I used find myself living in a constant the state of the past or in the future and struggled to exist in the present. The present seemed stagnant and unsettling and I had no idea what life had in store for me.

My view completely changed while living in France one year. I realized that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity to immerse myself fully into a new culture and embrace experiences I wouldn’t find back home. Like going to the neighboring boulangerie for a fresh baguette every morning or maneuvering my way though the windy roads of Provence as a rookie stick shift driver. I couldn’t waste a second living outside of my present!

Although my year abroad flew by, I was too overcome with adventure and exploration to think about anything else that wasn’t happening NOW. By living in the moment and not concerning myself with what came next, I lived a life that my past and future could not conquer.

I now live in San Francisco and sometimes face the same battle of accepting the present. But when I remind myself about the adventures I had and how I wouldn’t have had them without living in the moment, I snap out if it with a smile. And as cliché as that sounds, I can personally attest to the magic of the Now.

Now is beautiful and transient. Our presents are uncharted territories waiting to be discovered. Enjoy the now and all of its magic.

To here and now, and to the adventures we won’t let pass us by.

By: Gabriella Jannotta Illustration for L&E by: Naoko Matsunaga