Ah, it’s Stratford time again.
Each year, our little family of TOPS kids goes up to Stratford to have a good time at the Shakespeare festival.
This will be my third time there. And this makes me sad.
I can’t help but notice how old I’ve become. From when I first went to Pinecrest with a group made up mostly strangers and the first time experiencing Stratford in grade nine, it seems there has been quite a long period of time.
I still can’t believe I’m now considered a senior. I still can’t believe that in one more short year, I’ll be frantically trying to pull my university applications together. And I definitely can’t believe how little time I’ve spent with some of the most important people in my life.
It all happened too fast! I’m not ready for this! I’m not ready to change, to age, to mature. It may (or may not) have been happening subconsciously, but I never wanted this. I wanted to stay with my little group of close buddies, to share each day, each moment with them and never have to leave this wonderful environment. But every moment I spend at TOPS brings me a painful reminder that someday, I will have to leave. I won’t get to see my best friends and wonderful mentors every day. And all my friends will go their separate ways, living their own lives, each making a difference in the world in their own way. Along the way, the connections we will have had will slowly loosen, until we are only connected by a thin thread.
Each day, the minutes on the clock tick away, not caring about my, or anyone else’s feelings. The indifferent stream of time runs on, content to just flow headstrong, without a care in the world. Constantly threatening to drown us, or flush us away. To crush us under the immense pressure of this era of growing demands and less time to fulfill them.
And there’s nothing we can do about it.
We can only embrace it for what it is, and live our lives, conscious of the fact that time is not slowing down for anyone. Like how everything we love will eventually come to fall, to crumple, to shatter. And how nothing is permanent, as time will eventually conquer all.
You may not be able to do much about the passage about time, but you can certainly change how you view it, and what you do with it. Nothing is forever. It’s cliché, but its true. So what, are you just going to cower in a corner, never coming out to face and seize the precious few moments we are given in life? Everything will go eventually, but simply waiting for that to happen isn’t going to help.
Use what time you have to create an impact on your life.
Change is inevitable. University, a new job, a new country, whatever. But it’s not all bad. Society is driven by change. Making a difference is what it’s all about. Challenge life, and challenge time.
Don’t be governed by a fear of progressing, by a fear of moving on and leaving the past. Because the past will never truly be gone from your life. And the moment you will always live in is the present. So take the moment and wring every drop of juice you can out of it. Because you will find that there is a surprising amount.
If you truly loved your friends and teachers, you’d never let them slip away anyway. You’d move on, but keep those connections you cherished a lot. Because, face it, we all love TOPS. It will always be something that defines us, regardless of how much time will have passed.
So move on. Take what time you have, and face it, with the knowledge that your friends never truly left you.
To our futures!
– Steve Jobs
1955 – 2011