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The Carletonian

The Carletonian

The Carletonian

Treat this as important. (pretty please.)

< story to start.

Last Wednesday or Thursday I was in one of my existentially upset moods. It was the start of the term, I was on third libe, and whatever reading I was doing just couldn’t keep my attention for more than like 30 seconds, and I really, really wasn’t looking forward to having to put up with another term of nights spent in the library. This happens. I sat there, struggling to read, and my mind dancing: I need some sleep. Why am I at college. What do I have to do tomorrow? And then, something someone told me earlier that day: everything happens for a reason. (This is the important one).

I walked up to fourth toward the door. When I passed the penguin, (his name is Oscar, right?) I took a glance in that little room with all the newspapers and stuff. (It has a name too, right?) Sitting in there was this dude I kinda knew, a freshman. I had no plans to interact with him any differently than how I interact with a lot of people on campus: I would probably say hi to him or exchange a nicety or two, but really nothing else. It would have been super easy for me to just walk back to Evans and pass out. 

But in some split second act of amazingness that I can’t thank my brain enough for, I was utterly convinced that I saw him for a reason, that I really, really needed to go up to him and pour as much energy into our interaction as my tired-as-shit, first-week-of-school, existentially-distraught self could. A meaningless glance became something freaking important.
I went up to him, enthusiastically jabbered about the little refrigerator word magnets in my room I was going to go play with, asked him a couple questions, and pretty promptly decided he was cooler than I thought. I’ve hung out with him a couple times since, and he’s turned out to be really, really cool.

The story isn’t important though. What I’m trying to convey (and we will see how good I am at this—I’ll be the first to admit that I need to get better at writing) is how awesome this idea is—that by seeing a moment as really important and then acting accordingly, it may actually becomes meaningful, or beautiful, or whatever. That moment started a friendship. I thought seeing him was somehow important, and it turned out to be so. Moments are what we make of them. Had I just gone home, then that split second would have just been another insignificant, happens-a-million-times-a-day glance.

I’m still bad at seeing my life this way, but I’m getting better. I know there’s no way I can treat absolutely every moment as if it was life sending me a sign or whatever, but I can do it with more things. And I know I cant convince you to do this either, but maybe I can convince you to see and act as if something is more important than it seems. Anything. And then maybe you can convince yourself to keep doing it. The world becomes what we want it to be. If we see all the daily, administrative stuff of life as just a pathway to something that’s hopefully better, then that’s what it will be for us; second-rate moments underwhelmed by some distant future. But instead, we can see the present and treat it as, like, holy. On fire with opportunity and awesomeness. And that’s what it will become.

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