Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The times I wish I didn't wish away...

For the next few months, most of my blogs will probably reflect the end of my latest chapter of life -- my college years. As much as I whined about it, wished it over, and said I hated it, now I find myself hanging onto it as much as I can. I want to attend every bar, I want to hit every drink special. I want to do everything I possibly can in the next 2 months, because all of a sudden what I thought of as a "timeless" journey is running low on time. In roughly two months, I'm out of State College, I'm done with school, I'm finally entering adulthood.

This aching in my chest is really making me think: Why did I spend so much time wishing my life away? I know my life is far from over; some would even argue it is just beginning. But when I think back to all the times I wished away too soon... here's what I come up with.

- Driving lessons with Dad: I can remember one time so clearly. My dad was teaching me how to parallel park, and we drove around West Scranton for what seemed like eternity to me. All I could think about was how much I wanted to hang out with my boyfriend, and at the time all I thought my dad could think about was how badly I lined up the car to park it. While I can't confirm what my dad really was thinking, all I know is this: After probably about a half hour, I turned to my dad and said, "I really just want to go out, Dad. I don't want to practice anymore." He just said, "Well, if you think you're ready..." It turns out I passed my test. At the time, I could not wait to get away from my parents, to be out on my own, to drive without supervision. But, sometimes, I think back to those days and wish I'd just spent a little more time with my dad learning how to drive.

- Sick days with Grandma and Grandpa: My grandparents lived across the street from me my whole life, so when I was sick, I usually became their responsibility while my parents worked. I loved my grandmother, but I hated being sick. At the time, my grandfather was the person that made me eat those awful-tasting cough drops. One time I threw up on the couch and made everyone miserable. But man, if I could get those days back. My grandmother has now passed, and to get another day -- even if it's a sick day -- would be more than okay in my book. Even just to have another day eating awful tasting cough drops with my grandfather -- it would mean I was young again. I certainly love my independence, but who doesn't miss a day at Grandma and Grandpa's house?

- Senior Year: Of high school. And yes, I mean it. If you read It Gets Better (a story about bullying) you may not believe it. I spent so much time wishing myself away from the drama, telling my parents I couldn't wait to get out of that school, and picking out my dorm room decorations for the following year, that I forgot to look around. I wish I could go back and tell myself that I'll never have an environment again where teachers actually know my name and care. Some of my best friends will soon live hours away. I'll never be apart of a sport I loved so much again; never be a class officer with my never-expiring hall pass. I'll never have the simplicity of coming home from school, emptying the dishwasher, and eating dinner with my parents night after night. I HATED it at the time; I thought my parents were ruining my life, chores were a wasted of time, and swim practice was too much work. But now I know differently.

- Being underage: I can't lie; I love myself some beer. I wish I could say I was into a beverage with less calories, but I can still remember the first time I drank a beer. The freedom of being able to go out to the bars is fun, but not nearly as fun as it was to sneak around and do something you weren't supposed to. The excitement is gone, it's just too easy now. In high school, you had to find somewhere to get beer, than you had to find somewhere to drink it, and if all the plans came together you knew you were in for a perfect night.

- Growing Up. Period.: I just have an overall sense that I could not wait to "grow up." When I was 5, I couldn't wait to grow up and go to kindergarten. When I was in elementary school, I couldn't wait to get to middle school. Then it turned into high school, and soon it was college. Throughout college, I couldn't wait to get a job. That brings me here. It's great to say I've had so many things to be excited for in life, I just wish I didn't spend so much time looking for my next big leap; I should have just enjoyed my stay.

Next year, I'll be in Miami for one short year. I'm sure I'll complain about the long days of work, missing my boyfriend and how expensive a plane ticket is to see my parents. Judging by how fast these last four years went, I'm guessing next year will be over before I know it. This time, I'm going to try to look around.