I've heard my father in law say this before, "Youth is often wasted on the Young"... and although I am still considered to be young (I am only 22), I have to agree with this statement.
I'm not going to comment on all the other "young" folks out there who are wasting their "youth" but instead, I was doing some reflecting on my own life and how I didn't appreciate the times I've had when I was younger...
I've had a pretty good life. Its been difficult- don't get me wrong- I've had my trials, and my ups and downs, my heartache, and my fears...but overall, I can say I've generally had a good life. I reflect back on all the laughs I've had, all of the silly and crazy nights, and just the fact that most of my memories come with me smiling in them. I'm grateful for this now, even if I may not have appreciated it in the past.
While avoiding preparing for class tonight, I was reflecting on my relationships..with family, friends, and my husband (who I've known since the nice young age of 16). And I wanted to share with you some of the memories that I may have "wasted" the opportunity to appreciate.
One of my most fond memories with my family is when we went to Six Flags St Louis when I was still in middle school. It was my dad, stepmom, brother, grandma, aunt, uncle and two of their kids. So there was quite a group of us...and we all crammed into a Chevy Blazer. It was
a cramped ride. Once we got there, we were able to get a couple rides in, before it started to POUR. I'm talking torrential rain...so we went to the nearest gift shop, bought ponchos, and hopped onto all of the water rides at least once. We figured we were going to get soaked from the rain, we might as well get a few rides in. Afterwards, we decided to head to Hannibal MO and check out the Mark Twain Caves..So all of us, (soaking wet) crammed back into the vehicle, and drove to the caves. This may not sound like much of a memory, or a trip, and I may not have appreciated it much at the time, but it was just a great trip. Despite things not going to plan, and not being able to spend the whole day at the amusement park, we had some good laughs and enjoyed ourselves..and didn't let the weather dampen our spirits!!!
Another memory that I have, that may not mean much to other people, but it just reminds me of how beautiful being young is...is from highschool, with my friends. We had just graduated, and I was waitressing at Country Kitchen, a little diner. One night my friends all surprised me and stopped in when I was extremely BORED and had nothing to do...We all at around and talked, and put about $10 worth of quarters into the toy machines getting bracelets, tattoos, and other random toys that were available to us... This didn't mean much at the time, but to be 18 years old, hanging out with friends, and not having a care in the world except spending that last summer together...THAT was beautiful.
And finally, memories with my husband..these may be the most sweet to reflect upon...Here we are now, about to become "mommy and daddy", a deployment looming in our near future, and trying to accomplish all of our goals while standing firm by each other... I may get the most "emotional" while thinking about the past memories I have with Jeff... One that particularly came to mind today..He had just graduated highschool that night, we went to hyvee- bought a gallon of ice cream, 2 nylon spoons, and we sat on the hood of his vehicle and just ate the ice cream and talked. *Sigh* the simple life.
So yes, "youth" may be WASTED on the young...but not if we let it be that way. I am going to make it a personal goal to cherish every moment as it comes. I will enjoy every Sunday that I get to attend church with Jeff, I will enjoy all of my memories from nursing school, I will cherish the moments that I will get to watch my son grow (and probably laugh a lot when he proves to be JUST LIKE HIS DAD!)...
I'm glad that I've heard my father in law make this statement...so that I can really reflect on how amazing my past was, and make sure that I don't make the mistake of wasting my future...