Sunday, January 18, 2015

Cherish These Days, Goddammit!

Youth is wasted on the young. These are the best days of your life. Be grateful for every minute. Time goes so quickly. They grow up so fast.


I wish I had a dime for every time I've heard some version of this over the course of my 37 years. Invariably, though, it was advice I never seemed able to heed. Maybe it was the timing, since they also say that timing is everything.

Maybe it was just the wrong time for this advice. Maybe I was trying to win over the latest in a long string of ambivalent, sadistic douches and losers. Maybe I was running on a treadmill or standing with my head over a toilet and a finger down my throat, trying to be skinny. Maybe I was on a conference call in my office, with the door closed and a breast pump whirring and squeezing the life out of my titties for the third time that day. Maybe it was the second day in a week of no school during a months-long Juneau monsoon. Maybe I had just heard "I'm bored" for the hundredth time in an hour. Maybe I was on hour two of a 30-minute bedtime routine.

I don't mean to imply that I'm unhappy or ungrateful. Not at all. Far from it, in fact. I'm just conflicted about the idea of the "forced cherish." You know, the idea that "they" know when life should feel good, bad, or otherwise, and you had better get with the cherishing program or you'll regret it for the rest of your life.

For me, true cherishing and gratitude can't be forced. It has to be spontaneous to feel authentic. And I'm OK with that. I'm OK with some of my most cherished moments being alone in a hotel room with a carton of Pad Thai and three consecutive reruns of Law and Order.

I'm also OK with cherishing the sorts of moments they tell you to cherish, because sometimes they're right. Then I cherish the shit out of those moments like it's my job.

But never just because they told me to.

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