Waiting on the World

Prologue

I've spent eighteen years of my life waiting for it to start. If I am going to live to a hundred, that's almost a fifth of my life gone, waiting for something magnificent, something heart-stopping, something that should be read in novels to be imprinted onto others' souls for eternity. I'm still waiting. When your life consists of revising for the next test, researching for a school assignment, and counting down the days until the weekend, there isn't much room for a novel of epic proportions to burst forth. I've finished school, and it occurs to me that now I don't have to worry about Pythagoras' Theorem and the relationship between Hamlet and its context, my life can start. Bring on the adventure, baby! I'm only seventeen, but I've figured out that life doesn't work that way. I can already see university life unfolding at my feet- political science will replace Hamlet. The best thing about Friday will be that the next day is Saturday. I'm terrified that I'm going to let another fifth of my life slip into mundanity, and one day I'll find myself living in the same suburb, grey-haired and with false teeth, wishing that I had brushed my teeth properly and spent more time living, not waiting.

I think back on the seventeen years I've already covered. Moments float onto the screen of my mind- feelings, impressions that are embroidered into significance each time I wrap myself in a quilt of memories. If all I have left of life is memories, what if I wind up grey-haired and golden-toothed, with a fading, patchy quilt of memories falling apart at the seams? If I remember nothing, will I have lived?

I think that's why I've decided to pen my last year of school- so, pending the arrival of that grey-haired, golden-toothed day, I'll have a tangible record beyond my memories, a way to remember forgotten dreams and emotions and moments of clarity.

I like to think of the events of my life as letters safely stowed away in a letter box. Some days are electricity bills, mundane but necessary, others are exotic post-cards, days of change and dreams, others are letters from friends, days that you treasure and leave you changed in ways that cannot be limited to words. I'm going to sort through those letters, now, and write you a story. I can't promise a poignant and poetic drama in the style of Hamlet. I am still waiting for my life to begin. But so much has happened in the past year, that maybe it's worth remembering, and hoping that I've ventured down the path of life, after all.