The exaggerated spinning hands of a clock. The pages of a daily calendar whipped away by a wind. A tree changing from verdant, to scarlet, to barren. Time. It drags when we want passage, and flies when we just need to catch our breath.
Life is full of milestones and the distance between those milestones is often a test of endurance. I recall the waiting. And I mean “waiting” in the visceral sense; a goal sits perpetually on the horizon and encouragement that unravels into taunting. Growing up is full of milestones too numerous to count, but the big ones that stand out are getting a driver’s license and high school graduation.
Getting in Gear
My sister is two years older and, therefore, was eligible for a driver’s license when I was fourteen years old. When my time came, I nearly salivated at the independence that driving would bring (she, however, was content to be chauffeured around town for a while longer).
By the time I was fifteen and a half, the waiting was a daily torture. Finally getting the learner’s permit was a merciful step, but getting the license some months later was a sweet victory. Total wait from pining to driving: about 18 months.
Like the Sands Through the Hourglass
My twentieth high school reunion was this summer and I skipped it because passing that milestone was one of my happiest days biggest reliefs. It’s just that while there, I always felt like I was waiting to start my real life.
By the middle of my junior year, I was slogging through Pre-calculus, Physics, advanced English and AP American History, plus working part time at a grocery store. Graduation and moving on to college seemed so…far…away. And then, before I knew it, I was putting away my Senior Ball dress and buying everything I needed to outfit my dorm room. Total wait from pre-life to real-life: about 18 months.
So are the Days of our Lives
The next decade was a blur of college graduation, an assortment of jobs, getting an apartment, meeting the future-Husband, moving back home, getting another apartment, buying our house, getting married…(cue the spinning clock hands). The last decade? Just your everyday living, which I rather enjoyed. Until I didn’t anymore.
Last summer I decided to change my life. I had done nearly everything I was “supposed” to do and felt like it was time to do what I WANT to do. That is, write. Since then, I’ve set up this blog where I have written every week since last November (2010), I won an essay contest, and I’m doing my homework so that I’m prepared when I have my self-appointed, real-life graduation/driver’s test. Soon I hope to be able to tell you about my progress, like the K-turn I learned, or the final exam I aced.
So far, I have felt encouragement. The next several months will be, I suspect, the taunting. I feel like that teenager who can almost taste the freedom of driving. I even have calendar pages wallpapering my office so that I can have the satisfaction of crossing off the days.
Every day, little by little, I’m writing my way toward a different life. Total wait until writing for a living: TBD.
My mother always said, “Don’t wish time away!” I try to think about that when I’m waiting for/wanting something to change in my life.
Wise words, Mother Lazzara. There are no shortcuts or substitutes for good process, and I do try to see this time as useful, because it is! But I have my moments of weakness when I just want to get there already.