“I wish there was a way to know we were in the good old days before we left them.”
It’s a quote from The Office and since first hearing it a few years back, it’s created an eerily beautiful sting in my chest.
I recently said this to someone who in turn said to me without hesitation, “I think we’re in the good old days right now.” That got me thinking (you don’t want to be inside my brain when it’s on a thinking day). Perhaps that’s true. Perhaps, to a certain extent we are always in the good old days. But, those good old days alter with the change of time.
For instance, when I was 18, I thought the good old days were when I was 16. When I was 20 I knew the good old days were when I was 18. Now, I think the good old days were my early twenties and I’m sure in a few years I’ll miss these days. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of yearning for the past and remembering “the good old days.” However, if we change our mindset and attempt to realize that we are in the good old days perhaps we can live a more fulfilling lifestyle.
It seems like not that long ago I was dancing on tables, shoving down pizza by the pie and drinking more than my body should have been allowed to be. Yes, it seems like my friends and I were just out celebrating our 21st birthdays then suddenly I blinked and we’re all turning 25. What? When did this happen? When did we grow up? This is a serious question I ask myself day in and day out. It all stems back to a quote that I once heard, long ago, that’s always hit me where it hurts, “The days are long but the years are short.”
It’s so damn true.
In our lives we are constantly looking forward to the next big thing or even just the next thing. “Eww..it’s Monday, I can’t wait for Friday.” “Is it the weekend yet?” “868 days until Christmas!” to some, our lives are a constant countdown to the next event. We are constantly looking forward to things, which is great to an extent, but we are skipping over precious days and hours of our lives. We are forgetting to look at each individual day as the gift that it is. What are we even counting down towards? I don’t really want the countdown to end because do you know what’s at the end of your countdown? Let me tell you, it’s not some big party- it’s death.
No one wants to ever want to look back and have a life full of regret. That’s actually my biggest fear. I want to do everything, see everything and be everything. I want to make this life something. I’m always thinking about it and talking about it; but it’s the action part that stumps me. How do we bundle up enough courage to pursue all those things we’ve talked about doing? How do we make it happen? And perhaps the most terrifying part; what if we fail? What if everything we dreamed about turns out not to be so wonderful? Then what. Do we go home? Fall apart? How do we hold it together when everything is falling apart? Because, you’ll definitely have those days too. How do you remind yourself that you don’t need to settle down just because your friends are? What if I’m not ready to have a baby and to be married? I mean, I want to have those things.. someday. But not right now. Hell, I can hardly take care of myself. I still call my Dad and Mom crying because I got pulled over and don’t know what my vehicle registration looks life. (True Story.)
The easiest answer to most of these questions is to simply breathe and enjoy the ride. Enjoy the lost and confusion of the twenty-something. You’re allowed to mess up and make mistakes; that’s how we grow as people. Enjoy the moments between the big moments, delete the countdowns and be happy with the days right now.
You’re in the good old days.
Make sure you don’t waste them missing a different good old day or wishing ahead to a different good day.