By Danielle Leard

I have always dreamed about being able to live out my fantasies later in life. When I was nine, I was excited to bridge to middle school, because I thought middle school kids had all of the power on the playground. When I was twelve, my thirteenth birthday couldn’t come soon enough. After all, thirteen is the age you’re suddenly allowed to sign up for everything online. And now? Now, I’m anxious to be able to drive, earn my independence, decide for myself, be taken seriously, and essentially become an adult.

Little did my younger self know that my older self would be wishing to go back—to relive or redo a moment long gone in my timeline. Being a teenager isn’t as amazing and revelling as I had dreamed it would be. But I suppose when you wait around for years, standing still, hoping to reach a certain goal without making any steps, you’re never going to be satisfied. I’m Exhibit A.

Every year, every month, every week, every day, every minute, and every second of my life has been an opportunity to start carving out my golden days.

And I have missed so many opportunities.

An observation I’ve made in my short life is that people are never satisfied with what the present has given them. We look back with nostalgia, overwhelmed by the wish to relive something we never will, because those days were our best. We look forward, impatiently waiting for more freedom in our lives, because those days will be our golden days.

But getting in the mindset that our glory days will never be now, in this moment, is the best way to ensure that they will never come.

We won’t enjoy now if we don’t make an effort to. Life is going to hand you some really sour lemons. And maybe you’re allergic to lemons, and the lemons are moldy, and incredibly small, but, you’ll always be able to squeeze out some lemonade. And if you add a dash of mind over matter to sweeten up the mix, the lemonade might come out golden.

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