“Can I sail through the changing ocean tides? Can I handle the seasons of my life?”
As a child, I suffered a great deal of anxiety over growing older, and eventually (prepare yourself), dying. As irrational as it may sound now, I would often lie awake at night just to make sure I lived to see the next morning. I remember apprehensively day-dreaming about what it would be like to be in high school; to be able to drive; to go to college, and eventually get married… The thought of aging, though exciting, made me sick to my stomach. I hated change. I was content. I wanted to be young forever.
Now, as I near twenty years of age, my chest still tightens and my heart races at the sight of another milestone passed. It wasn’t but a couple of weeks ago that I caught myself wishing away the remainder of my sophomore year of college. I was feeling overwhelmed with the pressures of papers, projects, and a seemingly endless list of responsibilities I had to tend to before the school year came to a close. I could see the relief at the finish line and drew closer for the home stretch.
The wishful thinking came to a halt when I realized what the end of sophomore year meant: I have reached the halfway point of my college career. WHAT?! In two years, it will be me worrying about finding a “real” job – me saying goodbye. I’ll be the subject of every Senior Farewell, sharing my wisdom with underclassmen, and reminiscing about the ‘good ole days’.
Isn’t it funny how two years in the future seems like a lifetime away, but looking back, two years seems as if it was just yesterday? Time is flashing before my eyes, and it terrifies me.
I know that these things sneak up on you. We never expect college – or better yet life in general, to go by as fast as it does. But I wonder if perhaps by thinking about it with a heavy heart, we can unintentionally remove ourselves from the present, and as a product, “wish” or “worry” our lives away?
I have written previously about being present and living ‘in the now’ so to speak. This is an issue I struggle with, as I am hopelessly nostalgic AND have an irrational fear of the future. But here’s what I know: many amazing things await on my journey, and in order to reach them, time must pass. This era of my life is destined for greatness; we were meant to roam and let our hearts be wild while we still lack obligation and make up for it in untamed impulsivity. Each new chapter of my life has been bursting with unforgettable people and experiences – the kinds that silence my fear, and instead make me look forward to what’s to come.
Frank Lloyd Wright says famously “The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes”. Though it seems as if so much has passed, we mustn’t disregard the long and winding road that lies ahead.
We are young. We still have time. Let’s revel in that while we can.