The Beauty of Right Here, Right Now!


I’ve been back in Virginia Beach for one week now. I love it here. It’s home. It’s where my life is. My friends live here. My kids have been raised here. But I have a confession to make… And I’m sure this will surprise no one.

I miss Jamaica!

Shocking right? I miss the beautiful water and friendly faces. I miss the light breeze that blows all day and drinking from coconuts on the beach. I even miss the craziness of the drivers and the crowded streets.

My time in Jamaica was simply amazing! Something about the island causes you to slow down, take a deep breath, and let go of all the tension you’ve been carrying for so long. “No problem mon” isn’t just a saying to Jamaicans… It’s a lifestyle. Does that mean they don’t have any issues? Of course they do! But as I learned from the locals… they will not let their “situations” drag them down.

“When I’m having a bad day I simply go outside and look around. I see the water. I smell the air. I remind myself that I live on the most beautiful island in the world. I see the beauty of right here, right now. And then I have a smoke and relax!”

These are the words of an older lady who sells souvenirs to tourist everyday. A business that doesn’t bring in a lot of money for her. But she loves it. She isn’t in pursuit of bigger and better. She is content with the life she has. The island life.

I learned more from her in the 3 minutes I spent asking her about life in Jamaica than I could ever tell you. But that one sentence has rang in my ears since the moment it left her lips.

See the beauty of right here, right now!

That’s a foreign concept to me. I’m constantly moving forward. I don’t have time to stop, go outside, and just breathe. And when I do slow down… I get very anxious. I feel as though I should be doing something at all times. That is how you get ahead in life. Right? But in doing so… I miss things. I miss the beauty of life that is right in front of me. I miss the beautiful smiles on the faces of people. I miss the beauty of my city and its landscapes. I can even miss the beauty of my kids growing up right under my nose.

As I pulled away from the island, more relaxed than I’ve been in a really long time, I realized that is what I wanted in life. I wanted to slow down. I wanted to take time everyday to just breathe. I no longer wanted to miss the beauty of the place I called home. And I want to enjoy my time with Tiffany and the girls! But in order to do this, I had to change my way of thinking. I could either have more time or more things. What did I really want?

I choose time!

With the island fading into the distance I determined in my heart that I would never leave Jamaica. Instead… I was taking Jamaica with me. I’m adopting their way of thinking. Life will be full of situations… but there will be no problems. And when things do get difficult… step outside and take a deep breathe. See the beauty that is surrounding you. Right here. Right now. Be present right where you are.

I’ve been back in Virginia Beach for a week now. I’m driving a little slower. Worrying a lot less. Having conversations with complete strangers and hearing their stories. Seeing the beauty of our area that I’ve missed due to rushing. And although our water in Virginia isn’t as clear as Jamaica… It is indeed beautiful. I love the place I’ve called home for 7 years now. The crazy part… I’m just now discovering it!

Get out and see your beauty of right here, right now!

Brandon Hester