“Smile, the worst is yet to come. We’ll be lucky if we ever see the sun, got nowhere to go, we could be here for a while. but the future is forgiven, so smile”
Today I am 17 years old. 17.
It’s rather strange to imagine myself as the BIG 1-7.
Actually, in retrospect it’s not incredibly “big” at all when you think about it. When you think “big” you think 50, or 100, because those are the big ones! Imagine going through 100 years of life; a hundred years of memories. I mean, I’m only 17 and there are things I already can’t remember. Will I be able to recall this moment when I’m 100? When you think about it like that, “The big 1-7” seems the smallest of small.
17 years I have laughed (mainly at myself), smiled, cried, screamed, rolled my eyes, called the beginning of numerous theatre performances, sang at the top of my lungs, and rocked out at concerts. I’ve endured heartbreak, change, and a variety of people coming and going from my life. I’ve survived with no broken bones, no major health issues, 2 piercings, many different homes, no tattoos (yet..anyways) and no pregnancies, which, in this day and age is an accomplishment! Throughout the 8,935,200 minutes of my entire life, I’ve learned lessons and taken risks I never thought I would.
However, the biggest lessons of my life so far have been within the last few years. If 14 year old me talked to 17 year old me, she wouldn’t believe that they were the same person, just a few years older. 14 year old me used to be the shy girl who sat in the back of the class, not saying a word; afraid to speak, afraid to move. She was afraid that someone would see that she’d lost her direction. If you knew me in freshman year, you know exactly what I’m talking about. She was afraid of life.
Now I’m not so scared anymore to dive in head first to the unknown. I’m 17 now, right? I don’t want to look back when I’m 80 years old and regret not living my life while I could. How sad would that be? Although most people were capable of seeing this at a younger age, it took me awhile for the picture to fully develop. It is one of my proudest accomplishments so far, learning to live.
So here’s my advice to any of you reading:
I encourage you to learn too. It may take a minute, it may take a year. However long it takes you, embrace your life. You have been blessed with one, so grab ahold of it while you can and run with it. You may be 40, or 15, or even 99. So what? If you’re still breathing, guess what? YOU HAVE TIME!
The only thing you HAVE to do on this earth is breathe and die. And while that may sound a bit scary, it merely means the rest is up to you. Don’t waste it trying too hard to get that promotion at work, because when you’re 99 with one more day left, you’ll wish you had taken time off with your family for that road trip instead. I would rather say I spent time with the people I love than trying so hard to get what the rest of the world is striving for: money. And while money can be important, yes, it does not weigh out the people you love and care about- by any means!!
Basically what I’m trying to say is that life can be and is beautiful. But in order to see the beauty, you first must be willing to take off your sunglasses and stare into the sun. Bask in the glory that is life. If you get two minutes, that is your life. If you get 100 years, that is your life. Don’t waste a second not loving it.
Get out there. Go to the mountains. Go to the beach. Tell whoever you love that you love them while they are still around to hear it. You have time. I have time.
Today I’m 17 with a steady heartbeat, but tomorrow I could be 17 with none. Hey, if I live to be 100, I still have 83 years left to go!
As Stephen King once said, “Get busy living, or get busy dying.”
Until next time,