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Yesterday afternoon, I returned to my undergraduate campus, Bowling Green State University, to speak with a group of school counseling students (more on that soon). As I walked by the buildings and took in the sights, sounds, and smells (yes, smells) of my old college life, I couldn't help but feel a little sad. Yes, I LOVE my job, but honestly, if I could be a student forever and make a living, I might be tempted to do so.
Perhaps these strong emotions also came from a desire to be young and free again. Of course, I recognize that I'm not exactly "old," but oldER. I remember what it felt like to be in college and know that I had an open path in front of me, full of exciting possibilities and new experiences.
Now, life is pretty set. I got my dream job, I have a wonderful husband, other doors are opening for me professionally...yet, I still sometimes have the desire to go "home" again.
This makes me think of a particularly beautiful John Mayer song (above) called "Stop This Train," which discusses what it feels like to grow up. One of my favorite lyrics says, "I'm so scared of getting older. I'm only good at being young."
Those words bring up a good point: Will I be a different school counselor 10 years from now? 20 years? 30?
I also worry about emotional fatigue. Will I be able to deal with the stress of this career for 35 years? How will I feel about my life at that point? Will I feel like I've made a difference or will I feel like I misused the time I had during my younger years?
I guess, in the end, all we can do is live in the moment and do the best we can. We may not be able to stop the train, but we can focus on the present. After all, in the coming years, those will be our "good ol' days" that we're striving to get back to. We might as well enjoy them now.
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Looking back, in high school, I missed being the little kid playing in the backyard. In college, I missed the simplicity of high school. Now, I miss the freedom that college represented. No matter what, we mourn the loss of significant milestones, but that should offer hope.
Our future will hold great memories too. We need to appreciate our surroundings, not the track behind or ahead of us. In doing so, maybe the train won't move quite as fast.
Anyone want to write a song about that? ;)