“Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today.” -Michelle C. Ustaszeski
Familiarity can sometimes seem like permanence. Oftentimes the more comfortable we are with someone, the less effort we put into our time with them.
As I’ve mentioned before, I visit my family on the east coast several times each year for two weeks at a time. Every time I leave California, it’s bittersweet because I’m leaving my boyfriend Ehren to go see people I love.
And every time I leave Massachusetts, I’m leaving my family for even longer to resume my life with someone else I love.
Because I spend more time with Ehren, I go through phases where I don’t fully see him for the gift that he is. I might assume that I know what he’s talking about instead of fully listening. Or fail to fully appreciate the qualities that drew me to him, because I’m accustomed to them.
I don’t always recognize when I’m doing these things, but when I do, I remember the airport.
In that transient state between there and there, I’ve learned a lot about what it really means to be here—to recognize that everything changes and appreciate it all while it lasts.
When Ehren drops me off for a flight, I look him in the deeply in the eyes and realize how fortunate I am for the time we get to spend together. When my family brings me to Logan, I do the same with them. And while I’m in the air between them, I remember to appreciate the time I spend with myself.
The reality is that nothing in life is permanent–not even our closest relationships–meaning this moment is the ideal time to pay attention to each other, understand each other, forgive each other, and be honest with each other.
Occasionally, we may take each other for granted, or get caught up in little squabbles that we wouldn’t choose to hang onto if we knew our time together was running short. We never get to know when that will happen; we only know it eventually will.
Every moment we have together is valuable. Whether or not it feels that way is entirely up to us.
Photo by Luciano Meirelles