For me, everything happens in extremes. I struggle with living in the grey in-between and seem to always make decisions within a dichotomy. I’m all in or completely out. In love or completely indifferent. Completely invested, or untouchably distant.
It’s not just in my responses to certain things, but my (constantly changing) philosophies to life. Usually I have a firm belief that there is no such thing as wasted time, if you’re satisfied with what you’re doing. It may be weeks spent on vacations, hours spent laying on the couch, or a few minutes watching the sun dip below the horizon. You are exactly where you need to be, and there’s a reason why you’re there.
But what if I’m wasting the prime of my life, too busy with my nose in a book, and miss something truly wonderful passing me by? Lately I’ve been consumed with one thought… What if I’m wasting the years I’m the most beautiful (statistically speaking of course) and the years I’m the most energetic?
What if I’m wasting my youth?
After all, the middle aged and the elderly wouldn’t be droning on about how wonderful life was when they were younger, if life was more wonderful now. Botox and face lifts wouldn’t be desired procedures if the best looking years of their life were ahead of them.
The monster of comparison just won’t seem to leave me alone these days.
The people I went to school with are doing semesters abroad in Europe, getting engaged, and having children. Me? I’m struggling to get through a ten page paper due next week. My life is consumed with school. It’s all I can think about, all I can see. And I can’t help but wonder if the hard work I’m putting in will ever pay off.
Call it the winter blues or February fever but my motivation seems to have frozen with the snow.
I know I’m supposed to enjoy the journey rather than wait for the destination, but I just feel like I’ll never get there. It’s like when you’re taking a road trip and the novelty wears off. You’ve got hours and miles ahead of you, with nothing but flat fields for a view. You inevitably start going a little crazy.
If this is as good as it’ll ever get, then maybe it’s not so bad. After all, old is gold… Or something like that. Maybe that’s just something old people made up to make themselves feel better.
My youth may not be as wild as the people around me. It may lack intense adventures or strange experiences. But I think I’m okay with that.
At the end of the day I’ve definitely got one thing to be grateful for… At least I’m not in middle school anymore.
*The title was inspired by a song I heard driving home on the radio (Youth – Troye Sivan)