Woah, hold on. I'm how old?!
Picture this: You're sitting in your third-grade classroom completing math problems when your teacher walks in and tells you your next project. What will that project be? What you want to be when you grow up, of course! The possibilities were endless. Sally wants to be the next president while Steven aspires to be an astronaut.
Now I sit here in my apartment wondering, where did the time go? But I guess third grade was the start of us wanting to fast forward to the times we hadn't experienced yet, right?
For some people, it is hard to not always look ahead. Unfortunately, I am one of those people. I say unfortunately because this has caused a lot of problems. Does it help when it comes to time management and planning out assignments? Oh, of course! When it comes to life? Not so much.
When you're wired this way, you constantly have people telling you to "live in the moment" and to "take things day by day" because you "don't know what's going to happen in the future." First of all, let's get things straight. I know how to live in the moment and I know how to enjoy my time, but I can't help but be excited about my future. This feeling is at an all-time high when you meet someone or people you want to be a part of your future.
You have this constant mindset that whatever you do now is going to dramatically affect your future. You're constantly looking for a crystal ball to give you the answers to all of the questions you have, but can never seem to find it. But that's life. We aren't supposed to have all of the answers.
Thomas Rhett's song "Sixteen" describes this craving for the next step of our lives perfectly. In the pre-teen stage we can't wait to be 16. At this age we will gain so much freedom by being able to be behind the wheel of a car. Once this becomes a routine, we want more. We suddenly find ourselves wanting to be the 18-year-old high school senior who has no other problems other than practicing their new right to vote and making sure they look like the age on their fake I.D.
This song is relatable because at one point this was every single one of us. We, at least I, was so convinced I would have EVERYTHING figured out once I reached that next age in my life. Everything would be so much better, more exhilarating. What I didn't realize was that some of the most "exhilarating" times of life I had experienced so far were in those adolescent years when I wasn’t paying attention to them.
I am by no means saying there aren’t good times ahead. I just wish I had appreciated moments while I was experiencing them. Now, I'm closer to getting married then I am to the third-grader deciding what her "big girl job" was going to be. It's like I blinked and this whole new world opened up to me and I'm trying to find my place in it.
Yes, I'm excited for what's to come for me, but at the same time, I want time to slow down. Suddenly summer has turned into a time for internships at home or in another city rather than a bike ride to your favorite ice cream shop on a sunny afternoon. Before you know it, your childhood puppy is no longer a puppy and he needs your help to get up on the bed.
This is where the two roads meet. This is the time to take the lessons I have learned from life thus far and apply them to my future. Time is flying by while the world around us is changing every second. Those kids who were once riding their bikes to every destination possible are growing up. But you know what? It's okay.
It's okay to be scared for the future, but it is also okay to crave it sometimes. It's great to be ambitious and to set goals for yourself but don't forget to stop every once in awhile to take it all in.
I have learned not to wish life away, but to also not be hung up on the past. You have an entire life to live; enjoy where you are at this very moment.
We are currently living the "good old days."
So here's to making every day better than the last. Cheers.