There are two rules that I try to keep whenever I venture into a store. Number one is to never shop for groceries on an empty stomach unless you plan on purchasing the entire snack aisle, and two, never walk near the journal and book sections at your local Target unless you plan on buying a very unnecessary armful of items that will cost you a small fortune.
I broke my second rule and found myself naively skipping down the notebook and journal aisle at Target right next to all of the children’s school supplies and the trendy office décor wide-eyed and ready to rack up the charges on my Target card. I ran my hands of books that gave writing prompts, listed lovely sayings for productivity and motivation, and ones that had pretty covers and empty pages. But I ended up resting my hands on a notebook with a cover that read, “The Story of My Life.”
My intention was to use it for another family member who has asked me to sit down with them and help them tell their story. But I couldn’t help myself and began to fill out the first few pages that would map out my life in highlights.
Each year would get a line, and I could list the most significant event that occurred during my trip around the sun. I started out easily listing the things that occurred from ages one to five, and then six to ten. I quickly jotted down eleven through fifteen and finished off sixteen through twenty with ease. I had to grab my diary for twenty-one through twenty-five and realized after the next line that I had a significant amount of lines to fill that I simply couldn’t pencil in. I hadn’t lived them yet—and that put the span of my entire life in a new perspective.
You don’t realize all that you have accomplished until you write it down. You can’t comprehend how long you have lived until you look at it with a different perspective. I saw my life written out in a couple of pages in a book and it made me realize that I’m still young. I still have time (God willing) and that we also have no clue what life will bring us tomorrow.
I couldn’t write down what happened for the year that I was twenty-seven because that year isn’t over yet. I can’t write down the most significant event because I may find out what it is tomorrow, or the next day, or in the final moments before I turn twenty-eight. It’s all exhilarating, terrifying, and beautiful all at the same time, and all that you can do in the meantime is make the most out of the time that you do have.