Life is short – start living.

It’s Friday night. I’m sitting in my sister’s apartment, eating chipotle and ripping a bunch of new music to my computer while my laundry washes and dries in respective machines. Her adorable little cat (whom I’m cat-sitting) meows faintly through the buzz and tumble of the laundry and paws at my leg. I think she wants to play.

Crazy Friday night, huh?

I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I’ve been thinking about this weird phenomenon of late – and I think it starts with my age. I’m 23, and everyone I think is older than me turns out to be younger, and vice versa. In other words, nobody’s age is what it seems. I guess I’m just at a weird spot in life – I think that as a recent college graduate, you expect life to slow down for a bit before it takes off again, like some sort of musical interlude caked between the two rock songs that are college and a career, then a wife, then a family, then grandkids, then retirement, then death.

At this point in life, you think you’re getting your bearing before a long trip on which you’re going to stop at a bunch of cool little spots and everything’s going to be plain as day, everything is going to be entirely deliberate, etc.

Well, here we are, and it’s nothing like that.

See, I’m starting to realize that the car is already moving.

Recently I got a position at my job in which I take charge of purchasing. It’s a serious job. It pays the bills and does so well. It’s a job I took with a view to stay in Lexington long-term.

There can’t be any more sitting around and waiting for the next big thing. Sure, there can be future aspirations, but I can’t sit here and wonder when life’s going to start.

Life already started. The adventure is under way.

These nights on which I do laundry and eat chipotle alone – these are part of it.

When I work 12-hour days and I wonder how I’m gonna get through the last hour without fainting – that’s part of it.

When I make weekend trips to see my parents or relatives in town – that’s part of it.

When I get to take a day off and go to another city, watch a baseball game, etc – that’s part of it.

When I play soccer for two and a half hours with swell college students in the evening – that’s part of it.

When I spend my time reading on my front porch, beer or coffee in hand – that’s part of it.

When I take my friends out to lunch – that’s part of it.

I don’t know if what I’m thinking makes any sense, but I guess I’m writing to myself so that I get over this idea that I’m sitting around waiting for something life owes me. I’ve made my choices – and that means I can’t regret anything to this point. If I want things in the future, I can start making choices for that. For example, I’ve not travelled much. I’ve never flown. I’ve not been out of the country, really.

If I want that to happen, I’ve got to make it happen. Every day I face choices – do I spend money on food or save up for a trip? It’s up to me.

Each choice is a sentence on a page in the story that is my life. Granted, the story isn’t ultimately about me – but I’m starting to understand that this isn’t some lame-duck period in life that isn’t a part of the story.

This is it.

Life is short, but life started a while back.

Let’s get living.

One thought on “Life is short – start living.

  1. A very wise essay. It sure took me a long time to slow down and appreciate the small things that don’t make my highlight reel. Wendell Berry was my gateway, when I was ready to listen. Well done.

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