My friends and I used to lie on the grass in the middle of the night and name the stars after people. We’re teenage boys, so most of the stars ended up being girls, but that’s beside the point. It’s been a while since those nights, but recently the idea of naming the stars came back to me. It came back to me in the midst of graduation parties and conversations about colleges and the realization that many of my friends are moving on. Almost all of them are older than me, so I’m kind of left behind with two more years of high school to finish.
Anyway, back to the stars. I like the idea of all those stars being named after people I know. Because no matter where you are, no matter how lonely you are, the same stars will be shining down on you, like memories burning an infinity away. You’ll meet new people and it’s likely you’ll forget about others, but either way you’ll all be jumbled together in those constellations of faces, living and smiling and crying in some kind of galactic dance.
Think of a sailor out on the open sea. The night is reflected on the waters; he’s sailing on stars. But this sailor is lost. He doesn't know how to get home. He can see all the faces waiting for him there. Maybe they can even guide him back. But either way, they are there. That’s the only thing that matters. They are there. He can always look up to the sky and see a swirl of forgotten days shining down on him.
Imagine that your life is just one night, one night with all those stars. The morning will come sooner than you think. The sun will rise, the sky will turn light, and everything in that twinkling canopy of night will fade away. This might be your only chance.
Your only chance to do what? I don’t know. But I hope you will know it when you come across it. And when you do, jump out and take hold of it and don’t let go. It might seem awkward, it might seem impossible, but it will be worth it in the end. When the sun comes up, you’ll be glad you jumped.
I don’t really know what I’m trying to get at, and I didn't write this post with the intention of presenting some kind of motivational, blatantly allegorical “live-your-life-to-the-fullest” mantra, but I think it’s something like this: pretend like all you've got is that one night. This is your only chance to name new stars. This is your only chance to remember old ones. Just stop messing around and go for it. No matter what happens, the sun will still arrive on time.