Ten years out.
I remember when every waking moment felt like an eternity to you—those last months of coming to school, watching the clock, wondering if those acceptance letters would ever arrive. Time seemed to orbit slowly as you agonized over final tests and pangs of senioritis. The future was calling so strongly: a desire to leave, to start fresh, to taste independence for the first season of your life. Many of our conversations revolved around this looming concept of “later;” scheming up plans for the next chapter, deciding, very firmly and defiantly, that things were brighter on the other side.
My world looked a little different. As you were wishing the days to come faster, I was bargaining with God for time to stop altogether. I didn’t want the end to come. I didn’t want those days in the hall, holding hands and believing so earnestly in our visions and dreams, to end. I didn’t want there to be a time or place beyond my locker or your car or the bleachers or the water fountain, where I felt safe and secure and happy and wanted and loved.
I lost my case to God (probably because I didn’t believe in a god to begin with) and time came and went and now we’re ten years out. But, because I’ve got a fairly balanced streak of winning some and losing some, things worked out: ten years later, and I still have you.
We all have faults and flaws and I think that one of yours is the same now as it was then: a lot of wishing away the present in exchange for a fuller future. Don’t get me wrong, it can be nice, too. We are very goal-oriented and present-us can thank past-us for all that planning and executing. Or rather, present-me can thank past-you, because I’m still pleading for that mystical figure to please, please slow things down. Ten years is a long time, but it went by quick. And that scares me.
It terrifies me that yesterday your chin was bare and your baseball pants had dirt stains and your backpack had a few of my love letters stuffed down to the bottom, but today you wear your company logo shirt and you rub CBD cream on your knee and forward me emails about our health insurance plan.
I’ve never been scared of aging, but then again, I never had to think about a ten-year high school reunion. Until now, with yours.
If your flaw is planning away the present, mine is definitely simmering in worry for all the moments in-between. My fears frame a vague vision of what may or may not come. What about regret and fragility and another finger-snapping decade jump and loss and insecurity and doubts and
The vastness of the unknown? Another ten years of living and learning and figuring out things as we go? The blessing of another decade, spent together, where we’re left yet again wondering how we could’ve ever felt so young?
To age is one of the greatest privileges. To do so with you, after so much life together, after literally growing up side-by-side, is more beautiful than I can even imagine.
It doesn’t sound half-bad, as long as we (you?) have a plan.