Silky smooth 🏞🇺🇸 Photo by @the_californist
The rapidity of time is scary.
They say when you’re young time moves gradually because routines are new and constantly changing. You work your ass off during the school years, intermural sports, homework, electives and relationships. You get a sprawling summer to be free, but you can’t drive, buy anything or travel anywhere. Life feels tiny and confined. You wait for birthdays to tack on another tally mark toward freedom and respect.
As you age, years of routine have set in. You "technically" can do whatever you want: travel, buy whatever, drink mimosas on a Tuesday morning, live alone, whatever. You have a favorite show you build your free time around. Life is packed around responsibilities that most of the time you barely enjoy. You thirst for weekends, evenings and travel two weeks out of the year to gain a glint of pined childhood liberation—fulfilling promises you made for yourself that one day, this day, you'll live freely and experience life like no short-lived parable.
Suddenly, you wake up and look in the mirror and see the passage of time in the creases on your cheeks, the missed opportunities and ways you bypassed living how you truly wanted for safe roads and necessity.
Pretty soon you’re fifty, but you still feel like you’re in your thirties. You watch your retirement portfolio, know your job backwards, counting the days until you can leave work permanently, even though the notion of not having a job gives you anxiety. But you know, at last, you’ll breathe the freedom you've wanted all along. You feel drained. You’ve read and watched people living the free life and you feel like it’s not for you after all.
That it was a young man’s game all along.
That the best years, these years, you should have known to release the reigns, that the slack you grant yourself is where you find yourself. Where you grow the most. There are so many years to saddle upon responsibility and work. We find endless excuses and ways to negotiate with our conscience, to put our curiosities and adventurous spirit to bed, seldom telling ourselves that today is the day we’re going to cut loose and live how we dreamed.