At the ripe age of 10, I was exposed to the magic of “13 Going on 30.” Not only a classic chick flick but a story that taught me that wanting to be older or more independent meant wishing parts of life away. As Jenna Rink sat on the train she wished she was 13 again. In the background, Billy Joel’s song "Vienna" reminded her to “slow down, you’re doing fine, you can’t be everything you want to be before your time.”
The truth is, we all want what we can’t have yet. We’re trying to get to the next step until we feel we’ll be happy. But with all the waiting, when will we ever reach the point we’re chasing after? Trying to “be everything before your time” is a valid point for those who wish they had everything now. By prioritizing the future above the present, there becomes no time left for living. We anticipate what is to come without appreciating everything that currently is.
Some people wait until they’re married with kids. Some can’t wait for college or the day they move out on their own. To live life fully is to appreciate the tragedies and miracles that happen each and every day. It often seems easier to be grateful for things once they’ve passed - friendship, good health, fewer priorities. It’s hard, not realizing what you have until it all begins to fade, but with effort comes the truth; life is hard, and it is beautiful. There are opportunities to help others and better yourself in the present. Who you will be and where you will go in future days is a mystery that will only be solved once time passes. Instead of anticipating, shine light on the time you live in now. Break the cycle of waiting and stop and smell the roses, maybe even pick a couple too.
Jenna Rink made the decision to turn 30 at the youthful age of 13. As bizarre and unrealistic as the story seems, it’s what happens. So many people wait until they have everything that they don’t realize the beauty of their journey. Jenna made the most of her path, but we should all take her story to be the truth. How many people can say at the age of 30 that they made the most of every day? That they weren’t waiting for a house, kids, a new office or promotion?
So stop waiting for the weekend. Stop waiting until you graduate. Instead, stop to smell the roses. Stop to tell your parents you love them, or your friends that they mean the world to you. What you do in the time you have shouldn’t be waiting for that time to pass. Once it’s gone it doesn’t come back. And although we’ve heard it a million times, it’s becoming crucial to appreciate the time we’re living in. Learn from Jenna; if you wish hard enough for the future, you might not remember 17 years of your journey.