No day but today

Zach Wiita

Life is marked by moments of revelation and moments of transition.

From your first day of kindergarten to your first favorite toy, to the day you learned cursive to the day you entered middle school, from the moment you realized you liked the opposite sex to the instant of your first kiss, your life’s course is always marked by the understanding that change is coming and of its arrival is inevitable.

I’ve been thinking about that a lot in the last few weeks. I’ve just finished up my last fall semester; I’ll be at Kent State this spring and summer, and then, with luck, I’m off to join the real world. I’m in the same position as many seniors this year – worrying about our post-college careers, maybe regretting the things we didn’t get around to doing while in college, perhaps wondering where we’re going to live or how we’re going to pay our loans (and our grocery bills).

I rather imagine most of us of have been having some of the same feelings about our society as a whole. We’re on the verge of the end of an era – though which era is about to end might be a matter of argument. Some say the economic crisis is the end of capitalism or the end of globalization; others just say it’s the end of an over-indulgence in credit and debt. Some even say it’s the end of American financial dominance. I don’t know if that’s true – but it’s safe to say we’re reaching the end of the age of Bush, if nothing else.

So what do you do in response to a revelation that change is on its way? How do you survive an instant of transition that will alter your life irrevocably?

You embrace it. You let go of the past. Girl you’re pining over doesn’t love you? Let it go. Candidate you wanted didn’t win? Let it go. You’re going to miss college? Let it go. Wanna go back to high school? Let it go. Because the old clichés are true: You can’t go home again, and the world only turns in one direction.

Embrace change, and learn to channel it for the best. Move forward, and make things work. Let go of the past, and learn to appreciate every moment of your life because it will never come again.

It all may sound obvious, but it’s true. It may be easy to say, but it’s very hard to do. Every time I face a moment of revelation and a day of transition, I try to remember the words of Jonathan Larson in the musical “Rent:”

“The heart may freeze, or it can burn / The pain will ease if I can learn / There is no future, there is no past / Thank God this moment’s not the last / There’s only us, there’s only this / Forget regret or life is yours to miss / There’s only now, there’s only here / Give in to love or live in fear / No other path / No other way / No day but today.”

Zach Wiita is a senior political science and theater studies major and a columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].