The Hunger Games Finale: How it taught me to live in the moment and look toward the future

As the screen faded to black last one last time and the credits started to roll, I was reminded of the first time I had picked up The Hunger Games in seventh grade, not really sure what I was getting myself into. Seven years ago I made the decision to read those books, to take that journey, and now, thinking back on how much everything has changed and how far I’ve come as a person since that day back in seventh grade, I’ve realized just how much I missed looking forward to the future.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with looking forward to the future, but when focus is intently in the future, forgetting the here and now, we lose sight of not only who we are, but what we can be.

I was reminded of how I’m not the same person I once was and I realized that I won’t be the same seven years from now. Things happen that change us, sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse. I was reminded of the people that have come into my life since then who are no longer a part of me. But more importantly, I was reminded of the time that I wasted during that chapter of my life, time I spent, rather than enjoying the moment, looking toward the future.

We are but passing through this world waiting for something better, living for a tomorrow that few people will see or experience. When we spend all of our time waiting for something, we don’t spend enough time living for now.

I heard a quote once that said, “people spend all week waiting for Friday, all year waiting for summer, and all life waiting for happiness”. Why are we waiting for happiness, when it is right in front of our noses? While the current chapter in our lives, the things we hold dear to us are now slipping out of reach? How many times have we neglected the sweetness of the moment because we had our eyes on something greater awaiting us? I’m not taking away from the divinity or promise of hope in the future. I am simply wondering how we have come so far as to only look toward the future and not live in the now?

There is sanctity in the now. The people we meet, the lives we touch, are more than just passers by. I know this seems like a lot to be coming from a series of books and movies, but it’s not The Hunger Games series that made me realize this, it’s the fact that I have come so far since then and am only just now realizing just how much I’ve missed. So many chapters have started and ended within that time and so many will continue to do so.

I’m tired of waiting for the next opportunity, waiting for a future I know is sure, while forgetting the present.

I choose to live in this moment, these beautiful, infinite moments in which nothing matters but what is here and now. These moments, transitioning into more beautiful moments, creating a series of moments we call life. I want to wait for the future, but remember the now as I journey through the next chapter in my eventful, yet normal so-called life.

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