I have heard the phrase, “these will be the best years of your life!” about one hundred times.
The fact of the matter is, the people telling me this were usually wrong. How can we pinpoint when someone will be in their best years? One person might find it to be when they were 18. Others might find it to be while they watch their kids grow up, or finally make it to retirement.
I have learned to try and make every year, the best.
The first time I remember hearing this phrase was from my piano teacher during my freshman year of high school. Every lesson we had she would remind me how I was entering the golden years. I would find my lifelong friends and the people who would always support me. I was thrilled to be out of middle school and take on whatever this new experience held. My freshman self was in for a disappointment. These were not the best years of my life.
Not much changed. Friendships grew stronger or apart. Groups formed even more and people were all still the same. The only difference was the building we were in was larger. High school wasn’t bad. I have a lot of great memories. The plays I was in, Kairos, softball, show choir, I could go on and on. But at the same time something still felt like it was missing. I needed something more. It didn’t see these 4 years as being the epitome of who I was.
Then came graduation and once again I was reminded, “you’re entering the best 4 years of your life.”
I now find myself 3 years into college. I must say so far, this has held true. There have been ups and downs, yes. But for the most part I have great memories. I have grown into more of who I am supposed to be. I have met even more people than I ever thought possible. I started to find my purpose and realized that by ups and downs are both equally great.
I don’t think my best years are going to end when I graduate a year and a half from now.
Why can’t it all be the best? I want to love every moment that I am given. That is why I am certain to make the rest of my life the best. Every single one. One of my favorite quotes is from the play, “J.B.” by Archibald Macleish. It goes a little like this,
“Take the even, take the odd. I would not stay here if I could. Except for the little green leaves in the wood. And the wind on the water.”
To me this quote means my best years won’t be determined by whether I have succeeded or if I have failed. They will focus on whether I am happy. Whether I have impacted others and if I have brought them joy. How have I made others lives better? How have I lived selflessly? What have I done to grow and become self aware. Our outlook on life decides if it will be worth living.
I constantly improve on myself by reading self-help books and re-educating myself.
That is why every year I live will be the best one yet.
Here is an article I turn to and one of my favorite poems