We’ve all been told at one time or another not to wish our lives away. Or that when we turn 21, it feels like life moves faster. But nobody ever mentioned how easy it is to lose track of time when we hit a certain age.
Just recently, I was reflecting and thought of someone that I used to know way back when. After a quick Google search, I found her email and decided to reach out. As I drafted an email, I thought about what to write after so many years. Yet, I never actually calculated how many years had gone by. Ever since my thyroid cancer diagnosis in 2013, I’ve felt almost like time stopped at that point. There have been occasions when someone has asked me how old I am, and I reply, “26,” the exact age I was when I was diagnosed (however, a decade has gone by since then). Add to that the last few years with the pandemic, and I have lost all track of time. It’s still 2019 in my world!
With that said, you can imagine my surprise when a few days passed, and I received an email back asking me if I was the same person that she remembered from 20 years ago. Wait? What? There’s no way it had been 20 years, I thought to myself before crafting my response. In my head, it felt more like it was only 5 or 10 years since we last saw each other. As I pondered time and wondered where all the years went, I was reminded of how fast life actually goes. It seems like it takes forever when you are a kid, and you just want it to hurry up so you can grow up. Then, you become an adult and realize that you got a little more than you bargained for.
There’s something about reaching out to people from your past that is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying. On the one hand, you wonder what they are up to and how they have been. And, on the other, you think of all of the time that you missed. Realizing that two decades had passed since the last time I even saw this person was a sobering reminder that time moves on with or without you, and it gave me a new perspective on time in my own life over the last decade or so.
While I’m not someone who likes reaching out to people after a very long absence, I’m glad I did (even if my first email may have been slightly awkward given the time-lapse that I was completely unaware of). So, the moral of the story is that life is short and goes by fast. If you think of someone from your past, reach out!
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