We all have those moments. The ones that stand out more than others.
I was 17. I had just graduated from high school. The year was 1995.
My mom, who was 38 years old at the time, was celebrating her 20th high school reunion. She graduated in 1975…exactly 20 years before me. My mom insisted that I come to a gathering so she could introduce me to some of her former classmates.
That was pretty much the last thing I wanted to do. I wanted to be with my friends doing teenage things.
But since I was the perfect daughter, I went. Just kidding about the perfect. I’m sure you’ll all be surprised to know that I was kind of a (more like, a really big) brat in those days. My husband will tell you nothing’s changed…but I’m pretty sure he’s joking (insert winky face).
I pulled up to the house. I remember parking in what was an alley behind the property. I don’t know why that’s important…just a really vivid part of the memory. I got out of my car and walked up to the house. My mom was talking and laughing with a group of people.
Here’s where the memory becomes so relevant to where I am in my life right now. As she was introducing me and beaming with pride, all I could think was “these people are SO old and weird”.
So here I am. My moment has come full circle.
I’m 38 years old. The same age my mom was in 1995. My daughter is 17. Exactly my age in 1995. I look at her and beam with pride. I want to introduce her to everyone. I want to show her off and hang out with her. She’d rather be with her friends doing teenage things.
Only now that I am a parent can I fully understand how my mom felt.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m thankful we are raising confident, independent kids. It’s just that I wasn’t prepared for them to not need me the same way they did when they were little. I used to beg for a trip to the grocery store by myself. Now I have to beg for one of them come with me. Life is weird like that.
The point is: don’t waste time. Cherish each moment with the ones you love. All of these moments are real and part of who we are. I wouldn’t change anything. I’ve learned from my moments.
I learned that those classmates of my mom’s weren’t so old. They may have been weird, but I’ve learned that weird is okay. Most definitely preferable to being something (or someone) you are not.
“Always be a first rate version of yourself, instead of a second rate version of somebody else” -Judy Garland
I appreciate that they were all just living that moment and enjoying one another.
I’m almost 39. From that moment, I have 365 days to experience 40 new adventures with my friends and family. It’s never too late to learn something new. It’s never too late to have new experiences.
It’s never too late.
Unless you don’t take the chance.