I was sitting on the opposite side of the room of my best friend when his little sister walked in. “Little” as in 22 years old. She came stumbling in, saw me, and curled up in my lap and cried.
Through half laughing, half crying garbles, I caught that her long time boyfriend had broken up with her. I did what I do best: I pet her hair and made her laugh with sarcastic and inappropriate comments (insight into how I handle sadness, eh?). In the moments of her sobbing and reliving the event, the what-he-saids and what-she-saids, I had this moment of maturity wash over my childish soul: I wouldn’t trade anything to go back to 22.
I sat there and truly felt her sadness. I felt her heart breaking along all of the cracks where mine had been broken and healed. I knew that raw feeling in her throat like she had taken the his words and swallowed them like knives. I knew the pain…but now, now I knew that my world wouldn’t crumble. There’s almost a 5 year difference between us, its not much, I realize. Five years apart in your twenties is a rather large number, however.
Those extra years from when I was her, to who I am now, have made me realize that the sky isn’t falling. Go figure. Those extra years have taught me how to cope with all consuming sadness because I know that it won’t ruin me; it won’t break me. Life will go on. Hell, I will go on.
I’ve heard older adults than myself say ill-thought through sayings like, “I’d give anything to be 18 again,” or, “If only I had another shot at 20.” I think what they mean to say is, “I need a change in my life and am remembering being young and stupid and that has more appeal over my current boredom.” Because when I think about how I felt, what I was going through, who I thought I was when I was 22 is not something I need to relive. I love who I am NOW. I love where I am, where I’m going, and how I’m doing it. I have such a better grasp on how to handle my feelings and my heart.
I felt so much emotionally older than my counterpart tonight. I wouldn’t give a thing to go back in time and relive the past. It seems to me that life only gets better with age.