Putting down roots

Published 11:34 pm Wednesday, February 24, 2010

My mom always told me I was born with wings — ready to fly. While I always considered it a compliment to my “independent spirit,” in hindsight, I’m not sure it’s served me so well.

Before I was even 2-years-old I went on my first sleep over, when I was in 7th grade I told my mom that I wanted to attend college on the east coast, which I eventually ended up doing, and I graduated from high school two years early. By the time I was 15, I was enrolled in our community college — not because I was all that smart, but because I couldn’t stop from moving forward. I was practically tripping over my own feet.

I was one of those kids always focused on the next step — never taking the time to stand still and be grateful of my current position. I guess I figured that the sooner I got to life the sooner I could start living it.

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Then — all of sudden — I needed curtains. I’d never needed curtains before. For the past four years, I’d lived in dormitories or an apartment, either of which I had to be prepared to move out of at the end of the semester.

But there were my windows: curtainless.

It hit me. I had arrived. I’m not sure when or how it happened, but I needed something and not only could, but probably should, put more foresight into it than making it make-do for the next few months until I was on to my next big thing. I’m in that apartment until who knows when. I have no reason to leave or move on. I have a husband and a job — both of which I love (although, neither the same way) and neither which I’ll be leaving. There’s no reason for me to not to invest in a decent pair of curtains.

Somehow, I ended up in the middle of life. I guess my mistake was that I’d always seen life as an end goal – a common mistake for any adolescent. But everybody knows life is a process.

Granted, I’m only 22. I haven’t lost that much time, and I have years ahead of me. But it’s not exactly like I can go back and enjoy prom — which I never went to. Fortunately, college isn’t that far behind me, and I can still go back to northern Virginia and visit the sites I never saw. While I’m at it, I’ll visit Williamsburg, go to the beach and make sure I enjoy the place I’m in now.

I don’t regret the opportunities I had. I enjoyed my life during high school and thought my college life was pretty idyllic — filled with lots of learning, sleepless study-nights and coffee. My mistake, I think, was not balancing my desire to move forward with enjoying the period of life set before me.

As the maxim goes, each seasons has its own beauties.

At least, my curtain epiphany has made me more aware of the present time. Despite the pace my life may move at and my own desperate attempts to keep up, I’m making it a point to put down some roots and enjoy it.