Today I am home. Many of my fondest memories and significant landmarks of my life are housed here in this place where I grew up.
For some reason, this visit home has made me think about how quickly time has passed since my life here-- yet how long ago it sometimes feels. Time is strange that way. I think about the girl who grew up here. And the girl I was when I left. A girl full of weaknesses and insecurities but also one with strong ideas and goals waiting to be realized. When my time here was up, I put on a brave face and stepped out into the world. And I learned more about life and I accomplished hard things. And although it came with inevitable growing pains, each visit home I returned a little bit stronger.
Occasionally, I wish I could go back and pay myself a visit during those younger times and counsel myself to hold onto each moment that time would soon take from me. I would tell myself to be more grateful. To be more kind. To be more present. To allow myself to open up and to connect with others. To let people in.
Perhaps most importantly, to be happy now.
Because up until recently, I think I have spent a lot of my life waiting to acquire this grand idea that is happiness. Thinking that it would be some milestone that I would someday reach. Some accomplishment I would soon be able to check off my long list of things to do.
And I wonder why we so often lie to ourselves in this way, saying things like:
happiness will come tomorrow
I know I’ll be happy once I graduate
or the ever popular
Surely I will finally be happy when I am married
And as we tell these lies, happiness continues to evade us and time will never allow us to grasp it.
Because the truth is, time and happiness are unrelated. Happiness can only be created when we truly desire it. If waited to be stumbled upon, it will never be acquired.
Yet sometimes still, we wait.