Wednesday, June 8, 2011

This Time Only Comes Once

It's one thing to look forward to the future, when things are going to be better.  That's when you get that better job, or you finally achieve your dream and become famous.  That's when you're supposed to be "happy," right?

However, do you ever find yourself longing for the times that used to be?  For me, high school was fun.  I couldn't drive yet, and I didn't have a high-paying job; but life was easy.  There wasn't as much to worry my sweet little head.  All I had to do was absorb knowledge, flirt with the girls, hang with the guys, and make the grades. 

I remember the very last day of school.  I walked to the bus stop knowing I would never do it again.  I graduated, and there was no going back.

Then came college at BYU.  That was more fun.  Absorbing more knowledge.  Flirting with more girls.  Hanging with more guys.  Actually dating girls.  Making more grades.  Kissing the girls.  (Yeah--college was fun!)

I got married halfway through college.  That marked an end to dating all those other girls.  I remember the fun it was to date, but it was far better to have a stable companion.  I had moved on to something better.

When I graduated the first time, I stuck around for three more years to complete my masters.  That wasn't as much fun.  It was a lot more work.  I still didn't have a high-paying job.  I was racking up debt that would take years to pay back.  But those first years with my wife and having my first two children were fun.  We lived in a small apartment in the Wymount complex.  It didn't have air conditioning.

Then I graduated again.  I remember walking across campus one last time.

We packed our stuff, left Utah, and I knew I would never ever return to college life.  It was over.  It was time to move on to something better.

But I didn't have a job.  We lived with the in-laws, while I sought employment.  I discovered the actuarial profession.  I took the first two tests.  I made a perfect score on the first one and a decent score on the second. 

Then came the first job.  It took about nine months to find.  We moved out of the in-laws' house, and moved into an apartment.  After a few raises, a house came next.  Then came the next higher-paying job.  Then more kids, etc., etc.  Each of these events was moving on to something better, but also an ending of an era. 

Now, I have so many "never-go-back" moments behind me.  Sometimes I wish I could go back, just for a few minutes to experience these moments again.

And that brings me to today.  I have the decent-paying job, a good family, a stable home.  I'm an aspiring writer, having published nothing.  When I walk through the mall, no one knows who I am.  Whenever I have time, I write.  I enjoy writing.  I have no deadlines.  Whenever I finish, I submit.  I make my own writing hours, and I write what I want.  I'm also hanging out with other aspiring writers like me.  It sucks to get rejected and have no one read my stuff, but I'm still having fun.

Soon, I will be published.  I have no idea what that's going to be like.  As I proceed through the Aspiring Writer's Spectrum of Success, each milestone will be a change in my life.  It will be moving on to something better, and it will be the end of an era.  Am I going to miss how things are now?  Most likely.

Conclusion: It appears that I have no choice but to be happy where I am now.  Cherish these moments as they last.  Keep pushing forward in my endeavors, and keep moving to something better.  But always know that there will never be any going back.

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