When I took AP Physics C, one of three “phases” of the course involved adding calculus principles to the algebra-based mechanics explored in AP Physics 1 the previous year. In order to distinguish between the algebra and the calculus, our teacher created two catchy terms: “living in the average” and “living in the instant.” When looking for an average velocity, displacement, acceleration, or other kinematic quantity, algebra provides a totally acceptable answer, and we were therefore “living in the average.” However, when the velocity of a car when t=4s is required, an instantaneous velocity is necessary and calculus provides a correct answer (therefore we were “living in the instant”).
Pictured above: Mr. Smith’s teaching methods at their finest!
My classmates and I turned the idea of “living in the instant” into a “carpe diem” type of saying. When one would complain about a bad fight with a friend earlier in the day or dwell on a bad grade in calculus, we told him or her to “live in the instant!” Instead of letting the past hold a classmate back, we encouraged each other to seize the day and take advantage of future opportunities.
In a similar manner, Linsey Addario recounts Nina’s experiences with love. While Nina boasted a successful, satisfactory life with a man who cared for her, she settled for a peaceful, average life. While appreciating her husband, her true feelings of passion lured her to an old lover. However, she did not act upon these feelings. Whether her complacency derived from fear, a desire for normalcy, or something else, kissing Sal after years of separation reminder her of the true, deep love she missed out on.
By including this story in her memoir, Addario distinguishes between existing and truly living. Much like “living in the average,” an individual who just lets things happen to them and accepts good instead of striving for great cannot truly be happy. By pursuing a true passion and doing whatever must be done to succeed in such endeavors, one beings “living in the instant” and gains control of his or her life. I believe Addario thinks of her passion in a similar fashion. Having an affinity for something means nothing unless she acts upon in and makes a difference.
While coffee shops and cafes appear as a passion void of true importance, they contain a direct link to many of my friendships. A cafe served as the place where I bonded with the friend who helped me come out of my shell and become a more vocal, ambitious, and independent individual. Through trying new establishments and connecting them to my experiences at local eateries with the people I love, I can shape the story of my evolution as an individual.
Just a few of my favorite coffee shops and cafes in the Buffalo, NY area!