I have gotten better about adapting to changes in my life, but I still struggle occasionally.
Now a lady comes and sits on a couch diagonal from me, takes a mint out of her bag and pops it in her mouth. Then, she leaves. It’s reminded me of true impermanency of life. The man still sits and reads. As I am in this deep state of nostalgia, it’s like my life is a movie playing in my mind. All those days playing in the fountain, walking in the rain, watching TV with my grandparents, sitting on the roof of my house with my friends – it’s all like pictures in a scrapbook. But I learned that you can’t live in the past so I focus on the now. I am at a stage in my life where another big change is happening. All my memories from high school are going into my “scrapbook,” and there are many empty pages for memories made in college.
One thing I realized while I am going through this change is that new, and amazing people will come into your life and change your life for the better. They may leave eventually, but your memory of them will never change. You will make new friends on your journey; friends who will be with you your entire life. Adjusting to change is hard, but surround yourself with people who will help you through the change. They may come into your life when you least expect it, and change from your normal routines might seem scary at first, but they will provide you with so many more amazing pictures for your scrapbook. People come and go in your life but some people impact on your life never goes away, regardless of whether they leave or not. Although things in life are ever-changing, the impact of your past and you memories, will live in your mind forever.
It’s easy to forget to live in the present when you are missing someone or missing some aspect of your past because your instinct is to think about it. Living in the present hurts when you have so many good memories from your past. You have to acknowledge and accept that some people who were next you you and supported you in the past aren’t there anymore. That’s really hard to accept, and it takes time, but it will happen and in turn you will become a stronger person. Stop living in the past and focus on the now, but keep the future in mind. Dream about what you want your future to look like, but take action now on making that future a reality. Once the future is a reality, enjoy it! It is important to not get stuck thinking about the future all the time too.
The old man closes his book, and gets up and leaves. Although the last few moments of extreme reminiscence has gone by. My memories and epiphanies of the last few moments will forever be on this page. Now, its time to focus on the now: “I need new shoes, Mom…”
Originally published at medium.com