Slow down you crazy child, you’re so ambitious for a juvenile. But then if you’re smart, tell me why are you still so afraid?

These lyrics, y’all.

Vienna by Billy Joel has never resonated so much with me until I recently revisited my obsession with this incredible artist. I used to just enjoy this song, not really understand the meaning behind the lyrics. I’d move with the melody being like, “Yeah, you go girl, Vienna”, not really grasping the fact that this song is about a youngin’ getting way too ahead of themselves, not realizing that there is no need to rush this life; Vienna will come for you and that “coming” is the rest of your life.

Because of the collapsed market, because of our need to innovate, because of our desire to jump the gun, millenials have learned that being only one step ahead of the game is not enough if you want to make some type of impact in this world. We’ve programmed our bodies and minds to be flexible when it comes to change and work. I’d like to call us robots, but I can’t just yet because we still possess the need to ask mom and dad for a few bucks every now and then. However, there’s the problem. And you could totally disagree with me, though you shouldn’t because I’m pretty fucking smart, (Kidding, I once got kicked out of a classroom my Freshman year) but when will our generation just learn that sometimes it’s okay to take a step back, and notice what’s right there in front of us? Our fading youth.

“You have four years to be irresponsible here. Relax. Work is for people with jobs. You’ll never remember class time, but you’ll remember time you wasted hanging out with your friends. So, stay out late. Go out on a Tuesday with your friends when you have a paper due Wednesday. Spend money you don’t have. Drink ’til sunrise. The work never ends, but college does…” This is possibly one of my favorite quotes said by Tom Petty. “The work never ends, but college does.” This line, short and sweet, really captures the gist of it all. College, an experience that years ago I was so amped for, has turned into a full-time job. With a commute that is emotionally and physically draining, a fully loaded business school schedule with so much group-course work I think I’ve met half the school already, and an almost full-time internship that emails you post-weekday hours, you’d think I have no time to breathe. I don’t. And I’ve still got one more year to finish out my college career without possibly going insane. (Check back with me in a year to see if I haven’t landed a role in the remake of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest)

Slow down, you’re doing fine. You can’t be everything you want to be before your time.

Remember when college was all about self discovery and having fun? Yeah, me neither. The school I go to has students running in and out of the building doors heading to internships, jobs, networking meetings, interviews, etc. Sometimes, I’m just like, “Can we all just sit in the cafeteria and eat while laughing at people we don’t like?” (Don’t worry, we make fun of mean people). But no, no one has the damn time for that, and that is some useful bonding time, folks!

What’s funny about this entire race to the finish line is that I’m totally running alongside everyone else. I’m not that hipster that refuses to join in on the latest trend, mostly because this isn’t a trend, this is a lifestyle at this point, and besides, I hate hipster clothing. But seriously, I’m essentially complaining about this in this post, but I’m doing it.

I’m not realizing that this is the time for me to just be a kid, before I’m really forced to just be an adult and pay for rent on my own and like, cook full meals and shit. (Yes, you Instagram foodies, spinach and your plastic meat don’t count) I need to realize that I’m pretty okay at this point and that I should slow down. I am not going to get to my goal any faster by adding more shit to my plate that leaves room for nothing else, especially my sanity. I’m young, capable, and willing, therefore, I can do whatever. There IS time. There is ALWAYS time. I will amount to something, whether it’s next year or 20 years from now. I’m going to get there and you know why? Because life doesn’t stop for anyone. Time races, and if I spend so much time worrying about the future, I’ll never enjoy the present. And you know when your parents whine to you about how they wish they would have enjoyed their youth more because now their backs hurt basically? Well, yeah, listen to that shit.

But here’s the silver lining, I’m coming to this realization now and so can you. I’ll go out after work, ignore the emails my boss sends me after 5 pm (probably not a good idea but YOLO), hangout with my friends or family, make plans, keep in contact with friends that I fear losing, dream, laugh, try not to think so much about the future, and just live. Let’s learn to not be paralyzed by the thought of the future, and just live in the present. The future will come eventually, just like death, therefore, there’s no need to worry so much about it. Ask older people and trust them when they say, “it’s coming.”

It’s alright, you can afford to lose a day or two.

Before I began writing this post, which took so long and I apologize for the wait my awesome followers (mom and dad), I looked up what the actual meaning of Vienna was, Billy Joel’s interpretation. In a July 2008 New York Times article, Joel revealed the story behind the melody. He was visiting his father in Vienna and while walking around town, he noticed this elderly woman sweeping the streets. Confused as to why a woman of her age was doing such a laborious job, his father interjected, “She’s got a job, she feels useful, she’s happy, she’s making the street clean, she’s not put out to pasture.” Stunned by his father’s response, he quickly retreated back to reality, realizing that old people still have a place in this world, even at such an age. His inspiration came from the fact that we shouldn’t fret about growing old, because we’ll still have purpose and use and meaning, and we’ll have Vienna.

When will you realize Vienna waits for you?