I ran into my former boss today from when I was 18 years old. I worked at an Indo-Paki restaurant but we also had pizza, burgers and Mediterranean food. It was my first job and I loved it so much that I would often come during my off days and help out cause I was bored and had nothing else better to do. Plus, it was like a safe haven for me.
Growing up, I had only a small circle of friends I would hang out with from High School. Today, I’m blessed to say they’re one of my closest friends, but during that time we were all scattered about so it was a lot harder for us to hang out. Plus I think during this time I was trying to prepare myself for college and my final goodbyes. I guess I should have prefaced that I was 18 years old and fresh out of high school.
I think about how my life has changed since then. It’s been six years but the time has gone by so quickly that it’s hard for me to fathom. I always would hear people try and warn me to seize the moment because time would pass by so quickly and I convinced myself I would never let the feeling of regret pass me by. Unfortunately, I have many regrets and I let myself dwell on the most dullest of moments. How could I know that in a few years I would be in a much happier place, surrounded by people who love me for who I am and not someone I tried to be?
I remember back in that restaurant at 18 years old, I met a gentleman who admired my spirit. He told me, “You know, I came here last time with my co-workers and you served us and I recall you were the only server on duty that day. Despite that, you were so attendant to all your other tables during the lunch rush and you were so interactive with everyone at their respective tables.” I felt flattered that someone had taken note but I honestly felt it was unnecessary. The way I saw it, I was just doing my job. When I told him that, he smiled and said, “you’re going to go very far, young man. I just wanted to let you know that you are washing tables now, serving out food to ordinary folk like me, but there’s absolutely nothing wrong with what you’re doing. Some of the most successful people in the world started out doing what you’re doing and the attitude you have right now, how much pride in your work you have, will speak volume to how you will appreciate the bigger achievements in life.” I took that to heart and unfortunately, practically forgot all about it when I was in my early twenties.
Somewhere between joining a fraternity at the age of 18 and quitting my job to finish my last semester of my Undergrad at the age of 22, I found myself trying to find an identity and be something I thought people liked. Problem was, I was looking in all the wrong directions and listening to bad advice. These were all adults that I was surrounded by in the odd jobs I had and I thought had their lives together. Respectfully, they did but I wasn’t trying to be like them. Nor should I have tried to be like them.
Now, I sort of have myself figured out. There’s still some issues I’m working on but this isn’t anything unusual from the typical 24 year olds that walk this earth. I’ve turned a lot of things around and I’ve put smiles on the faces that I once disappointed. I try my best not to dwell on the hurt I’ve caused them and try to live in the moment but it’s hard to stop being so worrisome. Subconsciously, I just don’t want all the good things I’ve tried my best to hold on to, to slip through my fingers. Additionally, some things are just beyond our control, so it’s hard to say I’ll be able to make sure nothing disrupts this flow and simultaneously, I can’t say I will allow the flow to become disrupted.
There’s just a lot of things I’d like to do, and it feels like so little time. But then I just look at the clock and think, “eh, I can make time for this.” That’s why I’m writing right now. I’ve been saying I wanted to write something for a while but I just haven’t had time. Truth is, it’s been a mixture of actual business and laziness. Luckily, there’s no time like the present, and it’s better late than never. After all, the time goes by so fast, you won’t even realize it. And by the time you’ve asked, “where did the time go?” you’ve missed every opportunity.
I’d like to say that with that, I’ve learned my lesson, but I don’t think anyone can truly overcome this. I think it’s just inevitable for us to forget the life lesson’s we’ve been taught or the advice we’ve received or given. We can just smile and count our blessings. And hopefully squeeze out some sort of last minute strength, just so we can try to someday look back and be proud of ourselves, and the people we’ve become.
Written on the 21st of May, 2018 at 11:55 P.M.