Monday, June 1, 2015

Time of Your Life

When graduation season approaches, especially since I work in a high school and currently am in graduate school, I always think back to my own graduations and life changes.

I remember always hearing people say that high school or college was the "time of your life." And I always worried that was the case; that those years from 14-22 were supposed to be the best and if they weren't, then life would be a long road downhill.

But I have to disagree.

I feel that since I finished my master's degree and got a full-time job, that these years have been the time of my life, and a time I will never get back. I live on my own, support myself, travel, run races, spend money and time on what I want, live by my own accord, and don't have anyone or thing to answer to but myself. These may be selfish times for sure- I am not married nor do I have any kids- but I am loving it.

I think back to all the uncertainty of high school and college for me- not knowing if I would be ok. Would I get a job? Would I like it? Where would I live? Would I be able to take care of myself? Would I get married? Did I want kids? Would I be happy?

Right now, at 28 (almost 29), I am living in a time of so much joy for myself and people around me- friends are getting new, exciting jobs and moving cool places, getting engaged and married, having babies and starting families, traveling the world, and going back to school and getting some bad a** degrees. It is not just me embarking on new paths- it is everyone. This is a special time of my life for sure, and I love to share in all this joy with people. 

I know this time won't last forever, but I have to wonder why people put so much pressure on young people to have the time of their life in high school or college. Sure, it is a fun time- you are spending time with friends (I do miss having friends around me all the time) with limited responsibilities, but I never felt it was entirely carefree. You do worry about things: loans, debt, jobs, classes, and how life will turn out, and you are still discovering what you want....I think that for most people now, college is not as carefree as it once was, and while that is fine, students and even adults still put a lot of pressure on those times to make them AMAZING. In reality, it is ok if they are not, and honestly, should they be? That is a long life of disappointment if your heyday was in the first 3rd of your life.

So I think it is important to make every moment in your life the "time of you life" or else what is the point in living? Sure there are ups and downs along the way, but I really think that this time is pretty great.

And to relay this view, I read Andie Mitchell's book "It Was Me All Along" (which you should read-> she also has a great blog), and found this quote particularly fitting to life and all the pressures we put on ourselves to be happy and perfect. That the ups and downs are what make us and are nothing to be ashamed of, but that owning them is what makes up who we are and life all the more sweeter.

Here's the truth I've come to know: fat or thin, it was me all along.

The thing is, it's easy to find the bad. I'm cynical at times. Pessimistic and realistic. I can, and do, look at situations in pros and cons. But what I've come to know as true, in the last twenty-eight years, is that I am everything I've ever been.

I will always know fat. And love who she is. And know that fat, in itself, is not a bad word. I'll own it and respect those twenty years. They were hard, but they were sweet, too. I grew up oin that body, in that time, in that big, beautiful mind.

I will always know thin. And love who she is. And know that even when she feels heavier mentally, she's freer now. She's effervescent. Small, but tough,

I will always know that the grass, though it seems emerald and glowing in that field on the other side, it isn’t. Flowers grow here; they grow over there. As weeds do, to. 

But both are wide and they’re open. And I can lie and cry in one and move and spin in the other. Just knowing this: they’re the same field. And they’re both mine.

What do you think about the "time of your life?" 

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