Let this sit in your mind for a moment: it’s only two months left until the start of a new decade. How bizarre that is!
The last time a new decade began, I was only 12 and certainly way too naïve to feel pressured by the fact that the world was moving so quickly, and a big chapter was closing on me.
To me, back then, it felt like it wasn’t moving fast enough. I wasn’t even a teenager yet, although it was all I really wanted to be; mature, independent and free. I couldn’t wait to call my own shots and make my own decisions – I sure had big ‘adult life’ envy.
Now I’m sat by the cloudy window, age 22 writing about a new decade on the horizon after what I could probably describe as one of the biggest years of my life. 12-year-old me would have never guessed all the change that was coming her way like strong waves and if only she knew I can’t help but wonder if she’d have done some things differently. Probably.
The thought of a decade passing sounds like a pretty big deal, I mean, ten years passing by is a very long time, yet somehow it also feels like not so long has passed as there are a lot of memories in my mind that are still dancing around so vividly as though they happened only yesterday.
I became a teenager at last and got to experience the big machine that was Italian high school and hallway drama, which wasn’t anything like what I was sold. I got to hang around in cliques and bash girlfriends’ ex-boyfriends as we sat around classroom tables sharing big boxes of pizzas and drinking canned cokes. I met new people and lost others as time went by, then some, I met again down the road with whom I sang old tunes and reminisced the glory days together. I got to graduate twice, first from high school, and then three years later, from a university in a completely different country. I gave up speaking Italian on the daily for the Queens English and became a pro at being under the rain without an umbrella or many complaints. I made plans and hoped they’d call and cancel and sometimes they cancelled plans I looked forward to like a child the day before Christmas. I also grew up and soon realized the best times might have been the times I used to spend wishing I could grow older.
This time around, I feel a lot more pressure than I did in my pre-teens. The fact that another decade is about to come to a close does make me want to reflect on all I’ve done with the last ten years that flew by before I could say ‘what’s going on?’.
What could I have done differently? What could have done more of? What dreams should I have chased after harder?
I think it’s almost impossible to get to this point and not wonder how you used up the time at your disposal, as things coming to an end often remind you of how fast time runs by. The times you think you’ll have forever always end up slipping through your fingers like clear water and the people you swore forever with can instantly become strangers.
‘It was only then I did this, it was only then I did that’ becomes a thing I say regularly as I try to chase back all the hours I’ve lost. The hard truth I’m starting to be more aware of is that time is the one thing that’s impossible to get back, adjust or replace, therefore chasing after lost time is essentially useless and a sure waste of more time.
For most pages about to be flipped, there’s a story that came before and there’s one that comes after. At the beginning of this year, I wrote about New Year Pressures and in some way, I already feel like the jitters are beginning because this time around something bigger will be marked.
Sometimes, I imagine a different life in which I’m exactly where I want to be; a world with no broken dreams or haunted scars. I think of a universe where there aren’t a thousand things on the to-do list to complete and roaming free is the rule of land, but of course, I’m woken up from my daydreams as reality screams my name. So, why cry over wine that’s already been spilled?
How about looking ahead, dwelling on the pages that are yet to be flipped. How about looking forward to the things that are yet to come whilst appreciating the ones that are done and learning from the past the left us hurt and undone. How about trying to create change, even a small one, before the year runs out?
Another decade will soon be over, but there’s still two months to go and although they might fly away in a blink of an eye, there are still two months to go – a whole two months.
There are 61 days left to take a chance and do that thing you’ve been avoiding, 61 days to tell that person exactly how you feel, 61 days to achieve that goal and 61 whole days be the truest version of yourself. In other words, there are 61 days to change your life and many more to come if luck will have it.
Often, we focus on the things we don’t have, the things we can’t do or say. We try to fix who we are to fit a mold or the imagery of ourselves someone else built in their heads, but I challenge you, and myself, to focus on the opposite. In the next few weeks, I want to focus on the things I can actually change; the parts of my life I can transform and mold into the version of the life I want to see.
I want to ditch the what-ifs and whys and focus on the now, the present. I want to be taking active steps towards the future I want to see. How will you be spending your 61?
Your restless romantic roamer