I was ten. It was summer and the sun shone through the tree branches as I rode the streets on my neighborhood. It was early in the morning but my neighbors would be out any minute to join me. We’d probably ride our bikes to the local supermarket to get giant Laffy Taffy’s, later. Then we would probably run around our front yards and catch lightning bugs as soon as dusk hit. If my neighbors weren’t allowed to come out, or if the sky decided that it wanted to rain, it would be okay – there was always tomorrow to ride bikes and purchase laffy taffy’s and catch lightning bugs.
but then I turned thirteen
I was wearing make up now. I was going to the movies by my self and listening to Green Day and Fall out boy. I was about to graduate junior high school and had had the same friends since Kindergarten. We would laugh at meaningless things and always attended awkward school dances. School was more of a gathering then learning. We were a family. If we ever got in trouble for laughing in class too much, we brushed it off. There was always tomorrow to laugh again.
But then I was a high school freshman.
I had a really bad attitude, and spent my days trying to find what group of friends I belonged in. I was disrespectful to my Grandmother, of whom lived with me. If I had hurt her feelings by a comment I had said, I thought it was fine. There was always tomorrow to make up for it.
And then she passed away.
In my junior year of high school, I spent the entire year saving up money to travel to Paris for a few weeks during the summer. That was the only things I thought about. I cannot tell you one thing that really happened that year of high school. Paris was all I thought about. I waited nine months to board the flight.
And then I finally did.
I was in a Paris hotel room with a roommate who wasn’t afraid of being herself. She dyed her hair different colors and she wasn’t afraid of spiders. We spent our evenings watching french programs and giving them our own English subtitles. We were seventeen, about to start our senior year of high school soon. She had the world at her feet. We were young. There will always be tomorrows.
And then she took her own life.
Lately, I have been thinking a lot about time. I even went back a few years on my Facebook page. There have been so many times in my life where I have wasted time. I simply have wasted time by believing that there would always be more of it. There have been so many times where I have taken the good things in my life for granted simply because I thought I would always have the time to do them. I have taken for granted laughs and heart to hearts with my friends because I always imagined that I would always have more of them.
There have been people I have shared laughs and hugs with, believing that I would always be able to touch them and hear their laugh. There have been months where I have only thought about the future or unfortunately, sometimes the past. I can’t remember the last time I have lived in the present; where I wasn’t worrying, where I wasn’t planning.
If I could tell young Emily one thing about life it would be to hold time as preciously as possible. Hold everyone you love close to your heart, even when you’re mad at them. That’s when you should love them more. That’s when they need your love the most.
I don’t want to live my life this way. I don’t want to always depend on having more time.
Because one day, I won’t be blessed with more of it.