Embrace Today: Cherishing the Present Amidst the Future’s Uncertainty

Image of a person enjoying the present moment, symbolizing the idea of embracing today and cherishing the present.

You may experience each passing moment more fully if you allow yourself to give in to it fully.

—Anne Morrow Lindbergh

My longtime lover Jimmy and I finally met face-to-face on Valentine’s Day last week after months of planning.

The appointment with “HER” agency came after we had spent over a year drafting and revising a romantic comedy script with the help of a friend who was also a screenwriter.

Working for a major Hollywood talent agency. Probably to speak on our behalf.

We were overjoyed to learn that our initiative had potential, and the fact that we learned this on Valentine’s Day felt like a happy coincidence.

Since Jimmy’s brother passed away unexpectedly in December, this chance seemed very rewarding.

We just left our LA apartment to relocate to the Bay Area, where he could be closer to his family and where we could embark on some joint artistic endeavors.

And yet, there were already people making their way back to the house we’d just left a few days before.

Even though we’d been residents of Los Angeles for nearly two years, the city took on a new dimension of promise.

The whole trip was spent planning our next film and preparing for the next meeting.

Every spare second was filled with daydreams of fresh beginnings: auditions, sets, and premieres.

We were having lunch at a traditional Hollywood deli when I saw one of my favorite comic actresses. I envisioned us creating a part for her one day.

The thirty minutes we spent strolling the area paid off, as we made it to what seemed like the most critical meeting of our creative relationship just in time.

While waiting, I became anxious and spoke incoherently. I wanted to put my best foot forward as we came in, so I made sure to say just enough and not too much.

I felt like everything was riding on this one decision and that our whole future depended on it.

It was good to put faces to the names, but I almost fell over in my too-high heels when the agent’s assistant ushered us into his office.

I’m here to help in any way I can, since I know how difficult it is to get into this industry.

The meeting lasted 45 minutes, after which we shook hands and went.

He was kind, polite, and accommodating with his time, but we departed without having a conversation about our script beyond his comment that romantic comedies aren’t selling.

The day at the center of a dream had come and gone without significantly altering our reality. In spite of this, we weren’t quite as let down as we had anticipated.

Despite the fact that the day didn’t go as planned, we were still filled with anticipation since it had the potential to alter the course of our lives dramatically.

I reflected on how far we’ve come since we first met during a five-course Valentine’s Day supper shared in the lobby of our hotel.

In 2007, on our first date, Jimmy told me all about the places he’d been and the things he’d done for adventure.

Motivated by my own desire to impress him and my own feelings of awe and envy, I confided that I, too, had long had a secret desire to go skydiving.

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Despite my severe aversion to heights, I said it with all the sincerity in the world.

Nonetheless, he leaped at the chance and said, “Let’s go on a second date.”

The thought of having to carry out my longtime ambition of throwing my body from a little airplane filled me with mute fear as I wondered how I could possibly get out of this.

It’s possible that, sensing my inner turmoil, he knew that my desire would ultimately triumph over my fear, and that’s why he told me, “If you want to see me again, you have to jump off of an aircraft.”

Despite my skepticism about his motives, I can’t help but think that my acceptance of this challenge played a role in his developing feelings for me.

I fell for him in part because of the things he said to me on the long drive home after our second date.

I remarked that he clearly cared about the date and had put in significant time, energy, and money into it.

The cost of skydiving was prohibitive, and the location was inconvenient. His grandma lives close, so he also made plans for us to have supper there.

There’s no denying that this was a gamble, even if he did have a decent impression of me after our first date.

Talking together on the trip could have shown that we aren’t a good fit. It’s possible he would have known after the second date that there wouldn’t be a third.

I had to inquire as to whether or not the thought had occurred to him.

Well, he said, “Regardless of what happens, I’m going to remain the man who took you skydiving.”

It just floored me. It indicated he hadn’t put in the work for the sake of a predetermined result. He had no predetermined goals or expectations for the outcome.

He had arranged a fun day out with me because he knew that even if nothing else went well, we would have had a good day together.

He wouldn’t be sorry he met us, or whatever happened to us.

No matter our future relationship, he’d be content knowing we spent today together.

The discussion we had was quite similar. It may have been the first step of an exciting new journey.

It might have been the start of a fruitful collaboration that would have done wonders for both of our professional lives.

We’ll always remember it as our first meeting with a Hollywood agency, although it wasn’t either of those things.

We stayed at the Season’s for the night on Valentine’s Day. That was the day we realized how much we appreciated our friends’ efforts to aid us.

So frequently in life, we get caught up in the idea that things will change or finally move ahead after a certain point in time.

Perhaps the secret to contentment is realizing that a moment’s worth does not depend only on the consequences of that moment.

What matters is how we take it in, how we live it, how much we value it, and how we go forth, eager to go wherever the road may lead.

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