A few nights ago, I went to the funeral visitation for my childhood best-friend’s Step-Mother. My friend and I met in kindergarten and were inseparable all the way through high school. I have to admit; however, that this was the first time I have seen her in at least 10 years. Obviously, the circumstances in which we came together again were not as I had imagined, but it was still a warm reunion and I couldn’t help but to imagine her beautiful Step-Mother looking down on us from heaven smiling.
As I listened to my friend, learning of how much of her life I have missed, and watching her reactions to my “news” updates, I didn’t see the woman that she has become, I saw her just as she was during our last years together in school. She was still the same beautiful, intelligent, and undeniably confident girl that I considered a sister and spent years trying to be like. We are both older now and our lives have changed considerably, but our past formed a bond that can never be broken regardless of the years we are apart – and that’s all that matters.
I am always preaching to my kids, and their friends, about how they need to enjoy being kids while they can; laugh, hang out together, play sports together, and just have fun together! Reminding the teens (especially) that they only get to be young once and their friendships will last much longer than any young relationships that they may have along the way. Of course, I know it goes in one ear and out the other, but we have to try anyway. – Kids know it all already right? Haha!
So here’s the Cold Hard Truth for all of my young friends out there…
You only get one chance to be young and carefree! – Life is different for everyone, we all know this, but we all start out young and grow older with each passing day. Ideally, you get to spend the first 17 years of your life with the same group of friends and the day you choose to move out of your parent/guardian’s house is the day you decide to enter the “real” world – the land of “adults”. You are choosing to leave childish ways behind and become an adult; which comes with many responsibilities, including bills (everything costs money!), new rules (yes, there are rules everywhere!), new people to have to listen to (bosses, landlords, etc.), and even new friends (most of which will be your coworkers).
Everyone moves on!! – Your friends from school will all choose their own paths in life. As a matter of fact, when you walk out of school on graduation day, you will never see most of them again! If you are lucky, and put some effort into it, you may get to keep in touch with your closest friends as life moves on, but it does take work! The important thing to remember, though, is that the friendships you developed growing up are the ones that you will carry with you forever. Those are the ones we tend to miss the most! Those are the friendships that shaped your life and set you on whatever path it is that you start following.
Time flies! – You may not realize it now, but time does not stand still for anyone. You have to make the most of every moment that you get. One day you will look in the mirror and wonder how you got there. Where did the time go? You still feel young on the inside. You still feel like you are learning how to live. Every day is a new challenge. You still do not know everything, so how can you already look so old? What has happened? Time waits for no one… It will move forward, whether you are ready or not and all it takes is 1 second for your entire world to change. Don’t take it for granted!
When you are young, you want to be older – an adult. When you are older, you want to be young – a kid again. You long for just 1 day to enjoy the innocence and purity of life again. We often don’t realize what we have until it’s gone. Ideally, as children, we are carefree, happy, and focused on that next piece of candy we are going eat. We get to enjoy having fun and not knowing what stress is. Before we know it, we are grown with children of our own and struggling just to survive day-to-day. Learning how to be adults and parents as we go. We make mistakes every single day regardless of our age.
Life is tough! It is not easy to keep your sanity and still be happy in this world. It takes hard work and a lot of tears. Before you know it, it’s over. Don’t rush to become an adult; you have plenty of time to do that. Enjoy being a kid as long as you can (and yes, I consider teens to be kids still unless they are living on their own and supporting themselves). Finish school, dance, laugh, sing, play sports, and enjoy the freedom that you have while you have it. You will have plenty of time to work, have babies, and be a responsible tax-paying adult – LATER!