One of the hardest lessons I’ve had to learn is that worrying about “what if’s” can destroy a person. For me I have a hard time focusing on the now. Instead I tend to think about what “could have been”, or in my mind how things “should” be.
Here is a perfect example: A few years ago I thought that by 21 I’d be in a completely different place. After graduating early from high school even when they all told me I could not, I felt a surge of motivation like never before. I had recently bought the car I’d been wanting for years and decided I wanted to pay it off early (by the time I turned 21). I also wanted to be done with my degree and know what I want in a career. But my biggest goal was having my own four walls. The rules weren’t strict, I just knew that I wanted a place to call my own that I could share with the people I love. I also thought I’d be in a happy, healthy relationship with someone that would let me simply be me and not have to apologize for one bit of it.
Well I worked hard and loved harder, and I found myself with a couple of the things I’d been dreaming of since high school. I shared a beautiful home with someone that I thought was the one. I adopted the black kitten I’ve always wanted and danced around my house in my socks and underwear whenever I pleased. I cooked often & blogged on the side. I worked from home and stayed busy. The problem was I was compromising my happiness for these things simply because it was all, at one point, exactly what I thought I wanted. And on top of it all I was being unrealistic. I had stopped celebrating my youth to live the adult life I had dreamed of. But soon after getting those things, it all fell apart. I realized the mistake I had made: I was chasing my goals written down on paper from age 18 instead of my current hopes and dreams. I wanted so badly to fit societies blueprint of a successful young woman in every way possible that I lost myself in the process.
So here I am now, living in the bedroom I grew up in with my kitten, single and unsure of what I really want but finally finding that happiness. I have thrown away that old piece of paper with dreams I created when I was younger, and I am reevaluating what real happiness means to me. And instead of thinking about what could have been or “how it should be” I am learning to start fresh & be patient with myself. The fact of the matter is there isn’t a blueprint for the perfect young woman in this society.
So one of the hardest things I am learning is that it’s about what you want, not what others expect. It might take a little longer to get the things I want in life, but with the right amount of focus, passion, and dedication it will last this time around. Don’t limit yourself to a specific outline. Just work hard, love harder, and push for the dreams that you dreamt the night before. Life is too short to be living in the past, creating an unrealistic future, & ignoring the beauty in the present. I promise you, you will be a success if you can simply live for yourself.