There is a lot in this world that I miss. Some of it is constant in a way I’ve learned to carry on without it, some wavers in severity, some rarely if at all and some shakes me to my bones at the thought of it. How it all boils down is beyond my jurisdiction and will boggle me until my last breath. I have no idea why one memory outlasts another. Why one person means more than another. When I sit back and think about the things I miss, what I find the most interesting is that as much as I miss it, as much as it may plague my mind, time stops for nothing. It goes on. We forge through our journey, leaving some things behind us and it becomes all too similar to an Oregon Trail simulation. Turns out, that game may have been way more poignant than I ever could have imagined.
Thinking back over 34 years is a mixture of nostalgia, pride and depression. In that order. The highlights of my timeline that jump out at me are so interesting. I miss the bedroom I grew up in. The angled ceiling, how the cold of winter crept through the windows, even the way my feet felt on the carpet. I miss my youth. I miss running around my neighborhood as if my body were invincible, the day would never end and adventure was all that mattered. I miss the cuts and bruises that no matter how deep, a bandaid could always fix. I miss the days when going to bed was the worst part of it. I miss not being able to sleep all night long because I truly believed there was a fairy whose sole purpose in life was to collect teeth from underneath the pillows of sleeping children. Nowadays, it’s like, forget the teeth and the pillow, someone just please give me money.
I was supposed to be writing last night and got sidetracked looking up anti-aging serum reviews, cause that’s where my forehead is at. Everyone out here is getting botox and making me look bad. Thanks a lot. I wish my mom had sat me down and explained to me what growing up actually entailed. Filled me in on wrinkles, rent, two-timers, late fees, time management, lady doctors, baby showers, plumbing, fitted sheets, you name it. Granted, I wouldn’t have believed a word out of her mouth. I was under the very insane impression that responsibility was fun and that being an adult would earn me unwavering happiness under the roof of no authority. As you can imagine, growing up in that regard has been quite a disappointment. My first paycheck was a real uppercut to the crotch. Taxes?!?! Huh!?!? Cool, cool, cool, cool….I’m just going to Fight Club myself into the next era where that isn’t real life.
I miss when my imagination could truly run rampant because there was still so much I didn’t know. Not that I’m some sort of genius now. Believe me when I tell you, mathematically, I’m a certified idiot. I would, however, like to take this opportunity to give a shout out to my high school geometry teacher and point out that my arguments were valid – sine and cosine are completely useless concepts and I feel that time would have been better spent perfecting how to parallel park as well as reinforcing the mental perks of living alone. Just saying.
I miss the days you called me yours and feeling like I had shotgun in the chariot of life. I miss the years of not knowing what time it was…or caring. I miss the days of waking up before the sun and dragging myself to swim practice. I miss the days when kisses were more than enough. I miss college. I miss 3rd street. I miss the days of looking forward to seeing you. I miss those nights on the porch that turned into mornings. I miss calling my dad and knowing he would pick up no matter what time it was. I miss the days when seeing your name light up on my phone brought a smile to my heart. I wonder if you were still around how different things might be. But you’re not and I miss you and I’ll never know the difference.
In all of this, I’ve learned there is a major difference between missing and regretting. I’m not mad I grew up…95% of the time. I’m not sitting here wishing I was 11 again. I’d rather smash my face into a box of blunt metal objects than go through high school again. I don’t regret leaving Chicago. I certainly miss aspects of certain times in my life but what has passed is the past. Growing up is what has made me appreciate my youth and without it, I’d still be stomping around crying about an absurd curfew or wishing I lived in a castle all by myself or thinking Clinique Happy was an excellent scent choice. It’s good to know I’ve lived a life full of so many things to miss. And what’s crazy beautiful is I’m missing things now I don’t even know exist yet. There’s so much more still out there for me. I can’t wait for time to tick on and bring me closer to more things I’ll miss.