“This moment is your life.” —Omar Khayyam
I used to think that “living in the moment” meant denying the urge to stop and pull out my phone to snap a photo with my friends, or to dare to capture my beautifully plated meal on a rare night out...and don’t even get me started on the notion that I would share more than two selfies a year. I was embarrassed for even wanting to take these photos, and publicly posting these little “trivial” things was out of the question. I used to believe that posts like this meant that I was simply adding to the never-ending noise on social media, quotes like “I’ll probably just end up looking like I’m trying too hard to make other people think I’m cooler than I actually am in real life” easily talked me out of sharing who I am with my friends. I worried about how others would think, and so it seemed so much easier to simply not share.
These thoughts rushed to my heart recently…
I’ve lost people who I love before. Five souls, to be exact. All of them to cancer. Each loss was just as much a blow to my heart as the one before it. A cancer death, though looming and imminent, is always a shock to the system...no matter how much warning you may receive from the doctors. The pronouncement of a heart that no longer beats, shatters the beating hearts left behind just trying to make sense of it all. I always find myself in a tailspin digging for any last scraps of paper or photograph that the ones I love were in. There’s never enough.
And then, just last week, another perfectly beautiful soul departs. But this time, she has left behind a treasure chest of thoughts, moments, laughs, songs, and all the love she could. It’s all there in her sweet social media accounts. And for every bad thing I’ve ever said about social media, access to this one now sacred space she once occupied and documented what may have seemed mundane or silly at the time, is suddenly priceless. And then I finally get it. These posts don’t have to be just a highlight reel or just a collection of selfies in front of colorful trendy murals...these spaces can and should be a tiny part of our legacy that transform a broken heart into laughter and love because of the moments these squares represent. So here is your warning: I’m done with feeling silly about always asking you to take a pic with me when we are together. One day someone will need to see our smiles, and know that we were here, loving each other and doing the very best we could with the rest.
And for all the flack social media takes for providing stacks of overly curated or posed images, Facebook debates and fake news, for this one gift I am eternally grateful.
I’ll end with this final thought: Go out and enjoy every bit of your glorious and challenging life. You’re here! You’re alive! You can do anything and everything you want! Write your story, share your journey, take another shameless selfie! And don’t you think for a single second that what your doing is void of meaning; because some day it will mean everything to a heart who loves you. So whatever you find yourself doing, take one minute to mark the moment with a photograph, and then live in that moment with all you’ve got (and post it somewhere a little later!) I know that’s what I’m going to do from now on.