Sometimes, I feel like the gears that turned the clock from 2013 to 2014 suddenly shifted time into hyper speed. Does anyone else feel that? This year has been p-a-c-k-e-d. With good, exciting, fulfilling things. But lately, it’s also felt challenging to keep up. And that reminded me of something that I try to keep in mind when life gets like this. As I tend to do, allow me to explain. : )
I went to college in Southern California, where one summer I interned at a public relations agency in Venice Beach. Anyone who lived in Los Angeles knows that the traffic really earns its reputation there. It just so happened that particular summer that gas skyrocketed past $5/gallon, and with at least an hour drive to and from the internship, that essentially nullified any earnings I was making. My drives that summer were long, slow and tedious, and with so much going on heading into senior year, I often questioned whether they were worth the few hours of experience I was gaining from the internship.
But then. One day in traffic, I looked out the window, and saw DOLPHINS. Literally, dolphins leaping out of the ocean along the Pacific Coast Highway. And it kinda put things in perspective. I realized in that moment that life would never again look like it did at that moment. Though I was a college student with a variety of commitments, stresses and life questions, I was in a unique time in my life when I could sit in traffic along a vast and beautiful ocean, when I came home to a house full of my very best friends, when I had my entire life before me and could make all the great unknowns into whatever I wanted, when I could look out my window and see dolphins on my way to work.
Since then, when life has felt particularly big, fast, or just too much, I try to find the dolphin moment. I try to remember that this place, this time that I am in now, won’t always look like this. I won’t always come home to my very own apartment in downtown Seattle. I won’t always call girlfriends who are still single, who have yet to have husbands and families, who can pick up the phone and fly to one another whenever we feasibly want to. I won’t always have this schedule, this body as it is today, this ability to wake up on Saturday mornings and grab brunch with my parents. These things are changing slowly, gradually, all the time. One day, I know I will look back hoping that I enjoyed this season for what it was. Hope that I adequately relished in its craziness, thrived in its challenges, rested in its questions, and appreciated its simplicity even when it didn’t appear that way.
I don’t see dolphins in my daily life anymore. At least not the kind with flippers and fins. But if I look closely, and if you do too, I think we will find that those dolphin moments are all around us. We just have to be willing to see them.