As soon as it gets here it’s gone. Can’t this be said of all great things?
The NBA Finals lasted little more than two weeks, each game mercilessly draining energy from fan and player alike. Then, as the final moments were ticking away, when the champions were all but crowned, is when the thought process surely began for the Miami Heat.
“We did it!”
That one statement reveals everything. Why is “I do it!” never on the tongue when you accomplish a great feat? It’s because by the time you do it, it’s accomplished. The present becomes the past instantaneously. And just like that, the moment you had eagerly anticipated for days, for months, passes before you can even realize it. It’s gone.
I contemplated this about a month ago. Ecstatic about the prospect that was Man of Steel, I had planned on attending a midnight showing as far back as March. This is something I never do. The day comes around, and where am I? I’m sitting at home. Thinking:
“When I see it, it’s over. The experience will be done. No more anticipation, no more excitement, no more promise or prospect. Only the ‘maybe’s will follow. Maybe it’s excellent, and I’ll relive it for the next few days. Maybe I’ll contemplate its impact and message. But that’s it. No more.”
As complex as we are as people, we are unequivocally simple-minded. We think we want the end result. We focus on it absolutely, losing sight of the details. And more often than not, we don’t enjoy the drive there.
“But it’s a culmination of all my anticipation. It’s just so worth—”
You heard it from your parents. Maybe you still do: “I wish I was your age.” Your grandparents sent along a similar sentiment: “Enjoy youth.”
Right now, you’re sitting at the other end of this computer waiting restlessly for a movie’s release. Maybe you’re keeping track of the days that pass via calendar with cute little X’s. Maybe you scour the message boards by the hour in hopes of learning even the smallest scrap of news.
It’s great fun isn’t it?
“Perpetually fleeting” is probably the best way to describe the now. So what’s going to happen when it’s finally here? As the images on the screen flash before you, there will only be that one microsecond in each scene when you’re just in utter ecsta—done. Then—almost immediately—you’ll be craving the next one.
The process is inevitable.
It’s in our nature as human beings to look toward the future. Sometimes it’s all I do. I’m not putting myself above you in any way, because I’m well aware of my status by your side. But think about it. As corny and frustrating as it sounds: It’s all about the journey. So spend these days imagining the prospect of the film, but enjoy the build-up. Imagine the thrill of the special effects, the wit of the dialogue. They’ll be here before you know it, and then what will you dream of? What happens when there are no more sequels, when your heroes hang up the tights? While Marvel and DC Comics have ruled the silver screen for years now, breaking the box office time and time again, that day is coming like a freight train. Soon the audiences will turn on them, even if you and I stand firmly by their side.
Talk about your heroes early, often. Debate. Fantasize. Explore their universe. Embrace them while you still can. Enjoy the moments when your dreams become reality and these characters take human form, but if you know what’s good for you, revel in the anticipation.