As a kid, I used to love to swing. The disconnect between you and the ground. Wind rushing through your hair and sweeping away the world. It’s where I used to think. Imagine. Plan. I could retreat in my little girl mind and fly away. Away from everything that was wrong or just too overwhelming. Letting the curve of the plastic seat hug my hips and propel me into the waiting blue sky. Up there, where the clouds beckoned and seemed like they could envelope me in their fluffy softness if only I could get high enough.

I wouldn’t say I was running, just escaping for a bit. Sometimes reality was just too much.

Yesterday, hurtling down 421 toward my present and my future, I couldn’t help but look up to those mountains and the painfully blue sky and think of how far I’ve come. Sometimes I can’t believe that I’m an adult and basically on my own. I have support and help, but this is still my time. This is when I make my own decisions and call the shots. I’m in charge of what’s important to me. My relationships are my own, my choices are my own. It’s a daily struggle to not wish away these years and to keep myself in my present. Because this time is just as important as the years after I graduate. Sitting here on my couch watching the snow fall outside, I’m realizing that I do love this time. As much as I gripe about the snow, it never ceases to amaze me.

So, here I sit. Past the point of escaping into the waiting sky. Past the point where I can just lose myself in the squeak of the swing. This is my time. This is when I learn how to live. And as cliche as it sounds, these are the years I’ll treasure. Late nights laughing and being ridiculous with my roommates that have become some of my best friends.

Being woken up to go to the parkway to see the sunrise with the guy I love.

So this year, I’ll cherish these moments, and work hard not to rush through these years of classes. Years go so much faster now, they’ll slip away before you blink. Enjoy where you’re at, because everyday is a page in a story bigger than your own.