To live.

From a Senior in College, a little more than one year ago. I did not know how true and difficult the words I would write would be. 

To live would be an awfully big adventure”. -Peter, from J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan

There are some days I walk through my front door, sit down on my floral couch and stare at my old coffee table... wishing I could be at any other place in life than the place I'm in. Deep down I either long for what was or what could be... while trying to cope with what is. Some days I wish I could have my child-like innocence bestowed upon me again... to live in a care-free world, with dreams as big as the church pews on Sunday and as attainable as a piece of grass in a giant meadow. There are days when all I want is to have years of experience on my sleeve, instead of an uncertain and somewhat daunting future staring me in the face, refusing to let me see what is beyond. It is an odd thought to know that my formal education is ending and real life is waiting around the corner... am I the only one who thought Jesus was going to come back before I had to face such a drastic uncertain part of life?

This past summer I read Luci Swindoll's I Married Adventure. She's seventy something and has seen the back of her hand so often she not only remembers what it looks like, but knows when each wrinkle and crevis arrived. She said that when we are young we want nothing but to be older. And when we are older we desire nothing but to be younger. And in my early twenties, I want so much... I want my dream job, I want a non-profit that sells re-stitched vintage clothes. I want to be a successful writer. I want to roadtrip the entire West Coast. I want to read books for a whole week straight. I want to be married. I want to be laughing around a dining room table with too many friends squeezed around it, dreaming up creative ideas and new ways to take community out of the cliche box it has been put into... and on days when life is tiring and seemingly overwhelming, I'm tempted to think I want nothing but retirement. 

But those "sit and stare" thoughts linger for a time and then, with an understanding wink and a kind wave, they leave. I am here. In the present. I cannot go back. And I cannot move forward as nimbly as I think I can. I cannot skip over living life. What's the fun in living out dreams if I haven't reached for them? And when I look back on the small part of life I have lived, I ask why I would ever want to fast forward or rewind... even through the difficult chapters. 

 I used to read the last few pages of every book before starting it.... but, after awhile, I decided knowing the end never made the book any better. I never really understood the weight of that last page anyway...at least until I had the feeling and momentum of the entire book to back it up. I think life is a lot like that. Skipping ahead isn't realistic and, even if it was, it wouldn't be grand or appreciated. To appreciate the here and now, means living fully in the moments it took to get here.
 
Living in the present isn't so hard when I see life as an adventure worth living. By the grace of God it is an adventure... an everlasting one. And apparently this “blink of an eye” life I'm living is only the beginning. That's what I've come to believe and stake my life on. Here's to living a great adventure.

Stacie Stine

Design Jamboree, Denton, Texas, United States