Graduation, Marriage, Babies, Grandbabies…And Then What? How I Learned To Stop Rushing Life And Enjoy The Moment

January 24, 2013  |  

I’ve always been a person who is guilty of living for the next moment, instead of slowing down to fully embrace and appreciate the current. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I literally fantasized about my teenage and high school years. In high school, I couldn’t wait to get to college. In undergrad, I practically sprinted through my major’s curriculum, taking three-week speed courses and summer classes as if there was some grand prize for finishing early. Now, here I am at 22 years old and six months away from receiving my Master’s degree, asking myself why I was in such a rush and wondering what my next move will be.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being ambitious or anticipating what lies ahead, but there’s a huge downside to not fully appreciating the now. It took me a while, but I began noticing a strange pattern. Once I got to college, I missed high school. Sure, I liked college, but I realized that high school was a time in my life that I’d never see again. Once I got to graduate school, I missed undergrad. Why? Because again, it took that season of my life being over for me to realize that I would never see it again.

Lately, I’ve been anticipating leaving my parents’ house, seeing my career take off, getting married, having children and all of the other many wonderful things that adult life has to offer. But, then it dawned on me one day that once this season of my life is over, I will never see it again. Never again will I be the eager 22-year-old with big dreams, not knowing for sure what lies ahead, but assured that whatever it is, it’s something wonderful. Something beyond my wildest dreams. I thought about what a tragedy it would be to reach the end of my life when I’m old and gray only to realize that I never fully enjoyed anything because I rushed through everything. Having come to this realization, I made up my mind that I refuse to miss out on the beauty of the current moment or season that I’m in by too eagerly anticipating the next one.

I currently live with my parents and my younger brother. Although we have our differences at times, we have an amazing bond. I love being able pop into my brother’s room and tease him just because I can, or do a running leap, landing into the middle of my parents’ bed while they’re watching a movie. I realized that once “adult life” really takes off for my brother and I, we will probably never all live under the same roof again, or be as close.

While I desire to have my own place, I’m determined to take full advantage of all of the privileges and quality time that living at home still has to offer. While, graduation may be six months away and I do anticipate finishing and moving into the next phase of my life, I realize that this could be the last six months that I ever spend on a college campus. It could be the last six months I ever spend as a student. While marriage seems wonderful, I don’t want to miss out on what unmarried adult life has to offer by being so focused on racing down the aisle to say “I do.” There’s still so much that I am still learning about myself. And while being a parent seems like a beautiful and rewarding experience, I will totally enjoy this time that I have to focus on me and the goals, aspirations and desires that I am not even aware that I have yet.

I guess what I really learned is that in life there’s a time and a season for everything and it would be foolish not to enjoy each season to its maximum potential. So I will yield to God’s perfect plan and order for my life. I will savor each passing moment instead of rushing into the next. I will breathe deeply and embrace each moment, each season, each phase of my life as a gift, because that’s exactly what they are.

Follow Jazmine Denise on Twitter @jazminedenise 

All photos are courtesy of Shutterstock

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