The other day, I was driving down the gravel road leading to my house. It’s a road that I’ve driven thousands of times in my life. It feels like passing through a narrow corridor in the summer months as the corn grows. On the radio came Thomas Rhett’s song “Life Changes.” It made me think about just how fast it seemingly does change.
Just a few weeks ago, I was still in college, and somehow, I crawled to the finish line before they kicked me out. Now, I’m learning about new and exciting things like taxes.
This year, I have found myself running into a lot of “lasts.” The last time I’ll see many people I knew from college. The last time signing up for classes. And the last time picking up friends at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning — the last one might be wishful thinking.
Thinking of all these lasts made me feel nostalgic about memories and "the good ole days," but something a friend recently told me made me wonder when the "good ole days" really are.
Time to remember
We were talking about our grandparents, and he mentioned his 101-year-old grandma who talks about memories from her 50s. It is hard for me to even imagine my 50s, but it seems like the longer life goes on, the faster it goes by. While this isn’t an original thought as everyone at some point likely feels this way, it is an original thought to everyone, and it hits them at different stages in their lives.
Back in my car on the gravel road, I looked over at the corn and was amazed by how much progress it had made from the previous week. I was even impressed about how quickly the replant corn had been growing despite the heat. It was as if the corn had grown faster while I wasn’t watching it.
I blinked, and the corn went from just sprouting to tasseling. Life is the same. You don’t know you are making memories until years later, because those are the images of people and places that you carry through life.
Don’t miss out, stay present
I’m finding the trick is to look back on the good memories while not taking your eyes off the road in case you miss out on new ones. The one thing that can’t be replaced is time, and the action that speaks the loudest is presence.
In a couple of months, the corn will be ready for harvest, and when it is, space will be made for the next crop. Every stage in your life that ends is the start of a new one, and an open space for someone else to follow the same journey you went through.
If there’s something you want to accomplish, do it now. If there’s a fence in your life that needs mending, mend it now. It’s too easy to say tomorrow has promise. Today is only here for a short time because life changes.
Robinson recently graduated with a degree in science and agricultural journalism from the University of Missouri College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.