It’s crazy how quickly time passes us by. In a lot of ways I feel like it was just yesterday that I was this small 8th grader getting ready to leave the only school I had ever know, my second home for all intents and purposes, and start high school. It was such a scary prospect at the time; I had spent the last 10 years of my life in one place, with the same people, and suddenly everything was about to change. It’s the same when we leave high school , and then college. When things like this happen you go into survival mode, it’s just human instinct, and you tell yourself that nothing will really change, that you’re still you and your life is still your life. You think you’ll still see those people, and know those people, but as we all know, that’s usually not the case; these are the things we tell ourselves to make any transition easier. No one like to say goodbye, and the truth is some of the people I spent 10 years of my life with, well, I walked out those doors, and I never saw them again. For the most part that’s how things usually shake out in life. We don’t like change, we fight it, but things are always moving, shifting, whether we like it or not. Everything can change in a second, we’ve all seen it happen.
We let people slip out of our lives, and sometimes that’s okay. Not every person you know is meant to be in your life forever. I think that maybe we are supposed to spend a certain amount of time with certain people and that’s it, we move on. But some people are “lifers,” there for the long haul. You can usually tell pretty soon after becoming friends with this person that you want them around, pretty much forever. These are the people with whom you can really be yourself, and say what you mean, and not have to apologize for who you are no matter what. These people are rare. If you’re lucky your recognize that significant moment of realization; the moment when something probably stupid and small happens that makes you realize that you know this person, even if you don’t know everything about who they are, where they come from, or where they are going, you just know that you know who they are, and that they know you.
However, that doesn’t mean you always get it right. I’ve seen people let go, and watch this slip through their fingers because they were too scared, or stubborn, or foolish to change it. For the most part we always have the opportunity to make things right, but most of us don’t. It’s an easy thing to tell the people you love, well, just that, that you love them, but we don’t. We spend our lives chasing after things that mean nothing, and people that don’t deserve our time or affection. Before you know it all you’ll have are a bunch of yesterdays and not very many tomorrows. Because it goes fast, faster than we can possibly realize.
You never know when people won’t be around anymore; people leave, and die, and things go wrong that we can’t predict. But we don’t think about that stuff, because it’s too much to live with everyday. So we focus on school, or work, or whatever else we waste time with, but the way I see it, people are what matter. When we get to the end of the road our diploma is not going to keep us company and our job is not going to curl up with us at night. If we live our whole lives and all we end up with is a lot of education and an amazing job, but no one standing next us, then what’s the point? None of it matters if you’re alone. Whoever that person may be, that person you can’t imagine living your life without, tell him/her (and sometimes it’s more than one person, if you’re fortunate enough you have a significant other and a friend who mean everything), and if you’re really lucky, I mean the luckiest person in the world, then they say it back. Sometime we aren’t so lucky, sometimes the people we love just can’t love us back, and that’s when you realize it’s time to move on, and find someone that will.
“Did you say it? ‘I love you. I don’t ever want to live without you. You changed my life.’ Did you say it? Make a plan. Set a goal. Work toward it, but every now and then, look around; Drink it in ’cause this is it. It might all be gone tomorrow.”
The truth is it’s about choices. Believe it or not we do have some control over what happens to us, and then sometimes we don’t. Sometimes other peoples decision change our lives, and there is precious little we can do about it. We all have so much power over each other and I think sometimes we forget that. We can make each others lives better, and we can also devastate each other. Unfortunately, you can’t have one without the other.
My point is: life is short, opportunities are rare, and we don’t get unlimited chances to have the things we want; you may never get another chance to tell someone that you love them. So do it today, right now, because if you don’t, then you’re a fool.