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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

I live with the “Once I’s”

Kathryn Campbell
Some of my favorite memories were spent at my neighborhood ice rink as seen in the photo.

I have always been waiting.

Waiting for the bell to ring. Waiting for Friday to come. Waiting for the day when I can stop wasting my time waiting.  

“Once I’m in high school…”

“Once I get my driver’s license…”

“Once I have my own house…” 

What am I even waiting for anymore?

Truthfully, I’m not sure. I formulate hundreds of checklists of what I’m going to do with my life, and yet never check any boxes off. I have a scrapbook where I tell myself I will document all the escapades of my youth, yet the only documentation is empty pages and blank spaces. 

There is temporary solace in the “Once I’s,” for a small moment. They almost make me feel like I’m in control. Never long-lasting comfort, just enough willful ignorance and forced oblivion to forget that I am doing nothing but sitting in my room, creating another daunting catalog of everything I could be doing. It keeps me awake at night. It creeps up on me when I’m sleeping, torturing me with its nagging reminder of all there is to be accomplished. 

I have always had a bitter distaste for the saying “live while you’re young,” because it seems like my whole life, I have been waiting to grow older. I’ve been addicted to an endless race to grow up, running away from the very time I was told to savor. It is only now that I realize that I have nothing to memorialize, and nothing to treasure, just an endless bucket list in my head that will never get completed. I have made every chaotic list, every jumbled to-do, every tumultuous schedule, and yet I am still waiting for “the perfect moment.” And then I’m back to the “Once I” cycle.

The time on the clock floats away in the blink of an eye and I spend my time thinking about how I could be spending my time.

“Once I get this…”

“Once I go to college…”

“Once I grow up…”

Once I have strung this life out for all that it holds, will I even be satisfied? Or will this paranoia-inducing list just keep growing and growing, until the only thing I can remember is wishing I had more things to remember? The memories I dreamed of making when I was a young child drift past before my eyes as I fear I’ll never be ready, and the time will never be right, and life will pass me by without reaching me. 

I don’t want to look back on blank scrapbooks. 

I don’t want to look back on empty photo albums.

This agonizing cycle is a waste. There is no such thing as ready, only the present in front of me, a good time as any to create a life I’ll be content to look back on. The lists can wait. The Friday night football game chants in the student section, the late-night gas station runs for junk food, the highly-anticipated homecoming dance, and the plethora of memories to make will pass by one day, and I abstain from letting it all slip through my fingers like quicksand, sliding past me as I try to catch hold of it from afar. I refuse to let the anguishing “Once I’s” torment me any longer. 

I am done waiting. 

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About the Contributor
Kathryn Campbell, Junior Writer

Kathryn Campbell is a freshman entering her first year on The Central Trend. When she’s not at school, you can find her playing competitive ice hockey for Fox Motors Hockey Club. She has just completed her 6th year playing travel soccer and hopes to compete for the high school this spring. Her other hobbies include listening to music, writing, and hanging out with her friends. She is very enthusiastic about her next four years of high school and plans to make as many memories as she can. She is especially excited about all that awaits her in room 139.

Her favorite album: SOS by SZA Her lucky number: 4 Her go-to animated movie: Hercules Her favorite holiday: Christmas  

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