A lot of students started their exams this week, one of whom is a dear friend who is in his first year at University. This particular friend brings out the maternal side of me in a way only Munchkin has managed to do so far. Apart from being a good 15 years younger than me (which means I could actually be his mother *gulp*), he reminds me a lot of myself at his age. Not only is he an artistic person who is affected in no small measure by the music he happens to be listening to that day (in his case it’s mostly opera…see the parallels?), but he is also getting to know himself like everyone does at that age. It’s the age you finally come into your own and find (or choose to keep) the friends who will be your companions through life, you come to terms with your weight/shape/looks, you decide the general direction you want your life to take and, most of all, it’s the age you long to fast-forward the years so you can FINALLY bid farewell to all things academic and start living your ‘proper’ life.
Now that I’ve been living my ‘proper’ life for ten years, I realise that there is no such thing as the moment our life really starts.When I was little I longed to be a teenager so I could do things I wasn’t allowed at that age; as a teenager I wanted to be in my twenties so I could move to the other island and be independent; while at University I longed to finish my studies and start working so I could have my own money and I could finally start having some fun; after graduating I longed to work my way up till I reached a position and salary which could afford me a better lifestyle (with less instant noodles and more clothes); when Munchkin was born I couldn’t wait for her to walk and talk, only to miss her as a baby once she had reached those milestones. I can safely say that all my life I looked at the future and forgot to live the moment, the here and now. Now that I’m older (and a tad wiser) I remind myself every single day to focus on what that day brings, to enjoy the little things that I won’t be able to live again because life is in constant motion and circumstances change everyday. I have to literally force myself to be grateful for the positive things some days because (like yesterday morning) it’s all too easy to let the negative drag you down if you let yourself go.
What I want to tell my young friend is that, even though now might be a stressful time, it too shall pass. And one day, I promise, these days will be missed.”]