Don’t Wish Away Your Life
Have you ever heard the phrase “don’t wish your life away”? It’s a phrase trademarked by our parents; they always remind us to enjoy the moment and not wish away the present because someday we’ll miss it. Damn, they couldn’t have been more right.
Every phase of your life is purposeful. When you are a child, life is about playing with friends on the playground and your parents making you grilled cheeses. When you are a child, you don’t know stress or anxiety; you know love and laughter. However, you start to become restless in that period of childhood, usually around the 12-13 mark. You start seeing your friends’ siblings get their licenses or go to the mall with their friends. Girls are starting to wear make-up and dress themselves, instead of opting for something their mom picks out for them. You pack up your barbies and high school musical comforter for a laptop and zebra print. You spend less time watching movies with your parents and playing monopoly with them and instead talk on the phone with your best friend about who’s dating who at school. Life shifts and that is normal. We all put up the dolls at some point, we all get phones and start caring about different things. What I am trying to say is this, enjoy the barbies or your mom being your elementary school cheerleading coach. Don’t hurry up and wish to be in high school or in college. Enjoy each time your mom sat on the floor with you and played dolls. Or when your dad went with you on your 5th-grade field trip to D.C and made you wear a pink plaid fedora while everyone else got to wear the D.C snapbacks. Enjoy the days at your Nana’s, watching her make biscuits or work out in her flowers. Be thankful for the Easter basket your Nannie go you because you were scared the Easter bunny would forget about you since you were at her house. Growing up is inevitable. We all are put on this Earth to live and then die, this is the one common thing we all have as human beings, we will live then we will die. Enjoy each phase of your life.
As new things become special, you realize that old things become less special. Unfortunately, this is the trade that has to be made for you to enjoy each phase of your life. It is November and I am already wanting to put up decorations. But as I shop around, I realize the things that used to be so important for a special Christmas are gone. The MAGIC is gone. When I was a kid, Christmas was my favorite time of year and we celebrated it to the fullest. I can remember decorating cookies and picking out the best ones for Santa. I remember we would always watch Frosty and Rudolph while we decorated the Christmas tree. My dad would read the Night Before Christmas before we went to bed, each year. Christmas just made our home so much happier, it was the most special time during my childhood. Now, it is about when to get gifts delivered and coordinating who is bringing what, and working around everyone’s schedules. My dad doesn’t read to us anymore. Santa isn’t real. I don’t leave out cookies, hoping that Santa took a bite out of each one. I don’t wake up extra early to try and catch Santa putting our Christmas presents out. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is still a special time and we do things that I love and appreciate, but it just isn’t the same and it never will be. Same with birthdays, Easter, snow days, and days after school. Life changes, as it should. But what I am trying to get across is this, don’t wish that you can stop faking that you believe in the Tooth Fairy or the Easter Bunny, or that you can drive yourself to the movies instead of your dad having to. Enjoy those moments, enjoy what life is supposed to be for you at that moment. It’s okay to be excited for the future and for growing up, but one day you are gonna miss the magic of being a child.
Don’t get me wrong, being 22 is fun. I don’t technically have to go to school ever again and I have my own place to come and go whenever I please. I don’t have to eat meatloaf and I don’t have to floss after dinner. My mom isn’t sneaking a look at my phone and my dad isn’t giving boys the third degree. I am starting my life, I haven’t lived and there is so much opportunity in the world for me. So yes, getting older is exciting and fun, but it is also scary and sometimes lonely. When I was a kid, I never felt alone and I always felt excited and happy. Now, I am always stressed and worried about my next move, because it is up to me and me alone to take care of myself. Yes, my mom and dad are only a phone call away but it’s my turn to take care of myself and sometimes you wish that it wasn’t. Even right now, I am wishing that I could turn back the clock and go back to my bedroom on Bob Lin Trl, and watch Mary Kate and Ashley while I color. I wish I could go back to my mom doing my ponytail in the morning and my dad sitting at the kitchen table yelling at me over math. But you can’t turn back time. I think that is the hardest pill to swallow. YOu know you didn’t appreciate something as much as you should of and now that you want to, you can’t. That part of your life is over and you will never get it back, you have no choice but to move on and keep living your story.
It’s hard to catch yourself wishing away your present. Hell, I’m doing it now by wishing I was 5 again. I do it by wishing I was in love and married with children. Every moment that you wish your life away, you are wishing those around you away too. I wish I was 5 again, but in return, my cousins aren’t born. I wish I was a mom and a wife, in return my parents are older and I can’t be with them as much. Do You see? Life is always a trade-off. This is why you have to stop and just be in your moment because one day this is what you’ll miss. It might seem mundane or hard to picture, but you will. I will. But it doesn’t matter because life keeps moving, with or without us so why not just appreciate what you have right now?
If I would’ve known moving out of my parent’s house to college would be so hard, I wouldn’t have stayed in my room on my phone all the time. I would’ve enjoyed just sitting in the living room with them or helping my mom cook or do something around the house. If I knew I would be living an hour away from them, I would have enjoyed going to church with them more or going grocery shopping with my mom, or grabbing a McFlurry with my dad. I would have enjoyed our trips to Myrtle Beach more, I would have stopped looking at the older girls wishing to be like them and instead enjoy the boardwalk with my mom. I would have enjoyed Disney World more, just the excitement of being a kid and getting to believe in magic. But now I enjoy my mom coming up for a visit, and us shopping until we pass out or her coming to cook me soup because I have a cold. Now, I enjoy our phone calls and pictures sent. I enjoy our yearly beach trip, which is now about passing out drunk on the beach and looking for shells.
One day I know I’ll miss this. I’ll miss the job I have, the apartment I have, and the random Marshall’s trips. But I’ll get to enjoy my home, my husband, and my children. Life really moves too fast. It moves too fast to stay angry, to hate, and to be “too cool” for something. I wish I wouldn’t have been too cool to hang out with my parents on the weekend or have my mom go to a concert with me. I wish I would have walked my childhood dog more and tried to get my brother to play with me. I wish I would’ve asked to stay at my Nannie’s house more.
If you take anything from this, just take this. Life is wonderful and each phase serves a purpose. It is okay to be excited about the future and to want things out of life. This is how you learn to work hard and chase your dreams. But don’t lose your sparkle. Don’t forget about the barbies you once loved playing with on your bedroom floor or the telescope you looked through at night. A life that you don’t miss, wasn’t a good life. Enjoy each period of life you are in. Just don’t take it for granted, you’ll wish for the time back someday.
Today I just miss being 10.
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