Jason's Journal: No Day But Today
Updated: Apr 8, 2021
Rent is one of my favorite musicals. “There’s Only Us” starts the waterworks every time. By this point, the characters have experienced death, disease, and heartbreak. Yet, they find comfort in knowing they still have each other. They still have this one moment. With tears in their eyes and a slight smile on their face, they belt out:
“There's only us, there's only this
Forget regret, or life is your's to miss
No other path, no other way
No day but today
There's only us, only tonight
We must let go to know what's right
No other road, No other way
No day but today
I can't control my destiny
I trust my soul, my only goal
Is just to be
There's only now, there's only here
Give in to love or live in fear
No other path, No other way
No day but today”
I’ve heard these lyrics hundreds of times, yet they’ve taken on new meaning amid my recovery and recent local tragedy.
My office is located in Boulder. I’ve fallen in love with the city—a beautiful oasis with a unique identity. You immediately know when you’ve met someone from Boulder. The world is their canvas to create, their rock to climb, or their song to sing. Thankfully, I’m still working remotely, so I wasn’t there as the events at the King Soopers unfolded. But once you’ve been to Boulder, a piece of your heart is always there.
I have the best commute to work. Pre-pandemic, I woke early to make the short trip up to Boulder. The morning sun reflects off the Flatirons, illuminating the morning sky and city below—a heavenly backdrop to the sandstone walls and red tile roofs of the University of Colorado campus. I sit in awe of the raw beauty of nature every single time I drive into the idyllic city of Boulder.
Sadly, Boulder will no longer only be known for its natural beauty and unique character. It will be added to the list of other places where something like this should have never happened. Newtown, Littleton, Blacksburg, DeKalb, Parkland, Aurora, the list goes on and on. Perhaps I am more rattled by recent mass shootings because they are hitting so close to home.
Just last week, we saw a suspected hate crime carried out against Asian-Americans. My husband is half Asian. I fear for his and his family’s safety in this divisive time. Then a few days later, I see fellow neighbors gunned down while grocery shopping. My heart just breaks. More must be done, but this post is not about that. Instead, I want this post to serve as a reminder that there is only us. There’s only this. We have this moment, and that’s all we’re guaranteed.
I spent years allowing the hurt from my past and the worries of my future to blind me from the actual moment I was in. And the loved ones and beautiful memories unfolding around me. I grasped at straws to eat healthier and lose more weight, believing I could cheat death. In return, I failed to be present in the moment. I wasn’t really living at all.
The events in Boulder reinforce my commitment to recovery. Life is outside of my control. Those individuals went to work and to run errands just like I do. Just common everyday activities that cost them their lives. Like students, movie-goers, concert attendees, these shoppers and employees didn’t know they were risking their lives. I don’t know when my time will come. I could allow orthorexia to fool me into thinking I could control that time, but I can’t.
These mass shooting events remind me that there is only now. There is only us. And there is no day but today. So I must stop trying to control my destiny with clean eating or obsessive exercise; instead, I will focus on just being. Being in the moment, being with the ones I love, and being myself. Just like those heavenly commutes into Boulder each morning, I will spend the rest of my days cherishing what’s right around me. Fear will never again rob me of the beauty in my life.