Ants Marching No More

Katie - USA
Entered on April 6, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

I believe that Dave Matthews knows what he’s talking about: “people in every direction, no words exchanged, no time to exchange when all the little ants are marching”. Like ants marching we all go through life with such haste that we miss out on so much. When I was little I couldn’t wait to go to school; in middle school I couldn’t wait to be in high school; and now that I’m in high school, I can’t wait to be out and in college. Every week, I can’t wait for it to be Friday; but then, of course, once it is finally Friday, then it is Saturday, Sunday, and then right back to Monday. When I take a second to reflect on this chain of events, I cannot help but wonder what I’m thinking. High school really isn’t any better than middle school; in fact in many ways it’s more difficult. It will always, inevitably become Monday again, so why hurry through every day of the week just to get to Friday again? That’s when I realize sometimes I wish I were moving backwards instead of racing towards some unknown end. Sometimes all I want is to go back to being a little girl when things were effortless, when I enjoyed every day instead of drudging through every day until the weekend. I believe in slowing down and appreciating the simple, easy things in life.

When I was a little girl growing up in Arizona I think my biggest worry was being home in time to watch Barney. There was no homework, no due dates, and no grades. Instead of SATs I had coloring books. Instead of 5th period chemistry, I had naptime. There was no make-up, no skimpy bikinis, and no hair straighteners. When I was a little girl life was uncomplicated. I could have cared less about what people thought of me. I would go out in public in dress-up costumes and take the time to talk to anyone I saw. When I was a little girl I didn’t fight with my mom, I wanted to be just like her. I didn’t spend all day cooped up inside doing homework. Not every second had to be used efficiently; I would spend an hour washing and painting rocks with my best friend with no purpose at all. These are the times that I believe should not be rushed.

I believe that we all need to embrace this natural way of life that little kids are so lucky to have. Now, I’m not suggesting that we all put on a Barney tape and paint some rocks, but I do believe it is necessary to slow down, remember, and cherish these simple things. If we don’t, if we forget the beauty of our earlier unaffected childhood then we will forever be ants marching and speeding through life.