As I sit here thinking about how blessed I am to have such wonderful holidays spent with the people I love, I feel so blessed for the opportunities and love in my life. With that thought came the reflection of how 2018 has been, and unbelievably quickly it went by. As I get older, the time goes on faster and faster.

Last week, I was looking at photos from the past 6 years with one of my closest friends. It’s so cliche, but looking back, I realize that high school was some of the best days of my life. Each school year, having my best friend 5 minutes away. Sitting in class, making relationships with teachers, the laid back days of high school swimming, and the excitement of planning my future.

My summers were even better. Lifeguarding with my best friends by my side were the most carefree days. We complained about having to go up on stand, because that meant we couldn’t talk to each other for 15 minutes. Although, somehow, we found a way to still do so. Whether it was swimming in each other’s sections or communicating via hand motion, it never stopped. Basically, being paid to tan and hang out with our best friends.

Being a head coach for my swim team seemed like such an intimidating task. I was stressed, trying to do my job perfectly and please everyone. It was absolutely nothing compared to sitting behind a desk, trying to impress my superiors and having the confidence to learn new skills.

I remember being in high school and wishing all the time away. I was so excited to be independent that I wanted to fast forward time. Not that I didn’t enjoy anything, because I love the people I spent time with and the memories we have. But the school bell couldn’t ring fast enough. The shifts couldn’t end soon enough. College needed to be here, now.

College meant big adjustments, which were exciting but also difficult. Everything changed and some of my peers weren’t ready. When I moved into my freshman year dorm room, I thought I was ready. In some ways, I was, and in others, I wasn’t. The adjustments were made. Two years later, there are still adjustments. There will always be adjustments.

Every day, I wanted more. I wanted time to go faster and I looked forward to the future so much, that I didn’t fully appreciate the present. I love what I do and who I am now. Back in high school, I didn’t really love myself. I wanted to fast forward to a time when I would have it finally figured out. I never quite figured that out, so I didn’t enjoy what I was doing as much as I should have.

I think we all can agree that time passes quickly. This year has flown faster than any other. There were long days that seemed like they would never end, but there were also days in which I laughed more than I ever thought I could. I’ve spent this year in the mindset that I wanted to be in, in the place that I want to be in, with the people I want to be with. And for that, I am so grateful.

It’s so exciting to have goals and things to look forward to. Each and everyday, I have things that I am passionate about. I have goals for my life that I hope to achieve. I have special occasions with my friends and family that I always look forward to attending. Which is exciting and wonderful. But there’s a difference between looking forward to something and literally wanting to be there immediately.

When you say “I can’t wait for…” try to correct yourself to “I’m looking forward to…”. You can wait for the upcoming event. And you will wait. You should try to enjoy the time in between the current moment and the thing that you’re looking forward to. That phrase is inaccurate and overused.

The more time that goes by, the more you learn. You might want some days to end, but before you know it, it will be long gone, and there will be another. A year can change everything, and you’ll be looking at a different version of yourself. Don’t wish time away because it goes faster than you’ll ever imagine.

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