Sigmund Freud once said, “If youth knew. If age could.” And most of us now say, “Isn’t it the truth?”
Yesterday, I got a text from one of my old friends from college. My first bout with higher education, at Butler University. One of those friends, who was with me from the time I was 18 into my earliest 20s. Youth. If we only knew.
The text sent the memories flooding in. It was nothing that she said in the communication. No. It was just the sight of her name. I began seeing all the scenes from our past lives. The afternoon of “Mud Frisbee” when we had an unseasonably warm day in the midst of January. The night we broke into the Kappa Kappa Gamma house and pilfered. The time we carried my roommate back from a Frat Party. We looked like a scene from Weekend At Bernie’s. The late-night trips for Carry-Out Chinese Food. It all rushed back into my mind, like watching Trailers before the start of an actual movie.
For a decent part of my life, I regretted a big part of that life while I was there at Butler. I started out as a straight-A college student, astute and driven. But, by my late junior year, I was a partying, fun-loving, free-falling, C student. I’d lost focus of my mission. I was having a very good time. If youth knew.
These days, I don’t regret it so much. Really, not at all. I could lament about going astray. But if I had not. If I had changed things one little bit, I would not be sitting here, in my office, in little Preble County, hacking away at this keyboard. It all had to happen just as it did.
Every little life event led to the next. And the next. My life sequence evolving, turning me this way and that. And here I am. Here you are! With your pockets-full of life events which have brought you to this moment. Now, sitting with your phone, or iPad, or your computer, reading.
Of course, that is what they mean when they tell us we should “stay in the moment.” Because this moment is part of the path. It is the thing that is making our way. And in 10 years, we may not remember this minute. But it surely had to happen, exactly as it did, for us to go on.
And go on, we do.
“Do not wait: the time will never be ‘just right’. Start where you stand, and work whatever tools you may have at your command and better tools will be found as you go along.”
― Napoleon Hill
“Realize deeply that the present moment is all you will ever have.”
― Eckhart Tolle
“Time is the most valuable thing that a man can spend.”
― Diogenes Laërtius