“You can’t get so hung up on what you don’t have or what you want that you miss life’s little moments.” -Melvin Duckenfield (My father)
Well, it’s been a while since my last post. Let’s just say that all the stress that college students complain about has become a reality, and that stress has been my reality for the past 2 and 1/2 weeks. However, during that time I have had so many thoughts and jotted down a few ideas for some new posts. So, that’s pretty sweet. However, this particular post is dedicated to a recent thought/ concept I’ve been thinking about a lot lately.
All right, Duck #12, lets do this!
As a college student the ever-present and all-too-familiar push to figure out what we’re supposed to do with the rest of our lives looms over us like an obnoxious rain cloud on a somewhat sunny day. Better yet, it looms over us like gnats in the summer time. (Those pesty things just flock together and bug the crap out of people! Hehe…”bug.” Get it? Cheesy, I know. Okay, whatever.) Anyway, this cloud looms, but it has seasons. What I mean is, the cloud doesn’t have one consistent form of looming. Sometimes the looming is light–Ya know, just apparent enough to be noticed, but not strong enough to strike any fear of rain. Other times, the cloud is so present that everything seems so dismal. It’s like that Ingrid Michaelson song goes, “The sky looks pissed. The wind talks back…” And it’s while we’re amid The Chain (That’s the title of Ingrid’s song, if you’re unaware) that we forget what it feels like to walk in the sunshine. It’s when we’re so bogged down with school, clubs, activities, jobs, exams, responsibilities, sports, and everything else that comes along with college that we tend to keep our sunglasses on, wear hoodies everyday, and keep our windows down, blinds closed.
Now, I don’t write all of this as a PSA to say, “Hey! Get yourself together and get over it!” Really, I’m saying the opposite. The Chain is real.
Why is it okay? Well, because it is during the times after The Chain is broken that we can look back and and remember the struggle and how it perpetuated us to be where we are, or how it can perpetuate us to get where we want to be. My mom used to always tell me, well, she still tells me, “Jayna, the roots of education are bitter, but the fruit is sweet.” When I was younger, I didn’t really understand what that meant. Duh. Who ever fully understands parental metaphoric/symbolic encouragement until they’re older? Very few people. It wasn’t until I got to college that I grasped what she meant. Y’all, college is hard. It’s college, though. It’s supposed to be hard. But the statement cannot end there. There’s another clause that should follow. College is hard, but college is good.
-That’s so cliche!
I get it. Everyone talks about this idea, right? Believe me, it’s essentially all I’ve been talking/thinking about for the past 2 & 1/2 weeks because of how stressed about school I’ve been. However, it wasn’t until recently that I’ve come to the realization that there’s a 2nd part of this discussion. I eluded to it earlier, actually.
Everyone talks about how we need to push through/break The Chain because the end result is worth it. BUT. A lot of times, everyone fails to enjoy the moments when the cloud is off in the distance. It may or may not be getting closer, but for the moments it’s mostly sunny. Usually, our reaction is to complain about the fact that it’s going to rain because there are clouds in the sky. SAYS WHO? We’re old enough to know that the weather channel is never 100% accurate. (Especially for those of us who go to school in the high country ;P). So here’s my question, everyone says, #learntodanceintherain, #bravethestorm, right? And that’s fine. It’s good. Do those things. But why aren’t more people saying: DANCE IN THE SUNSHINE! ENJOY THE WARM WEATHER!? (you use caps lock because that’s how you show excitement on social media).
So my point is this, when those blasted dark gray clouds hang overhead and rain is in the forecast, remember that it won’t last forever. A while, yes, but not forever. Secondly, when it’s sunny…enjoy it! That won’t last forever either.
As usual, this is easier said than done, but sometimes all it takes is a little bit of perspective.
[Heavenly Father, thank You so much for the gift of life. Even though it sucks, thank You for the storms, but thank You for the beautiful moments of sunshine that follow. Teach me to appreciate them both.]