Sunday, April 14, 2013
The future, memories and an 18th birthday party
My life is happening right now and it's big and exciting but it's also scary and there's a million different options and choosing one feels like the slamming of thousands of doors.
I've been feeling like everyone around me knows what they're doing, maybe for college or maybe just for the summer. Everyone's moving forward and I've been feeling like I'm being left behind.
Tonight was my friend's 18th birthday party. We laughed and watched him drink his first beer and scratch lottery tickets and we played games and I realized in that moment that these are the times I want to remember.
When I think back on high school, I want to remember this. I want to remember sing alongs around the kitchen table and bad jokes and the sound of laughter. I want to remember these people and how it felt to be comfortable and for one moment the future didn't matter and the past didn't matter and all those messy emotions didn't matter. All that mattered was that I was there, in that moment, surrounded by the people I love and who love me, laughing and making memories.
The future is here and it's now and it's waiting for me and I'm realizing I'll only have these high school days for a little while longer. There's a group graduating this spring, and then next year I'll graduate and life is moving so fast and all that's guaranteed is right now, this moment.
I want to spend that moment making memories.
I know I'll look back on these years and see the hurt. The time I got diagnosed or the time my cousin died and all the times I fell and it hurt and my heart got broken and scarred. They carry an enormous weight. But I believe love carries an even bigger weight and when I look back on these days that's what I want to remember. I want to remember birthday parties and dance offs and sing alongs. I want to remember bonfires and baseball games and those people that made all of high school worth it.
I want to remember these people who are sewn into the fabric of my life. They are my family. They've seen me at my worst, and love me anyway. They've held me while I've cried and made me laugh so hard I could barely breathe. These are the people who have claimed me, in good times and in bad. These are the people that are bearing witness to my life.
And that's what family is. That's what love is. It's being there for the big moments, and the little everyday ones. It's putting up with someone's bad qualities because, somehow, they complete you.
Love is a leap of faith and I'm learning a soft landing isn't always guaranteed. Sometimes love is going to hurt and it will be messy and hard.
But holding yourself back, away from that love doesn't make anything any easier. Trying to separate yourself from the people you care about because you're growing up and separation is inevitable doesn't make the goodbye not come.
The brave thing is loving those people and making enough memories to carry you through the growing up years, the moving out and moving on and leaving behind this comfortable high school life. Some things don't last forever, but some things, like memories, do. And I only have one chance to make these memories and I don't want to look back and wonder why I held myself back from love. I want to be there for the moments I can, the birthday parties and the laughter around the kitchen table.
This evening, at my friend's birthday party, I wasn't looking backwards or forwards. I was just losing myself in the here, the now, these moments that are guaranteed and filling them with as much laughter and love as I know how so that one day, when the growing up and the leaving does happen, I have these memories.
Tonight I realized everyone at that party is my family and that I don't want to spend my life standing on the outside, holding myself back from love because I'm fearful of getting hurt.
The future is coming, whether I like it or not. And I want to be excited for it. I want to live and laugh and love with my heart wide open. I want more moments laughing with friends around the kitchen table and making jokes over the chip bowl and having those moments that are so perfect that I think I'll miss if I blink in the wrong instant.
I want to make memories while I have the chance, because the future isn't guaranteed and all I have is right now.
And this moment is made for living and dancing and singing and being brave and opening yourself up to love, even if it hurts sometimes.
In the end it's worth it. In the end none of the little things matter and all those fights and the tears, they don't mean anything. The only thing that matters are the people sitting across from you at the table at the 18th birthday party, the people who claim you and bear witness to your life, and making memories that will last forever.
And it's times like this that give me the courage and bravery to face my future.
The future is coming, looming big and bright
And I, for one, can't wait