future

A Poem for Today

Tomorrow is when
the flowers bloom
The grass grows
The project ends
And the diet begins.

Tomorrow is when
things come easy
Dreams come true
Tasks get done
And life makes sense.

Tomorrow is when
I’ll write the poem
Start the book
Call the friend
And chase my dreams.

And one day
I’ll make tomorrow
Into today
And I’ll stop saying
Tomorrow.

And I’ll start
With writing this poem
On a day
In which there are no more tomorrows
To push today upon.

Blog post: 46/52

Featured photo via Unsplash.

I Can’t Live In The Moment

Time has a way of swallowing things up. Making things almost obsolete, as if they never even happened. Sometimes, when I close my eyes, I can almost remember the smell of the room. Other times, it’s as if that entire experience happened to someone else entirely.

I lived in that room for one full school year. I can bring every part of it to mind. Most of all, the feeling I got when I walked into it. At the time, it was an endless nightmare of a daily routine, something I could not break free of.
Today, it is a memory, a piece of my history, a moment in time.
Practically obsolete. A moment that with all my strength, I can not bring back.
Life is made up of these moments, towering on top of each other, pushing us forward.
“Come help me!” my nephew pulled me over to his homework.
He had to trace the word CATS over and over and over on his paper to practice his handwriting, to make the letters a subconscious action, to get to the goal of efficient, legible writing.
“What do you need help with?” I asked.
“Can you just do some? I want to finish.”
He takes after me, always moving to the next stop, always keeping his eyes on the finish line.
Moments. They become obsolete as they pass us by, forever buried in a history we may not even remember.
Moments are long, endlessly long until they are gone. Sometimes you can feel it happening, you can practically see the hands on the clock turning, you can feel the minutes slipping away.
But sometimes, the more you stare at the clock, the slower it goes. You can feel time slowing down. Sometimes, in life’s toughest moments, it feels like this moment is here forever.
But moments don’t stay around, not the good ones, not the bad ones.
And in a weird twist, I mean that in a comforting way.
Living in the now has always been my struggle, for the future has not yet been ruined by reality.
And if we abandon our past, how can we make the future better?
Living in the now seems the most useless, there is always more to be done, fragments to glue back together, from our past, for our future.
This week I danced with my friend at her wedding, with a heart so full of joy for her, and I thought to myself “what a beautiful future she has ahead” and then I thought “no. Tonight, she is married, tonight she is joyful, it is not yet about the future. Let’s live in tonight.”
This week, I held my tiny brand new nephew, memorizing his every tiny feature, holding him close as if with force alone I could stop him from growing up in a blink of an eye. Before I know it, he will be holding my hand and saying my name, and these newborn moments with him will be difficult to even call to my mind.
I feel the minutes, days, moments slipping through my fingers. How does one live in the moment, and not feel like they are losing moments?
This week, 17 futures were destroyed in a moment, lives living for the future, lives ready for the future. Lives built on a past that now has an ending. Memories of moments are all their families have now, whispers and winks, moments they can not get back. Living in the future is sometimes a privilege.
I may live half of my life in the future, looking ahead to bigger and brighter, wanting more, working for more, praying for more, but I try to live in the moments that I can.
People say “live in the now!” but the truth is, we have no choice. We don’t know how to live in the past, nor can we live in the future. We can only live in what we have.
In the most joyful of moments, it is my responsibility to hold on to that joy, notice it, be grateful for it, revel in it.
In the most painful of moments, it is my privilege to know that this moment is almost a memory, that it will pass, that better moments will come.
And one day I will look back at my life today, remember my dreams and wishes, my deepest wants and desires, and the memory of it will fill me with the joy of having reached the place I dreamed of.
But just as I remember the dreams of my past, I will surely look forward with dreams of the future, because I’ll always be a girl with one eye backward, one eye forwards, and a heart trying to take hold of it all.

Blog Post: 22/52


Photo by Uroš Jovičić on Unsplash

Perspective: 5 Years Later.

I recently found my notebook from my high school creative writing club and chanced upon this one exercise we did. We were challenged to write a poem about 3 big things that we had opinions on: marriage, the future, and our career goals.
As a 16-year-old, I was very sure of my thoughts. I never shared this poem anywhere because I remember not thinking it was very good. But today, almost five years later, I’m going to share it.
Together with a follow-up poem about where I’m at now.
Who knows; maybe I’ll keep writing updates for years to come. And yes, I feel pressure to outdo my younger self. If I haven’t become a better writer, what have I done?

Past Etti:

At most I am a skeptic,
a non-believer in the tried and trusted,
a mocker of those who live blindly.
A realist, or is it a pessimist?
I struggle to see the beauty
in words repeated.
Marriage is a far off life,
a place where you must be a wife,
I only search for late night walks,
and a fairy-tale happy ending.
I find myself always searching,
for something better, something nice.
I’m the future
I want to be a woman
who can answer to “What do you do?”
with the words “I change the world”
and change diapers too.
For yes, I want to see the world,
and fix all that I see,
I want to be different,
Powerful, bold and strong,
but motherings my thing.
I search for a career,
that feeds that very need.
Working with children
more special than I’ll ever be.
So this is my perspective,
on this g-d forsaken world,
I wonder what will cross these pages
in a year or two.

Present day Etti:

What is it like
to be sure?
“Are you ready?”
“What kind of guy?”
“What are you studying?”
“What do you want to do?”
Questions
that some days
have answers,
and some days
do not.
Having the answers
is comforting,
content,
safe.
Not knowing
means
you still have a chance
to make it better;
stronger;
more alive.
I live in fear
of living a lie
of living a life
I never intended to.
My days are meant to be filled
with digging deep
and building up.
I’ve always wanted to help
so I was drawn
to those who called for it.
Now,
I search for those
who don’t know
how to call.
While babies
and diapers
seem foreign to my
day-to-day life,
My half-of-a-soul
is calling to be whole.
As each day comes,
and then it goes,
I’ve learned
we are in even less control,
than we think we are.
Blog Post: 7/52

Feature Photo by Vitaliy Paykov via Unsplash.

Past, Present, Future: What?

I saw my 9th grade dorm roommate today. It wasn’t anything special- I see her all the time. We live on the same block. We never really talk. We do The Wave. Not the wave wave, but the City Wave. Those three fingers, waved back and forth really quickly, which implies “Hi, I acknowledge you, but we aren’t going to talk.”

It’s normal. Happens every single day with so many people.
But today I was walking alone and in that moment of “the wave,” I suddenly had this overwhelming feeling of being in the past and the future at the same time.
It was the closest I’ll ever get to time travel this year.
This girl was my roommate five years ago. Five years ago, I was 13, and I was terrified.
If anything was my past, and the past that I grew most from, it was that past.
If there was anything I wanted in that past, it was my future.
Now I am living that 13 year old’s future.
My old roommate made me travel back to that young girls mind and fears. She had hopes and dreams, and could not wait to grow up.
I grew up since then.
I’ve been living so much into the future, that I forgot I am living somebody’s future already. My future. Right now.
That kid I was five years ago is my past. When I was her, I didn’t feel like time was moving anywhere, and now she is my past.
Is this what it means when it says G-d does not exist within the restrictions of time?
We are all continuously living a life of future and past, and we never stop to realize it.
Right now, I am living the past of future me. 30 year old me will remember 18 year old me, and realize that she is living the future Etti, but also the past Etti.
My brain feels so stretched, because it is so hard to focus on where I am now. I am my past. I am my future. I am both at the same time, but right now I need to be doing things so that I can look back into my past, and so that I can look into my future.
If I keep living focused on the future, I’ll lose my past. What is a future without a past, anyway? What am I building off of? An unbalanced foundation that is full of hope, but lacks of concrete action?
That 13 year old me deserves a future that is not focused on the future.
I owe it to her to be the 18 year old I wanted me to be.
I’m not good with details. That’s why the future always looks so much more enticing- there are no details there. It’s vague. I don’t actually know where I’ll be.
The present is full of details. It has minutes and seconds in it, and it takes so long.
It’s so much easier to focus on the future, to live in the future.
But it’s also dangerous.
But, every time I think about that poor thirteen year old Me who is having her future wasted because eighteen year old me just can’t wait to be five years older…that makes me frustrated with myself.
Live in the moment. I have to live life for what I have now. Then I’ll have a past. I’ll always have a future.
Seeing my roommate made me remember a past that I wasn’t happy in. In that past, I would have given anything to be in this future.
I’m here now. I owe it to me to live in the present.