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Speed it up, slow it down

When I was a little girl, I couldn’t wait to start school. My mother taught me to read at a young age and I loved writing stories even before I hit Kindergarten. So the thought of going to school was wonderful. I relished the promise that eventually I’d get to do nothing but read and write all day. I so wanted time to speed up, so I could be in Kindergarten.

But when that big day arrived, I was shaking in my little shoes and gripping my lunch box with all my might because I was so nervous. It was time for me to leave home and go out into the big world with the big kids. I was terrified. Oh, how I wanted time to slow down because I didn’t think I was ready.

Of course, however, by the end of the week, I was in love with my new situation.

And, of course, just because my nature is such, I wanted to speed up time so I could be a first grader, a second grader, and so on.

Time seemed to drag on through those elementary years because all I wanted to do was be an eighth grader, a big dog in our isolated world. Yet, when those years at District 60 were completed, I desperately wanted to stomp on the brakes because I realized I’d have to go to “town school” with a bunch of kids I didn’t remotely know. It was terrifying.

That first week of the high school adventure was incredibly intimidating as I was suddenly one of the “new kids.” I wanted to slow down time because I was completely out of my element.

As soon as I became acclimated to that new world, I was right back to wanting to speed things up because I desperately wanted a driver’s license. I couldn’t wait to be of age, so I could have new found freedom.

When it came time to take my test, I wanted to slow everything down because I was worried I wouldn’t pass. And I didn’t . . . my nerves got the best of me. I failed the dang test the first time around . . . but went back the next week to walk away with that picture ID in my pocket and permission to drive.

At that milestone, I longed to push on the gas pedal and race to high school graduation. I longed to be a senior. Of course, when the time arrived, I realized there were decisions to make like where to go to college. I already knew what I wanted to be, but then I wondered if a career in journalism was really something I could take on. Oh God, I wanted things to slow down because I’d never been more scared in my life.

When I started college, all I wanted to do was speed up time until it was over. I missed home, I’ll admit. I missed my friends who were all in other places and I wanted to speed everything up to being a full blown adult because the perception of that reality seemed to be ideal.

Well, as we all know, it’s not. I always wanted to speed things up to be something I wasn’t . . . and then when it actually happened, I was either scared or shocked to realize I made it there.

Isn’t it funny how we perceive time in such different ways throughout our lives? When we are young, we want to be older. When we are older, we want to go back to being young.

And when did it happen that the clock’s ticking sounds like a horse galloping? I feel like the older I get, the faster time speeds by.

Speeding things up, slowing things down.

I realized that despite my racing forward and inching back, I’ve had a pretty remarkable life already. I’ve done things I didn’t think I could do. I’ve failed at things I really believed I could accomplish. There have been terrible times that I didn’t think I’d live through. And there have been joyous, amazing moments I wanted to last forever. I’ve loved and lost and loved some more. I’ve met so many people along the way, with some I’ve relished friendship and with others, well . . . not all people are everyone else’s cup of tea and those feelings were probably reciprocal.

Sometimes it felt like life was out of control, when I was speeding down a freeway like a runaway bus in a thriller movie.

Sometimes it felt like life was a slow quagmire of nothing, stagnant and void of dynamics.

But I have to say, for certain, that I’ve never been bored. Ever. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, it’s just the truth.

I guess that’s just the way life is . . . we’re constantly wanting to speed up to get something over with or get to the next phase. And then we want to slow down because things get to be too much.

I’m going to take a deep breath, accept my age and deal with my rollercoaster life. And no more wanting to go back . . . to do all that living again just makes me tired thinking about it.

And am I interested in speeding things up? Heck, no! Now that I’m over the hill, I better not run any faster because now I can see the bottom.


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