One year from now, everything could be different.

I wrote that on a sticky note in November 2015 and stuck it on the cloth-covered walls of my cubicle. It was a reminder to myself of how quickly things change. I didn’t really know where I wanted to be, I was a semi-recent college grad with a very small bank account and desperate dreams to be something. 

I wrote that sticky note it in a moment of keen awareness that such a short time ago I never imagined I’d be where I was. Literally. I was a now a part of corporate America, working a white-collar job at a technology company – a place and a career I, as an aspiring writer, never thought I’d be in or even excel at. A few weeks before that I’d been a broke English Major as an assistant teacher at an art school who moon-lighted as a piano teacher and a seasonal retail employee— looking to save enough money to get that next stamp in my passport. Before I was that, I was a recent college grad who worked three jobs (none of them in my field of study) who dreamed of traveling the world but hadn’t done it yet. Before that I was a girl who dreamed of true love, writing books, and going to college.

I’ve always had a keen awareness of time – I was never in a hurry to grow up, I was never in a hurry to do anything, really. I remember thinking while growing up this will never happen again, never be the same again. And taking a moment to breathe and really look, really be. I call them look-moments, and here are a few, randomly selected.

The time I ran down a street in a quiet neighborhood with my high school friends at night, yelling and causing general havoc and saying, “We’re never going to have this little responsibility again.” And enjoying every single moment of unbridled freedom, tossing candy into the air and trying to catch it as we ran barefoot down the asphalt.

The moment I walked down the gangway onto the plane that would carry me abroad for the first time. I was headed to Scotland. Up until that point it had been a dream. And it was finally coming true the second I walked onto that plane. 

I think some of us struggle with feeling like we aren’t accomplishing enough, others struggle with trying to accomplish too much.

Just pause for a moment.

The things you’re afraid of may not happen or they might. The things you’re wishing for and dreaming of may come to pass. And then you’ll look back and be like, maybe I should have spent less time wishing for this or dreading this and paid attention to what was. So pay attention to what is.

One year from now, everything could be different.

And the way life goes, it most likely will be.

Build up your treasury of look-moments.

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