When the movie “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” came out a few years ago, I remember people constantly quoting the scene where Charlie talks about “feeling infinite.” I had been a fan of the book myself, but I don’t think I quite understood what Charlie was trying to convey in that particular scene. I was 12 years old, and I figured that he must have felt happy, but I didn’t know what he meant by saying he felt “infinite.” I wouldn’t for a few more years.
It’s something that is quite difficult to put into words. But to feel infinite is to feel absolutely present in whatever you are doing. It’s to be so filled with light that it radiates through every part of you. It’s those few seconds of laughing with the people you love most, and never being more happy to be alive.
I remember one of the times where I felt absolutely present. It was my league meet for cross country a year ago. My team had swept in every single division, and it was our senior night. The entire day, I felt sort of high on an energy that was a cocktail of sadness, joy, and gratitude: sadness because it was my final league meet, happiness because I was around the people whom I loved so dearly, and gratitude for being a part of something so much bigger than myself.
After the award ceremony, the entire team circled together in the night time so the seniors could deliver their speeches. After giving my own speech, I remember standing there with one of our trophies clutched in my hands, listening to my other teammates talk. We were all just expressing how thankful we were to be a part of such a phenomenal program for the past few years, and how much it helped us grow as individuals. It was both a heart-warming and emotional experience. I don’t think I had ever before felt so happy to be alive. I was overwhelmed with the amount of love I felt for those around me. I felt infinite.
I think that it’s beautiful when you’re so happy that you’re at a loss for words. Feeling “infinite” manifests itself in many different ways, from when you’re blasting your favorite songs with your friends on a night drive to just sitting there with them in a peaceful silence after an exhausting day. It’s such a warm feeling and it fills my heart up every time.
I believe that we should live for these moments, and that they are a direct result of the amount of love we have for other people. As cheesy as it sounds, I thrive off of the love I have for my friends and family. Without them, I wouldn’t be able to experience the infinite moments that make my life so colorful. Even on my worse days, I remind myself that the negativity could never compare to the amount of love I feel on my best days.
I try to breathe in and revel in every moment when I feel infinite because I know that soon enough it will just be a memory. I hope that you appreciate those moments when you feel absolutely present. I think that when you do, you learn to appreciate life and the people around you more. So smile, and love someone today.