When I was a senior in college, a lot of girls in my sorority lived out of the house - meaning they got their own apartments. I remember, at the time, I wanted to live in the house, but kept thinking about how I was really ready to cook for myself and decorate my own place.
When my friends and I were recently back in Bloomington for a bachelorette party, I told them that if I could, I'd tell all those juniors that are making the same decision: live in senior year. You have your whole life to live on your own. This is the last chance you'll have to live with so many of your friends. Enjoy the day parties and dancing on the sundeck in the afternoon. Soak up every late night chat with froyo and blaring music while getting ready together. Enjoy communal meals and showers and the constant togetherness that inevitably fades away when you no longer live with your best friends and have minimal commitments.
As I said it, I realized this advice - this attitude of enjoy-the-now - is just as applicable to my life today, too. In our 20s, it's so easy to want what the people around us have. As I watch my friends move in with boys, move to new cities, have babies or have the incredible joy of living near their families, it's easy to feel overcome by the wanting. It's easy to let it taint the right now.
But right now is really sweet. Are there hard days? Yes. Do I sometimes feel jealous of my friends who are on different tracks than me? Of course. It's natural. But, the older I get, the more I understand that we have to make a choice at some point between overflowing and emptiness. Are we going to decide that what we have is enough - that life is overflowing - and get as much joy out of it as possible? Or are we going to always look at it as though it is not enough - that is is empty?
It got me thinking about life right now and that I really want to remember this phase. I want to soak it in so that in a few years I don't forget how great it is. Because life today is sweet. The days are long and warm and the nights are restful and balmy. Evenings are marked by walks with Chris or frisbee with my brothers. We grill out a lot and can't get enough guacamole. Life is full but not too busy.
I'm not planning a wedding or moving or making any big changes. And sometimes, I may want to rush into those things. The truth is, life right now is sort of in between a lot of different phases. But, if I let it be, it is overflowing. I want to choose to see that and allow myself to rest in its peacefulness.
Someday when things begin to change, I know I'll look back on this phase and remember it as a happy one. It's simpler and has narrowed in a lot of ways. But it's good. It feels like a warm sunny day when the breeze blows across your face. It's sweet and tender and reminds me that right now, I really like doing life with the people around me.