What if I missed it? What if I didn’t pay attention to the simplest things around me? How different would my life be if I would have been more present? Sometimes I wonder, what if my whole life was recorded? Every moment of happiness, hardship and hopefulness.

If I sat down and watched myself from a third person perspective, what would I see that I did not see in the moment. Maybe I would see how the people around me viewed me, how they looked at me when I wasn’t paying attention. Did they gaze at me with love or did they roll their eyes with annoyance? Did past loves of mine admire me while I slept next to them or did they turn their backs to me and text someone else? Maybe I would see how much time I wasted on the wrong people and who I didn’t devote enough love to in the moment. If I was given the chance to sit down and watch a movie of my life, I would most likely be horrified by the amount of time I spent with my head down, looking at my phone.

My cell phone singlehandedly has caused me to forget how to live in the present and pay attention to the environment around me. Watching this movie of my life would reveal how much information I have missed in class, how much work I procrastinated on, and how many conversations that did not listen to all because of the time I devoted to my phone. I would most likely cringe at the way I talked and the tones I used when arguing with my parents as a teenager.

Just listening to the things I said, the way I said them, and what I meant by them would make me see how I represented myself to others. Watching this movie of my life and hearing myself, I would most likely find myself guilty of being so wrapped up in myself and my own thoughts that I selfishly neglected people in my life that deserved my attention. I would probably be overwhelmed with regret for not spending enough time with my grandparents, not listening to my mom more often, and for caring too much about insignificant things. Watching my life play out from a third-person perspective would be hard because I would want to jump through the television screen and tell myself what I know now. Although this would be hard, it would be an irreplaceable gift of change in perspective. Most of us will never be given the chance to see ourselves the way others see us.

Though I will never be able to literally sit down and watch the events of my life play out on a screen in front of me, I like to think about how it would change my perspective if I could. It drives me to pay more attention to the world around me, be more present, and live in the moment completely.