A few days ago, one of my closest friends from university lost her mum. I can’t begin to imagine what that must feel like, but I hope that she knows her mum raised two beautiful girls and was one of the kindest women I had ever had the pleasure to spend my time with. The world has truly lost one of its best kinds of people.
If there’s anything that the loss of someone you care about hammers home, it’s that things, all things, don’t last forever. Today, I feel, more than ever, aware of my own mortality. Rather selfishly, it’s easy not to think about death too much when you’re watching it on the news, but when it starts striking closer to home, starts toying with people you care about, something inside you starts to feel a little nervous, a little panicked.
I’m 23 years old now. I’m young. But it feels like yesterday that I was sat on the first day of highschool trying tremendously hard to figure out what my now best friend’s name was. It feels like if I woke up as an 18 year old and was sat planning adventures with I guess what you might now call a childhood sweetheart, I wouldn’t be too surprised, because I can remember it all so clearly. Once I was sat dreaming about the world and how to embark upon it, and now, 5 years down the line, I’m sat in Taiwan and I’m living it. For want of a less cliched statement, time really has gone in the blink of an eye.
I suppose, following that trend of events, I’ll wake up at the age of 40, and think I was sat typing this blog post on a rainy day in Taiwan before I went to tackle hyper children at school, only a few days ago. I imagine we all go through life wondering where on earth the time went.
I don’t want to hit old age and wish that I’d travelled more or worried less about what people think of me or had learned to love myself. Before I moved to Hong Kong, one thing that really pushed me to go instead of staying in London to work was the number of people telling me that they wished they had done something similar when they had nothing to hold them back.
But if I am sitting at an old age and wondering where on earth all that time went, I want it to be with a smile on my face at the memories I have made, the people I have met and the stories I can tell. I don’t want a day to have been wasted. I want to be able to look at photographs of the lives I shared in, even if that happened to be brief. I want to be able to look at the scars and the marks on my body and see the times I fell over in Asia on hot sunny days out hiking with my friends. I want to be able to tell stories that make my grandchildren’s eyes sparkle with a lust for adventure.
Life is all in all a little bit too fleeting to not be happy.