OPINIONS: Look up and let life consume you
While I’m writing this, I’m sitting outside the Arizona State Museum. The front lawn sprawls all the way from University Boulevard to Old Main. The rolling green grass is so soft that your feet don’t make a noise when they hit the ground. The sky is so blue that it hurts your eyes, but all of a sudden a cloud blocks the sun, and the scene reveals itself. I stopped at once, found a tree to sit under, and here I am. All by myself.
I would not have even noticed this oasis if I hadn’t looked up from my phone. I had found myself so consumed by negativity, specifically every time I went on my phone. My life was happening on a 3x5-inch screen when the world was quite literally spinning right under me.
In this moment that I looked up from my phone, I saw a girl reading alone, a smile on her face. Her smile made me sit down and try it for myself. So I did, and the negativity I felt a few minutes ago has passed, and I am completely consumed by the beautiful day sitting before me.
I am not the only one who stays awake at night wondering what other people think of me – I know you do it too. We all do, but have you ever asked yourself why it all matters so much? It is easy to be consumed by negative self-image and thoughts when a couple short buzzes alert you to everyone else’s opinions on your life.
There are moments happening before you – just move your phone down a few inches.
While I’m sitting here, a young mother and her two children sit behind me. The little boy is climbing up the tree, and I can even see him watching what I’m doing from the reflection in my laptop.
“Wait, how does she know how to do the computer? What is she doing?” the boy calls to his mother from the tree top.
“She’s probably studying for school,” she cooed back at him, taking a break from the story she was reading her daughter.
“Hi studying girl!” he yelled to me, I smiled back.
“I see a sister and a brother, they are like me and you!” he calls to his younger sister.
He turns to his sister and she comes to the base of the tree, and just by the look in her eyes, you can see the admiration she has for her big brother all the way up so far from her.
His mother smiles at me, and I felt ashamed for a moment, because there’s holes in my pants and I am wearing an angry political shirt. I am sitting here, a pessimistic, seething, authority-hating college student juxtaposed with a sweet, young family, and she smiled back at me. It made me wonder why.
Maybe she was just like me too.
I wonder if she stayed up all night wondering what her friends thought her. I bet you those people aren’t even a passing thought in her mind. She probably stays up for the baby or worrying about her spouse. Our problems change, and what may be consuming you so deeply at this moment may be so inconsequential that you won’t even remember the pain years from now. So, look up. Literally.
Follow Maya Noto on Twitter