Time really doesn’t slow down, does it? One day it’s May 2012, and I’m walking across the stage in my high school graduation. Then what feels like two days later, it’s May 2015, and I am planning my college graduation in one more year and typing away at my computer reflecting on my past. One day I’m sitting on my front porch of my reticent home that sits on acres and acres of land. Then what feels like two days later, I’m listening to CMT music on my TV and hearing cars traveling past my window in a continuous and ceaseless manner.
My mom sent me a quote the other day. It read, “Sometimes memories sneak out of my eyes and roll down my cheeks.” She sent me this because just last week, I called her. I was calm and controlled until she caught the small sense of unsettlement within me and asked me what was wrong. Then, the tears started.
I don’t even know why, to be honest. I guess the past caught up with me for a split second. I was in my room within my apartment complex getting ready to leave for my softball game. I grabbed my old, worn out cleats that still have dirt caked on them from that red dirt field in Mississippi from 2011. I threw them in my bag, and then grabbed a red shirt that had a number painted on the back of it. And so, the first tear ran down and more sobs soon followed. I was 21. Alone in my apartment. Getting ready for a softball game with people I had never even met. What happened to laughing and listening to music in the car rides with my four best friends getting ready to compete competitively? What happened to my mom being our driver to every game throughout the years, and us not having to worry about how to get there or how long it would take? Growing up happened, and getting older is a real-life thing. You think you will never hit the stage in which you must do things for yourself, but you will. And once it does, reality soon slaps you in the face even harder.
Before you know it, you hardly even see or talk to those that you more or less lived with in the past. You keep up with them through social media, and you have new friends from various places to help keep you sane. You remember them, though. You remember them every single day for helping you to become the person that you are and you keep the memories that you all had together forever in your heart. Small things will remind you of them throughout the day, and it gets to a point where a piece of your heart feels empty because you haven’t filled the void with their presence in such a long time.
Being happy is essential. Being happy is what life is really about. I know that, and I full-heartedly believe that with every ounce of my being. But sometimes, it’s okay to be sad. It’s okay to feel dispirited from the past and crave the used-to-be’s and the times past. It means that you are human and you have affection and appreciation for the way in which you grew up. The more saddened that you are about the past, chances are that you had quite an exceptional one.
You see, we never really know what our future will hold. But, I know that there is one. Thank those that you have loved along the way, thank those who have helped you to tread down your path, and thank those who are no longer present in your life but have made one of the biggest impacts. For all of these people have brought you to who you are and where you are. Those along the way are some of the most important ones. They’re not merely in the past, I promise.
Sometimes, it’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings. Being a girl who has always feared change and feared that the way things would one day end up wouldn’t be as wonderful as what they used to be, I’ve changed myself. My interests and my likes and my surroundings and my heart. Being open to shifts and transitions and not knowing what’s going to happen next is somewhat both terrifying and exhilarating. Always believe that the change that is occurring among you right now is simply changing for your good.
One day, I’m sprinting in basketball games and competing in track meets with the same people that I have faced for five years straight. Then what feels like two days later, I’m running for my enjoyment and to stay in shape while passing various people on the trails that I have never seen before. One day, I’m cramming to study for my Anatomy test the day that the test is due. Then what feels like two days later, I’m applying for internships and writing articles as a contributing writer for multiple companies in NWA. We never know what our future will hold. The next smile, the next memory, the next encounter — we never know where it’s going to come from. We can only hold tight and trust the magic of beginnings.
And trust that those along the way and the memories from the past have brought you to where you are supposed to be.