I got a call late Saturday night from my parents. Not entirely unusual but concerning all the same. They casually invited me to breakfast baiting me with free food and the promise of seeing my sister who lives across town. What I didn’t know at the time was that I was being recruited for hours of manual labor.
My parents have been inundated. Charleston has received so much rainfall in the last two months that their poor patch of land couldn’t take it. It gave way fast to the heavy blanket that fell upon them earlier this season. Because of this they have had to deal with the insurmountable cost of damage, insurance policies, appraisers, and the general inconvenience of flood damage. Their air conditioning unit pulled a Titanic and is lost to us forever. In their chaos they’ve decided that they should replace the ground A/C unit for a ceiling unit to protect it from ever being damaged again…if Charleston ever dries out. Long story short I spent the afternoon sorting through all of the items that have accumulated in a dusty attic over the course of my life. My parents are officially evicting me and I have to say that I’m uncomfortable with this.
As a child, it was the responsibility of my parents to hold my things. They provided a roof over my head and as a child of many interests and hobbies it was my sole responsibility to fill said house with as many items and possessions as I could get my grubby little hands on. When I went to college my room was kept as I left it, waiting for my bustling return at the beginning of the summer. Towards the end of my college career when I had such a greedy thirst for my own independence I moved out. But even then I wasn’t required to take all of my things with me. Now years later, I found myself sitting on the empty floor of what was my sister’s room sorting through decades of memories. I flipped through pictures of friends that I haven’t seen or heard from in years, toys that occupied thousands of hours of my time, and tiny trinkets whose origins had become fuzzy and forgotten.
I realized at some point how old I have gotten. Mind you, I’m still in my twenties and at the start of my quarter life crisis but it seemed as if it was sudden. As if holding these items I had cherished as a child put into perspective just how far from that young girl I had gotten. Time as a child seemed to pass so slowly. Even as a teenager time seemed to never go by, I remember thinking that I would never turn 18. And once I turned 18 it was like I would never be 21. But once 19 passed, so did 20. And soon even 21 was a distant memory.
I’m now at the age where I’m first discussing what kind of salary would be right for me, what kind of health insurance I need. I’m signing up for retirement plans and trying to plot where my life will go over the next five years. Holding the glove I learned how to catch a ball in back in 1994 seems to have magnified the time that has gone by when I thought it was standing still. How clearly, for a moment, I could see all the places I’ve been, people I’ve met, mistakes I’ve made, hearts I’ve broken, and all the pain I’ve experience over the course of my life.
For the very first time in my life, I am aware of how fast time is now moving. Somewhere between 18 and now, it has begun to whiz by me so fast I never noticed it. I’ve always wanted to get older, to be wiser, to be ahead. Now I’m finding myself wanting to curl up in my old things and start over.
I demand a re-do.
I’m not sure I’m where I want to be.