Life Begins Now

Monday, August 10, 2020


Walter Mercado

It is ten minutes past midnight and I have just finished watching "Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado" on Netflix with my husband. I absolutely enjoyed this documentary and I feel inspired by Walter Mercado even though I did not grow up watching him. But his words flow with determination and truth. "If you don't adore and value yourself, you can't love anybody else," he said. "Love starts with yourself."

    His message to everyone before he departed from this world was very clear and he lived by his words until the very end. This might seem like a reminder arising from a strange place but there is a very unique energy that even you would embrace if you felt it emanate from someone. In many ways, I have lived by his philosophy too, and will continue until my very last breath. For those of you who might be confused as to what I am talking about, let me explain myself. 

    How many times in your life did you prescribe yourself happiness in the near or distant future? How many of you are always looking into tomorrow to feel fulfilled because when you reach that goal then you will truly know joy? For example, I have heard that "when I graduate from high school and am admitted into my top choice university I will be so happy," or "when I get married then I will be happy." What about you today? Why make happiness a distant dream that you may or may not reach and why do you only deserve it after you have accomplished something? The journey should be just as meaningful and fulfilling as when you finally reach your goals. Finding that balance, however, is one of the mysteries of the universe. 

    Sure, life allows us to celebrate major milestones throughout our life but there are huge intervals of time between that which go pass by almost unnoticed at times. When I look back at my life, I do not celebrate just the big memories because there are countless small moments that bring smiles and welcoming nostalgia back into my life. 

    There are times when I decided to give myself a break and finish that novel that I was hiding between my textbooks and allow myself the pleasure of being pulled into its world or choosing to spend that evening going out with my mother and spending the rare quality time that I would not have otherwise instead of doing something that was supposed to be a priority. Frankly, there is always work to be done and responsibilities to keep in our everyday lives but it is a matter of finding your mini getaways from the mundane portions of life to remind yourself that you are alive and breathing on this planet only for a short time. And be it a blessing or a curse we don't know exactly how long that is.

    Taking time out for that extra fifteen minutes with my best friend talking about life, or planning a short trip to Italy with my friends in between classes and exams despite having to study have been the best decisions of my life. Not everyone would agree with this way of life though because I was unable to convince some of my friends to take time out of whatever their busy schedule was and escape with me since they would be waiting for that ideal moment after finishing exams or finishing the school year. With all that waiting, the perfect time would never arrive and I missed out on special moments with them but never regretted my decision. 

    I have always been considered a cheerful person by friends who have known me and sometimes even strangers who have spoken to me because I tend to always look like I am enjoying myself though that may not be the case. Others have watched my life fall apart many times and face many struggles but somehow scrape through it all and find me looking unscathed. However, there were times when everything hurt but from a young age, I developed a habit within me to look for those small rays of happiness wherever I could grab them within my day and I truly believe that is how I survived all the obstacles that came my way. 

    I have to shine as bright as I can before I depart from this life with bold colours and personality so that I can give those who remember me a reason to smile. So if there is an opportunity presented to you that looks enticing then don't hesitate and go for it because you will either look back and smile at how well it went or laugh at things that may have not turned out as they were meant to. The only thing you really lose is the time because that is ever moving. Even when you make the decision to not do something, the time will pass but there maybe regret. Those that stop you or stand in your way are not the ones who will look back and ask why you did not pursue what you wanted and they will even forget they stopped you and what impact that had. 

    There are as many opinions as there are people on earth so there is no way to escape the constrictions of negativity that surrounds us. Walking on glass for the happiness of others will only leave you with the bleeding feet because giving an opinion never hurts the giver. Sometimes we are held back financially if not emotionally from imagined happiness and the argument becomes that "I am unable to afford to do those activities that will make me happy." For those of you who think this, is this really true about your life? Do you really need to go to that fancy destination to enjoy your life? 

    There is a reason positive affirmations can ease the mind and so we desperately cling to whatever provides it. These moments can be found in every environment and is why socioeconomic status cannot tarnish the smile or the beauty of the moment for someone who learned how to appreciate it. Work will be there tomorrow and the day after for you to get back to. People will come and go from your life as they receive what they need and decide whether that is important for them in the future. For those that move on away from me, their memories will remain and I will move onwards.

    It is time to stop waiting for someone, or something to do what you wish to do now. Do it anyway. When there is love for yourself and for simply being alive, that is when life truly begins. 

Until Next Time,

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