Chasing dreams and sunsets

Published 8:20 am Wednesday, June 7, 2023

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I’m 24 years old. I work full-time as a newspaper journalist, covering everything between crime stories and feel-good features. My side gig is authoring novels. My free time, therefore, is slim but typically found around sunset on a weekday evening, when I gently ease into nighttime on the front porch.

I spent last Saturday on Lake Keowee to celebrate a recent high school graduate but ended up on the back of a jet ski in the middle of the lake. The sun was going down, reflecting a long line of orange sunlight on the blue water all the way to the tip of our jet ski.

I looked down the line of light and, caught between me and the sun itself, was a sailboat cutting through the open waters. I remember that scene in a hazy light, my tangled hair streaked across it and blowing in the wind. Then the picture was gone, and we were shooting 70 miles an hour across the water again.

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Dear Diary: I think I’m going to look back on my twenties someday and smile, remembering when I was chasing dreams and sunsets with only stories to tell and no shoes on my feet.

I’m a busy person, and I’m afraid that before I know it, I’ll be retired and only able to smile at my twenties instead of living them. I go to work and write articles for the paper, write a column for it once a week, then go home and edit my novel. Writing a book? That’s on pause until I get my thriller into proofreads at the very least.

While life is moving pretty fast these days, I’m thinking about how I can’t take off my glasses after work because I have more to do. My fingers are always typing something, and that’s beautiful. I’m in a lush and green season of growth––of chasing anything and everything that looks like an adventure, which typically involves glasses and laptops and words and stories.

Doing what I do? It’s an adventure. Moreover, it’s a journey. I’m not sure what the goal is at the end of it, but I’m at such peace with writing my way there and seeing what’s next for me afterward.

During the fast-paced moments of being 24, I’m grateful to God that He sometimes sends a sailboat right through the sunset to slow me down and make me observe that rest is necessary.

It’s not always about chasing sunsets. Sometimes, it’s just about watching them slip away for the night.