“It’s only temporary.”
How many times have I said this to persuade myself that something better is right around the corner? Way. Too. Many.
I am the biggest offender of not living in the here and now. First I was looking forward to becoming a teenager, then I thought it would be amazing to finally be the Senior in high school, then on to a college student, then finally someone who could support myself and live in the big city…it continues to go on no matter what stage of life I am in. There will always be the next step to look forward to whether it is finding the career I love, or getting married, or having children, or traveling, or becoming a millionaire (ha), etc. But always looking to the next step reduces my ability to be spontaneous and live life to the fullest.
A friend and I were discussing our apartments and how we constantly feel like our homes and the city we live in are just a temporary solution to where our jobs and friends are located at this point in our lives. (Moving 10 times in 10 years doesn’t help.) I then realized that there have been many instances where I have put off buying a nice piece of furniture for my apartment because I didn’t know if it would fit the design of my future house – practical thinking, yet at the same time very impractical. Who knows if I will ever have the opportunity to buy a house? The furniture would allow me to feel like I am not always in a temporary state and would improve my living situation, and yet I choose to go without. I have noticed this has leaked into my commitments and relationships as well. There is the penetrating thought of possibly moving cities/switching careers and this inhibits my ability to form deeper relationships with the people I interact with every day and commit to courses to further my current career.
The fact is…none of us know how much time we have on this earth. I have to keep reinforcing this in my head because it is often forgotten. I am challenging myself to treat my apartment, this city, and my environment as permanent so that I can stop saving all the best colors for the future and fully utilize all the crayons in the box. Yes, I may move and have a completely different situation in a few months or years, but it is impossible to find true happiness without giving my full love and attention to the task at hand.
This is my life. Right here, right now. I need to stop being a bystander in my story and start being the main character. Yesterday is dead. Tomorrow isn’t guaranteed and it hasn’t arrived yet. Tackle today.