Friday, December 11, 2015

Life's Too Short

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'll be taking a hiatus from school, Internet, and life in general to serve as a missionary for my church for eighteen months. I won't leave until summer, and my application can't be sent in until one hundred and twenty days before my eligibility date, so I didn't start the application process until this week.
I have plenty of other friends who have, are, or are planning to go on missions. For years I've heard them say "I'm working on my papers" or "I just finished my papers". Whenever I tell people about my mission plans, even people in my church and age range who are fully aware of the 120 day rule, they ask, "Have you started your papers yet?"
So I always assumed the paperwork was this long, nasty, rigorous application. Even when my roommate Sabrina managed to get everything done in a single week. I thought she was just hyperproductive. After a quick interview with my bishop, I sauntered off to a science class review and thought, "I'll take care of all that nasty, rigorous paperwork over winter break."
As it turned out, I didn't need most of the information in the review, so I pulled up the website and filled them out on my phone. And then it was done. All this time anticipating the dreaded paperwork process, and I did it in under two hours between jotting down notes about ecosystems. I still have a few interviews and doctors appointment before I'm good to go, but so far as papers go, I'm done.
Yesterday I was getting ready in the bathroom with Sabrina and we got to talking about where we'll be in eighteen months. She's leaving earlier than I am, so she'll be twenty and a half when she returns, and I'll be twenty one. It seems like such a big chunk of life. Then she point out, "A year and a half ago, I was getting ready to start my senior year of high school."
That's so bizarre to think about. Everything from my fall semester of senior year still feels like recent developments. All the bad things are still raw wounds, all my epiphanies new revelations. I always rolled my eyes at the phrase "Life's too Short". It's the longest thing you'll ever do, people. But maybe there is some truth to that after all.
Life's too short to live without people who love you.
Life's too short not to have fun.
Life's too short to be stuck in a job you hate.
Life's too short not to learn every fascinating thing you can.
Life's too short to pursue other people's expectations instead of the dreams you've set for yourself.
Life's too short not to help other people.
Life's too short not to enjoy it.
High school is too short. Four years for most people-three for me-and yet it's such a defining and memorable stretch of your life. Same with college. Maybe it's because school is the only time you'll be doing the same thing as everyone in your age bracket. Maybe it's because pivotal moments come when you're young, so this would be a critical time in our lives no matter what we're doing.
Whatever the case, I've got approximately six months to live before I go to Texas or Tahiti or wherever it is I'm called, and that's too short of a time for me to not live it up. 

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