Have you ever had one of those days when you feel overwhelmed with a realization about yourself? Where it seems that your vision clears and you can see yourself for who you really are for the first time? And maybe it's something that you're not particularly proud of?
That was me today. Well, me over the last couple of months.
See, I've always been someone who looks forward. My mother likes to tell the story of how when I was 5 I just couldn't wait to be 6. Once I turned 6 I just couldn't wait to be 7 and so on, and so on. And I remember this. I remember being in elementary school and I couldn't wait to be in junior high. When I was a tween, I couldn't wait to turn 16 and get my driver's license. Once I had my license, I couldn't wait to graduate high school and drive out of Bakersfield. In college, I was excited to graduate and get a real job, get married and have kids. And now that I'm married, I REALLY can't wait to have kids. Heck, I can't wait to retire someday (the irony being that I'm currently unemployed).
I was kind of proud that I was so forward thinking. I've never been one of those people who hates getting older and lies about their age. I did make Erich promise me one child before I'm 30, but I've never put a timeline on my life other than that.
Then I got married. And had no job. Which equals lots of time to think.
I love John Mayer and listen to his album Continuum often. I really love all of the songs on the album, but one song in particular kind of pulls at my heartstrings whenever I hear it. It's called "Stop This Train" and is how he wishes he could stop life where he is, stop his parents from getting older and dying, stop the speed of life when it feels like too much. He even says he's scared of getting old, that he's only good at being young. And this song always makes me stop and think...is my life moving too fast? Have I been looking forward at the future and missing the life that's happening around me right now? After all, I will never get this time back. What happens when I'm 85 looking back at my life. Will I be disappointed that I didn't take full advantage of each moment in my life? Wouldn't that be terrible?
So, I'm trying to change. And change is hard. But I want to savor these moments in my present life, the sweet special moments I have with my husband before we have kids, all of the laughter and joy I share with my friends when we find time in our lives to be together, and even revisiting times I've shared with people from my past. I treasure blogger, myspace and now facebook for giving me an opportunity to reconnect with those who had such an impact on my life from childhood on. Like my friend Dan who was such a pain in my butt in high school, but without whom I wouldn't have been so competative with academically...I might not have graduated high school with the GPA I did had it not been for him. He also taught me humility and patience.
Or one of my college roommates Kaitlin who is literally the sweetest person I've ever known. We only actually lived together for one quarter in a cramped "triple" (what our university called cramming three people into a 9'x12' cinder block cell), but I think we probably laughed the entire time.
Blogging has allowed me to get to know the wife of Scott, one of my dearest friends from childhood.
All of these are people that I regret not spending more time enjoying while I had the opportunity and so catching up with them now feels like, well, catching up. And I feel lucky to be having this realization about myself now rather than 40 years from now.
So, in the wise words of John Mayer I encourage everyone who might read this, "don't stop this train, don't for a minute change the place you're in".
*these are all senior pictures as I can't seem to find any of my other old pictures*