Time is a fickle thing, friend.
If I could grab myself at fourteen by the elbow and hold her attention for even a second, I would say time runs so fast Love, don’t let it get away from you. Hold it close and keep an eye on it at all times. Because it’s easy to lose yourself in homework assignments and finals and work and schedules and appointments and chores and stress and frustration, and it’s easy to forget to look around and think I may never be here again, so I want to make the most of it.
It’s easy to lose track of what’s really important, the glances and the high fives and the hugs and the I love you‘s and the I’m sorry‘s. The moments with people, the moments taking in what you have and how good it is instead of dwelling on what you don’t like. Please don’t forget to stop and look around you, because if you don’t then you’re going to miss out on so much.
It was the last weekend of rehearsal. I wanted the show to be done, school to be done, everything to be done. I was in a hurry, too much of a hurry trying to speed life up, rush time by. But at the end of rehearsal that night, I was given some of the most important words I’ve ever been told:
Stop for a second. Take a deep breath, and look around you. This is the last time this exact group of people will ever be together onstage. Make this count. Don’t let time pass you up. Embrace your present.
And I stopped.
And I looked around.
And I saw the faces of the people I’ve grown up with, eyes that have seen my brilliance and my stupidity, souls that know who I am and who I’ve been.
And the tears filled my eyes
and I was so, so thankful.
Don’t let time pass you up, Love. Embrace your present. Even if it means being lonely or overwhelmed with to-do lists or braces or having a few more pounds on your frame than you’d like. It’s risky to embrace, because embracing your present means embracing the pain in your present. I know that. But please, embrace your life anyway, for me, because it will never be exactly like this ever again. And you will look back at pictures and miss where you are now, the feelings and memories and people you know that you might not know again.
Tomorrow I will perform with the people I have grown up with for the very last time, people I have laughed and cried with and held and was held by. And I will walk up on that stage and say to myself, this moment will never happen again, Love. Embrace your present.