“Don’t wait, time goes on.” “Life doesn’t stop for anyone.” “Life goes by pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in awhile you might miss it.”
Growing up, I’ve heard atleast 20 different variations of these quotes. In movies, in books, quotes I see when I’m scrolling through Pinterest in a lecture hall, from older and wiser family members (you get the picture). I tend to overlook these quotes every time I hear them, because they’re so overplayed. Recently though, however, I’ve found myself paying a little more attention to them.
I’m about to graduate college and my life is go go go right now. Between work, school, a dysfunctional family, and trying to maintain a social life between multiple friend groups while simultaneously trying to keep myself from going crazy, I’m lucky if I have an hour to myself every couple of days. Daily phone calls to my sister have become a once a week thing. I haven’t been to the grocery store in over a month because I’m never home long enough to make a home cooked meal. I haven’t written on this page or even in a journal in atleast 2 months, and writing is a love of mine. One of my very best friend’s birthdays passed days ago and I forgot to tell her happy birthday. Days of not hanging out with my closest friend turned into weeks before I even noticed it, until eventually, I don’t even know what’s going on in her life anymore. The list goes on and on, but the point that I’m trying to make is that all of these overused and outplayed quotes about life moving too fast and letting it pass you by if you don’t take a break are so god damn true. Over the past couple of months, I’ve kept asking myself, “At what point does life slow down?” But maybe the real question that I should have been asking is, “at what point do I slow down?”
Life isn’t going to stop. It doesn’t matter who you are. The deadline for your project won’t come any slower, rent won’t be due any later. Over time people will completely change from when you first met them, yourself included. Loved ones will come and go. So don’t get so caught up in such trivial things that you miss a friend’s birthday or that you don’t end up calling your sister. When your life is moving fast, it’s easy to forget these things. But I can assure you that the other person will not forget and they will notice when you don’t call or visit or send the text or whatever. I’m starting to realize that it’s okay to “stop and smell the roses” every once in awhile or to take the time to sit down and drink your coffee in the morning. Maybe it’s just me, but I feel as though our society has begun to make these things out to be a waste of time. Every thing is beginning to become about convienence and getting things done in as little time as possible so that we can have more time to do more meaningless things in our day. But I don’t want to keep living this way. When I go in to a restaurant, I want to sit down and enjoy my time with the person that I’m with and not worry about getting home in time to work on a paper. I want to take the long way to class so that I can walk past the lilac bushes near the psychology building because they’re my favorite flower and they remind me of my mom and of my childhood home. I want to lay in bed for an extra 20 minutes and be a little late for work so that I feel more well rested and am in a better mood throughout the day. I want to stay in the car and listen to the ending of my favorite song. What I’m trying to say, is that I want to take the time to live my life. I don’t want to rush through it trying to finish my next project or get to the next place that I think I need to be. I want to slow down and enjoy it with the people around me.