‘Write about Firsts’ Prompt

Prompt: Write about firsts

My Response:

I remember the first time I became aware of existential crises. A friend in high school had parents who were divorced. She was troubled, a chain-smoker. We were walking down the street one day and she said she wondered what the point of life was. She wondered why we were here just to experience happiness at times and sadness at times and then ultimately we would just be dead.

It hit me because I was a worry-free teenager in school, just going along with life, taking for granted that my parents were still together and I came from a stable home. I became aware that other people struggle with thoughts like this that I had never paid much mind to before.

I remember when I first became acutely aware of my life, and of the passage of time. I was in college and had just arrived hom after some morning class or classes and it was about 2:30 in the afternoon. I felt the day very concretely. It was a brief moment as I was walking from the car to the house where I thought about my life and what I was doing with it.

I thought, ‘I’m in college, I’m earning a degree, I’m using my time productively right now.’ I felt that I was being purposeful in it and wasn’t wasting my time. I felt the sense that the day had passed, and I had used it in a way to propel my life forward, to work towards something meaningful. I used to have this obsession with keeping up with everyone else.

I’ve since realized that life is not a race, and it’s OK to go along your own journey at your own pace. In my 20s, I was in a rush to experience life. In a rush to complete college, get my first job, move out on my own. And in my 30s, I’m more reflective, more thoughtful about my choices and more aware of my life and the passing of time in a new, healthier way.

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July 25, 2013. Tags: , . writing.

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