I’ve been thinking about how my peers (and sometimes myself) are obsessed with the idea that we aren’t doing enough. We aren’t working hard enough – why aren’t we famous yet? Why aren’t we published yet? Haven’t landed our dream jobs yet?
Don’t get me wrong – I know I’m lazy and procrastinate and hold myself back from working as hard as possible to achieve my dreams. I pick up a habit, I stay consistent for a few months, then I drop it. I did it with photography, I did it with guitar, and now I find myself doing it with writing, but this one – this one, I’m trying to stop myself from failing at. Which is why I’m here.
Anyway, it bothers me that no one seems to be enjoying the present. It’s as if it’s a sin to be content with your current status. You should constantly be telling yourself enough that you’re not doing enough! Why? Why do my “goals” have to be tanning on a yacht and sipping a mimosa? I actually don’t like drinking or tanning that much and a yacht isn’t my ideal mode of travel. I’d be happier if I had a cabin in Colorado or a farm, or a big house with a beautiful kitchen somewhere cute and homey, like Madison, Wisconsin.
I don’t really care about commercial success or anything material. I do care about writing for a living. I truly hope my words are strong enough to touch people and inspire them and remind them that we all have a story to tell. I want to write memoirs, children books, young adult fiction, write TV shows and movies, learn to draw better and make graphic novels – I want to do it all. And I do work towards it almost every day. I do want to get back into my photography and make meaningful art and remind myself of how great it feels to spend my days with my camera in my hand, seeing the world around me in a different light.
And yet – I’m also really happy to be where I am right now in life. Like right this second. I’m so happy to be in my bed. Our room has undergone a bit of a makeover in the last few days which included a gigantic pillow top mattress topper that has made my bed feel like a literal cloud. I have a lemon candle burning and it smells amazing. I was listening to calming piano and admiring how beautiful it is, wishing I knew how to play piano, vowing I’d encourage any kids I have to learn. My cats have been snuggling me all day as they always do. I spent time with my lovely partner, who I love living with and being with, and cherish every moment I have with him – I think this is a key to making love last – not taking a second for granted. I love the life we’re building together, I love feeling safe and secure at home for the first time in my life, I love my stepdaughter and the fact that I’ve been able to give her a happy and stable environment to grow up in. I love being in school and spending my days writing and reading and learning and growing to be a better writer and person every day. I am deeply content with my life. I don’t have tons of money but I have enough to get what I want and need. I don’t have a giant house but it is big enough. The love I have is more than enough and that’s truly what matters most. My passion for creating expands daily and I’m excited for my future, but I’m also really excited about the process. I’m excited about right now. I’m excited for the upcoming winter break, I hope to take a trip somewhere I’ve been wanting to go, maybe the Grand Canyon, maybe Europe, maybe Portland. I’m excited to spend my days off watching movies, drinking coffee, eating good food, baking, working out, reading books I’ve been wanting to read, writing writing writing.
Take a moment and think about how much you have right now. You’ll miss these days.