Yesterday I had to go to the New Jersey office for a client meeting. The New Jersey office of my current company is where I started my career 17 years ago and the commute home is one that is very familiar. As I was getting on the highway, Third Eye Blind came on the radio and I started singing along. As I sang along to words I’d sung along to a thousand times, driving on a road I’ve driven on a thousand times, it instantly became 17 years ago.
I was so freaking young then and I had not a single care in the world. I went to work and went on dates and hung out with my friends. I was skinny and cute and I drove a sports car. I always had the top down and the radio loud and the wind blowing my hair. I didn’t worry or stress. I was never tired…even when I’d stayed out all night and then gotten up for work early the next day. I dyed my hair because I got bored with the color, not to hide the gray.
I like to tell myself that age is just a number and for a really long time I did believe it…but it’s get harder and harder to believe. I cringe a little more with every birthday that passes, resenting the increasing numbers. This year, I feel really old. Driving along yesterday, I thought about how long it’s been since I was that girl and all the ways my life is different now. In so many ways, it’s better. But for a little while, I missed the girl I used to be. The girl who could do whatever she wanted, whenever she wanted. The girl who could eat ice cream every day and never go to the gym. The girl who liked having her hair blowing all over with the top down.
I spend too much of my time now living inside my head…thinking and worrying and planning for what is going to come next. I don’t spend nearly enough time just living my life and being in the moment. That, right there, is the biggest different between me and the girl I was all those years ago. That is the biggest thing I have to work on.
To that end, I’m going to blow off work this afternoon and do something fun all by myself, just because I want to. I’m not going to think about my weekend plans. I’m not going to figure out what I have to get done next week. I’m not going to review my calendar or think about all the things I have to talk to J about this weekend and all the things I have to nag him about. I’m just going to put on some Third Eye Blind and have a little fun.