Someone needs to invent a time machine so I can go find my 16-year-old self, sit her down and tell her everything that has happened to me in the past three years or rather the three years ahead of her.
That would be quite a scene. Me at 16 hearing that at 19 years old I would be living in central Missouri, pursuing my dream of being a writer? Sixteen-year-old me would be on the floor laughing and shouting that I’m crazy. She definitely wouldn’t believe that I would be recently out of relationship that I thought was going to last forever.
That’s the tricky thing about falling into the idea of "forever." Forever is such a huge word if you think about it. Never-ending, constant and always present ... sounds like something that only exists in a fairytale world.
I have fallen victim to the idea of forever when it comes to love and relationships. I mean, when you find someone who just gets you, when you’re with him you’re even more of yourself and every second spent together is a moment you never want to forget or let go; then why wouldn’t you want to think about a forever with him?
It was only until recently when the relationship unraveled, and I found myself dropped from cloud nine to the hard ground of reality, that the whole idea of forever started to seem a little funny to me.
Forever puts a lot of pressure on a relationship or even a relationship that is just about to start. There are expectations that come with the mindset of being "together forever," and when certain expectations aren’t met, then arguments and fallouts usually ensue.
That’s why, despite the mindset I’ve had for the past year, I believe that thinking about forever is unrealistic when it comes to our lives right now. We are young, in our late teens and early twenties, this means we aren’t entirely sure of who we are at the moment, where we want to go in life and who we are going to become. So putting a "forever" stamp on a relationship would just seem so counterproductive to the place we are in our lives right now.
Who we are today isn’t going to last forever. What career we want today isn’t going to stay the same forever. Nothing in our young lives right now has the true capability of being forever, so why should we put so much emphasis on a "forever" relationship if it might never live up to its name?
Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want you to go and dump your boyfriend because the "happily ever after" idea in your head with him may never come true. Rather, I want to encourage you to take everything day by day. If you are in a relationship, for example, think about this question: what do you know today? Your answer may be, today you are in love with your boyfriend. He makes you happy, he respects you, and everything is good. And then stop right there. Don’t worry about tomorrow; don’t worry about next week or next month or next year. Right now you are in love, right now you are happy and really, that is all that should matter. Don’t worry about forever because when you do, you lose sight on what you have right now.
There are so many people in this world that you are going to meet. Love interests will pop up out of the blue, and new friendships may start in a blink of an eye. If I were to tell my 16-year-old self that most of the friends she has will not be her friends at 19, she’d probably roll her eyes at me. But it’s true. There are people in our lives today that we wouldn’t have thought would be here, and on the other end, there are people that are not in our lives today that we always thought would be.
So maybe no one will ever invent a time machine, and I will never get to visit my 16-year-old self and watch her look at me like I’m some mad woman. But if I could travel back in time, there would be one thing I would want to tell her: live for today.
Yesterday already happened, and tomorrow can wait, but today you are alive, you are in love, and you are young. Forever is just a word we use when we want to keep someone or something in our lives that we know we can lose at any moment. Instead of worrying about forever though, acknowledge what you have today.
Because after all, what you have and how you feel right now may not last forever, but it’s here today, so treasure it.
By: Kaity Martin