Green Light

Greenlight pic
Green light from across the bay in “The Great Gatsby.”

It’s come to that point in my life where instead of the words of a 1D song serving as some sort of shameless stress relief, I now get minor anxiety from hearing that first line of the chorus in “Night Changes”: “We’re only getting older, baby…”

If you think about it, each second of living really means that each of us is that much closer to the end. I’m not saying that your next birthday has to be nihilistic-themed, but it is indeed crazy to think about just how fast the night – or life in general – changes, or how fast time moves and how quickly we must jump on board with it and all the changes it does bring.

This line of thinking dawned on me a few days ago when I was catching up with my visiting sister over lattes at Urth Café (yes I am aware of how “basic” that sounds). Although I probably won’t admit this to her face, she’s actually kind of the coolest. Not even a year out of college and she’s already swinging a gig as one of Ventura’s finest (okay, that’s my wording) and newest educators. At the time, she was telling me how her teaching career plans were all coming together, her intent to pursue a teaching credential shortly, and how she’d be able to pay off her undergraduate loans in X amount of years.

Whereas I contributed my new music interests to the conversation as my points of recent accomplishments. That’s an exaggeration; I’ve done actual important things, but I feel like inside this adult body is someone who’s trying so hard to appear to look like one for the rest of the world.

Sometimes I’m afraid to blink because I’m afraid that when I open my eyes again, I’ll be 50. Or 100. Or maybe I’ll already have missed out on so much that I won’t be able to open them. Was it really 10+ years ago that my sister and I engaged in a grape food fight when our mother left the room, and now we’re conversing over organic beverages? Can I go on some sort of Narnia retreat where I can just process it all and return to the real world without time having passed at all?

Unfortunately, time is precious and fewer things are more untrue than the old adage “Good things come to those who wait.”

I have never seen this played out successfully; those whose lives I desire to emulate at least to some degree got to where they are now by working their bums off (I decided to be more polite in my wording) instead of sitting like ducks.

I recently had a semi-epiphany regarding what it is I have passion for. For so long, I’d lost sight of what it was that I really wanted and kept pushing it out of my mind out of self-doubt, fear, or opposing voices, or all the above.

I wouldn’t say that I ‘wasted’ my time by focusing my energies elsewhere or on more practical endeavors than I should have, but if I could turn back the clock, I would have admitted to myself from the beginning what it was I wanted. I would have admitted, then committed to it.

I feel that I was more ‘fearless’ when it came down to it when I was in high school, or even more so earlier than that. I was far less aware of the risks or potential failures that might be involved in “just doing it,” as the Nike brand likes to say. Now, it feels like there’s more at stake and the consequences of failures far more real now that I’m older.

But waiting around for a ‘safe’ option – in career, romance, or other opportunities – is the worst sort of risk to take. I still don’t know the difference between happiness and joy in my search for either, but waiting for something good to happen is likely to result in increased chances for failure and with it, disappointment.

If patience is a virtue, ‘tis a virtue I exercise on a case-by-case basis, especially where certain elements are beyond my control. I’m so TIRED of waiting. Waiting on opportunities, open doors, open minds. As far as I’m concerned, if opportunity doesn’t come knocking on my door, that’s life telling me to take a running start and to kick it down.

In these blog entries, I do my best to refrain from telling people what to do (which isn’t super hard because I don’t have a larger reader base), but that isn’t the case now. Something I’ve learned over these last few weeks is that I have little patience when it comes to people, or any sort of situation that keeps me from moving forward with my time. I – or rather my time – is a priority, not a last-minute option. And so is yours. Don’t let others make your time seem unvalued, and don’t let yourself think that way either.

Stop waiting for ‘right timing’ or for a stupid phone call that’s probably not coming. Stop waiting on another’s approval or for other people to finally have time for you. FYI – you don’t “have time,” you make time. Lastly, stop waiting for a sign – it will just tell you that you can only go “One Direction.” JK. The sign’s always going to be green for “GO.” But you choose the route.

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ID-entification Crisis

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(Consider this a more descriptive commentary to accompany the previous post, “Maturation.”)

At the risk of sounding cliché, my mind’s going a million miles a minute, and has been accelerating faster more recently. I have multiple windows open on my computer screen, Post-It note/to-do lists on my planner pages (which is essentially in itself a comprehensive to-do list), and am using my arm as a makeshift planner when I’m without the actual one.

Yet here I am. In the midst of everything, I am metaphorically clearing off my desk and writing this instead.

Another thing I tend to do when pushing other work aside is pressing the “back” arrow on the pictures I’m tagged in on Facebook. I did this a few weeks ago, and wondered if the old me would be proud of or even recognize the current me.

I recently went to a 21+ event with some friends (AKA line dancing, don’t worry Mom), thus was required to provide my ID at the door. To my surprise, I was asked to recite my 5-digit zip code to prove that I was in fact the person on the ID (which of course is not a great way to verify this; anyone can memorize a 5-digit zip code).

My hair has been through small-scale reinventions, my weight’s changed, and I wear considerably less “emo” eyeliner than I did back at the good old age of 15½. Everyone looks at least somewhat different on the outside when a span of six or so years have passed, but this got me to thinking about the various evolutions my inner person has undergone during that time.

I wonder if the me of past journals would be stranger to me if we were to meet. The beliefs I have pertaining to my faith, my political leanings, and personal values have shifted to and fro over the years. Would I have done this or that back in the day? Was my honesty too honest, or my inclinations of poor taste? Have I grown more cynical; have my priorities changed for the better in most cases, or for worse in others? Do I care too much? Do I not care enough? Am I genuinely a good person, or just good enough? Are these changes a product of me being honest with myself, or is it all a façade of sorts?

As we mature, we’re supposed to have perhaps not ALL the answers, but certainly more of them. I’m finding that quite the opposite is true – the more I see, the less I know.