Just Passing Through
The other day, I was on the Path train headed home from work when I had a mild panic attack. I suddenly realized it was October. It’s almost Halloween? And Thanksgiving? And then Christmas, New Years, and, before too long, my birthday? Already?!?
“Thank goodness I’ll only be turning 24,” I thought to myself.
Wait. Was I going to be turning 24? Or was I going to be turning 25?!
I could not, for the life of me, remember how old I was. Seriously. My mind was completely blank. I’m embarrassed to admit that I actually started counting years, starting way back at 1988.
“God damnit. I am 24.”
The trend in my life has always been that the older I get, the faster time flies. I look back on my past in disbelief of the places I’ve been, things I’ve done, people I’ve been fortunate enough to meet, and lessons that I’ve learned — both good and bad — which have led me to this very moment. And yet, it has all been fleeting. What is here one moment is often gone the next. If it’s not gone, it’s usually different.
And, if you know me at all, you know that I hate change.
I was having a conversation with a beautiful redheaded friend of mine a few days ago about acceptance; more specifically, accepting where we have been, where we are going, and the fact that the people who are by our sides supporting us now may not be there forever.
And that is okay.
I have met some of the most incredible people in my 24 years (eek!) of life, and I often wish that I could pluck them all from their respective parts of the globe and keep them with me forever. I hate goodbyes. I hate goodbyes masked as “see you later”s. Or goodbyes that happen so gradually that you don’t even realize someone is gone before it’s too late. Most of all, I hate goodbyes that happen so quickly that they sting you deeply; a pain that never really goes away.
Truthfully, I am not good at watching anyone’s reflection grow smaller in the proverbial rearview mirror of my life. And yet, isn’t that a bit part of what life is all about? New beginnings? Enjoying the journey in both good times and bad? Someone coming into our lives, teaching us something wonderful (or valuable or harsh or important), and then continuing on with their journey, even if it leads them a different way? The blessing is that we are then lucky enough to carry those lessons and memories with us forever, no matter where life takes us.
Even though time may be flying, it’s important to slow down from time to time to enjoy where you are, who you’ve become, and who has had a helping hand in it all, even if they are part of a chapter of your life that has already closed. You never know when someone may pop back up in the story that is your life.
“Maybe some people just aren’t meant to be in our lives forever. Maybe some people are just passing through. It’s like some people just come through our lives to bring us something; a gift, a blessing, a lesson we need to learn. And that’s why they’re here. You’ll have that gift forever.” ― Danielle Steel, The Gift
[Photo credit to my roommate Greg!]
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