Okay, I will be the first to admit that I absolutely despise clichés.
“Everything happens for a reason!” Sorry, but I dare you to think of a good enough reason why I got dumped, fired, and in a car accident in the span of a week. (Those things didn’t actually happen to me, but if they did, I’d be hard pressed to rationalize those events by trying to find some bigger, more profound reason explaining why they occurred).
“It is what it is.” Um, what IS it exactly? And is that all the advice you’re giving me? Thanks for that deep, sympathetic response to my crisis with which you obviously neither empathize nor understand. Ugh.
You get the point, I hate them. Unfortunately, though, there are some clichés that hold truth, and “living in the moment” is one that I think resonates with (or SHOULD resonate with) a lot of quarter-lifers.
It’s easy to think of your twenties as one big “when I do _____, I will feel/do/achieve ____” When I finally save some money, I won’t be so stressed out. When I apply to graduate school, I’ll feel more confident about the direction of my life. Once my injury heals completely, I’ll be able to run more and feel better about myself.
That all may be true and dandy, but what about now? What can you do in this moment to feel good about yourself and your life? Sometimes I find myself wanting to fast forward a few years to when I know I’ll be in a more comfortable, stable, and “linear” place but — hello, why do I want to skip years of my youth?
So I will try to challenge myself and say: what is something small you can do today to feel fulfilled? Sometimes it’s just something simple like reading a book or writing a blog post or calling an old friend with whom I haven’t spoken in a while. Anything that gets me out of my routine (which usually includes either working, the gym, spending mindless hours staring at my computer screen, annoying my roommate) can help. Because let’s face it, constantly wishing away the present in exchange for the future is a pretty exhausting way to live.
Not to get all self-help-y on you today, but living in each moment is really important, especially for me now. I’m traveling back to CT this week for a job interview. I don’t know what will happen or where I will be in a month if I get it or if I don’t get it, for that matter.
Uncertainty is overwhelming. The unknown is scary. Mainly, because you can’t control it. So, work with what you can control: the present.
Do something that makes you happy today.
(And tell me what it is in the comments, because I’m nosy like that).