“No, no, no, no, hold on.
Just–I need another second, please.
I need to remember every little thing about how perfect my life is right now at this exact moment.”
My life is moving in hyper speed. I graduate high school in 32 days. My prom dress is hanging in my closet, itching to be worn in 18 days. The yearbook that I am in charge of producing will be finished in 2 days. But right now, I’m not counting down those days. Right now, I am looking back on all of the events of this year that have already come to pass.
Right now, I’m thinking about how my varsity cheerleading uniforms are lying in a heap on my bedroom floor, never to be worn by me again. I’m thinking about how I’ve already experienced my last bus ride with my squad, and how I don’t believe I appreciated it enough. I’m thinking about how I’m never going to take a road trip with Maddie and my mom to a cheer competition ever again. I’m thinking about the intense nerves I feel before I walk onto the mat at a competition, and how nothing in the future will make me feel like that ever again. I’m thinking about how unfair it is that I have to be an adult, and graduate, and age out of the sport I have grown up with. I’m thinking about a lot.
But, do you want to know what else I’m thinking about? I’m thinking about the quote at the beginning of this post. It’s from Season 5, episode 5 of Parks and Recreation- the episode that Ben proposes to Leslie. In the midst of Ben’s speech, Leslie stops him and says she needs to remember everything about that moment. She takes mental pictures of everything: the view of the room she is in, the colors and fabrics of the clothes she is wearing, the smells that surround her, the air that hits her skin, all of it. It’s crucial that she does this, because she knows that it’s never going to happen again.
I’m going to give myself advice now, but you’re welcome to stay and listen.
Do what Leslie does. Stop yourself in the midst of those “this is never going to happen again” moments, and breathe in every single bit of them. You’re going to have an abundance of them in the next month. Remember the sound of Maddie’s laugh when she tells a joke. Remember the warm air hitting your face when you walk into the journalism room in the morning. Remember the stress of waking up late and throwing your hair in a braid. Remember your unreliable morning route down Campbell. Remember how excited Lexi gets when you show up back at home after school every day. Remember falling asleep on the couch watching Jimmy Fallon with Justin. Remember the smell of the scentsy in the kitchen. Remember adjusting the seat cover in your car. Remember it all.
I want you to remember it because it’s going to end, and it’s going to be thrilling and emotional, and it’s going to feel like you have been completely uprooted and flipped around. It’s going to feel like you can’t let all of this go. It’s going to test you in more ways than you think possible. But you can do it. Don’t forget that.
Be a Leslie Knope in these situations. You’re trying that, remember?
Experience, remember, repeat.