I hope everyone is having a great week and that you’ve been getting to soak up the summer weather! Today was my day off and I relished it. I slept in (until 9, what is happening to me?), made a leisurely breakfast, took care of some errands, and then napped. I’m secretly 45 because it was the perfect way for me to spend my day. While lounging around I also read the last article a recent Yale grad wrote about graduation and life before tragically dying in a car crash. I’ve seen discussions of the article around the web and on some of my favorite blogs and I looked forward to getting to read all of her piece in greater detail today. If you haven’t heard, her name was Marina Keegan, she was 22 years old, and she died days after graduating college. Her full article, titled “The Opposite of Loneliness” can be found here.
I thought the piece was amazingly in tune with the thoughts of young twenty-somethings all across the country. I wanted to highlight parts of the article that really stood out and meant something to me.
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
This part really hit home to me. I’m 21 and if my college journey was on the track it was when I started freshman year I should have just graduated from Bucknell. I should have joined a sorority there, traveled abroad my Junior year, and spent a week on the Carolina coast after graduation. I should be moving to a big city to start an exciting marketing job with a Fortune 500 company. But I’m in Williamsport, still in college, while my peers move on without me. Don’t get me wrong, not being on the track I was on when I started my freshman year was the best thing that could have ever happened to me. I’m not in crazy debt, have had the most amazing opportunities through Penn College to travel and excel, met wonderful people, spend more time with my family, am able to maintain a really high GPA (3.89!), and met the best guy in the whole world. But I cant help worrying that I’m not prepared enough for the job market, that I haven’t learned enough, that I’ve fallen behind my peers. Its a sense that as much as I have to offer everyone else has more. It refreshing to be reminded that I’m not the only one to feel that way.
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.
I found what she said about maintaining a sense of possibility to be really important, because in the end it is all we have. You can die in a car crash two days after your college graduation. You have to make every moment count, don’t let life pass you by, or do something because you feel like you have to, not because you want to. Keep on striving and changing and creating. I never want to let myself feel like its too late to do something because one day it actually will be. As long as I’m still breathing, I’ve got time to follow my dreams. And if this were it, and this was all the time I had on Earth, I’d feel incredibly fortunate and happy. I’ve followed my dreams and experienced so much in my 21 years and have been so incredibly blessed I wouldn’t change a thing.
But let us get one thing straight: the best years of our lives are not behind us. They’re part of us and they are set for repetition as we grow up and move to New York and away from New York and wish we did or didn’t live in New York. I plan on having parties when I’m 30. I plan on having fun when I’m old. Any notion of THE BEST years comes from clichéd “should haves…” “if I’d…” “wish I’d…”
I loved this part because I’ve always hated when people told me one time in my life was going to be the best I’d ever experience. If I’m going to live to be 100 years old I do not want to spend nearly 80 years of my life looking back and wishing for a time so long ago in my 20s. I want to enjoy every stage of my life and feel like at the time it is the best it could be for that stage in my life. Currently I think where I’m at in my life is the best time of my life, and in my 30’s I want to feel like my 20’s was just the pregame. I always want to be striving to find the enjoyment in living all of life’s experiences.
I’m always making lists, always looking towards the future and what it entails that I need to remind myself to live in the now and enjoy the present. Here are some things I am looking forward to experiencing right now:
- Enjoying college, without loan payments or big bills or huge responsibilities.
- Getting to experience life in a body without any aches or pains or major health problems.
- Getting to spend time with my boyfriend, having new experiences together, and going on adventures.
- Spending time with my parents and my puppies. Its a blessing to be able to live with them and have such close relationships with them.
- Relishing the familiar and the routines to my life. Come this time next year I’ll be moving and job hunting and living life at a whirlwind pace. Its nice to enjoy the quiet and the calm for now.
Question of the Day: What are some events in your life that you are experiencing right now and loving?