When Things Become Assumed
I believe we take more things for granted then we likely realize. Whether it is people, places, things, or jobs. We probably didn't always take those things for granted, but over time they have become such a reliable factor in our lives, that we come to expect them. Or, something "better" comes along that falsely overshadows just how great the original things were.
Eventually, we might have to lose, or leave, the things that have unfairly become part of our routine, in order to regain the value we once placed in them. Sometimes this process is voluntarily, but often times it occurs during a necessary transition.
High School To College
High school was a great stage in my life, even though I didn't fully realize it at the time. I was involved in activities that were enjoyable, and provided essential structure to my schedule. I was surrounded by friends and family that cared about me. For some reason though, it wasn't enough.
Why? Once the idea of college entered my thoughts, along with all the media-fueled misconceptions of what it would entail, everything paled in comparison. High school was simply not college. I envisioned making lots of new friends, and joining all types of exciting clubs. I dreamed about fun filled nights, with memorable parties.
Well, I got to college and quickly realized that it wasn't everything it was cracked up to be. I looked back on high school, and regretted not fully appreciating everything I had. Of course, there are certain things I like better about college, but it surprised me that I even felt a little regretful. It became clear to me then, sitting in my dorm room, that I had quite a few things going for me during those four years. How did I overlook all of them?
"The Blue Marble," Earth in a Different Viewpoint
On December 7th, 1972, Apollo 17 set out on a voyage to the moon. Once they left Earth's atmosphere, and entered space, they were able to snap the famous photograph titled, "The Blue Marble." Prior to then, no picture of a complete Earth had been taken in space. Nobody knew how incredibly awe inspiring our planet truly is. The photo was quickly circulated, amazing anyone who saw it.
In that case, it took someone leaving Earth, and photographing it from the perspective of space, for many people to fully comprehend how amazing our planet is. My current situation is not much different. For me, it took going to college, to recognize the value of my time in high school. I think I lost sight of what matters when I entered the world of college, but gravity was bringing me back to my roots, as hard as that was to acknowledge.
Gravity is a funny thing. Sometimes we are so hard pressed to escape it, we forget that its intent is to keep us grounded.
Recognizing The Important Things
Some lessons can be taught by wise people, and others have to be learned from making mistakes. Learning to appreciate the things that can easily become expected, is the latter.
When people say, "Enjoy _________ while you can. You will miss it," they mean well. However, I think it pretty much goes in one ear, out the other. It's not in our nature to take advice from others (at least not in mine). Every now and then, we might have to leave what has become ordinary to us, to realize just how extraordinary it really is.
Perspective is what we get when we view something from a different angle, and can be easily obtained, just as long as we prepare ourselves for whatever truth it may show us. Earth was pretty mundane from our view until we saw it from 45,000 kilometers in space. To gain perspective on what's important to us, though, we don't have to board a rocket. We just have to slightly change the angle from which we observe our routine, to rekindle the appreciation we once had for it.