For twenty five years, I’ve spent my days searching for something – a captured flag, a major, a purpose – and for twenty five years, I’ve managed to draw one, overarching conclusion: life should not be spent looking for something you don’t already have.
There’s nothing wrong with having a vision, goals, or playing a game of hide-and-seek every once and a while, but to spend every waking moment thinking about what you lack instead of embracing what you have is no way to live.
Do that, and you will wake up one day and realize you’ve missed out on some of life’s greatest treasures because you were too preoccupied with something menial. Do that, and you will realize you’re now too late.
After a quarter of a century on this Earth, I have finally discovered the meaning behind the phrase “our ‘someday’ is right now.” No matter how much time we spend reliving or regretting the past, it will always remain the past, and no matter how much time we spend worrying about the future, it will always remain the future. So why waste our time dwelling on either? Why not let them go and embrace what is right in front of us, making the most of each and every second we have?
Another important lesson I have learned after a quarter of a century is that there is no right or wrong way to make the most of your time, so long as it is contributing to your wellbeing.
The important thing is to know what contributes to your wellbeing. Is it yoga, reading, dancing, cooking – is it travel? What gets you going? What fulfills you?
Spend your time doing whatever that may be, instead of what you think you should be doing, and your worry, anxiety and fear of change will subside. You will become a person of the present, focused and comfortable in your own skin, and will begin to find life more enjoyable. This, in effect, will make you a far more pleasant person to be around.
My biggest goal for the year ahead of me is to incorporate these two key findings and establish a balance in my life. I’m going to begin this process with a good detox – and I don’t mean by replacing juice blends with real food. I mean by omitting all things that detract from my overall happiness – including coffee (my energy level significantly drops once the effects ware off, leaving me tired and irritable), processed food, drinking too much, sleeping too little, doing things I don’t enjoy and excessive amounts of sugar.
I’m then going to fill the void with things I enjoy and crave – sleep, meditation, exercise, being with loved ones, doing crafts, learning new things and discovering new and healthy recipes to try.
Essentially, I hope to find a healthy balance between being social and fun – what I devoted myself to in my early twenties – and being relaxed and at peace. I want to stay active and engaged, but I want to do it in a more conscientious way so that I don’t drive myself into the ground, which typically leads to exhaustion and illness. I want to expand and absorb new things without overwhelming myself.
I’m not sure what that will mean for me in the upcoming year or decade, but so be it. Right now, I’m just going to enjoy exactly where I am, and right now, I’m twenty-five years old with a lot to be thankful for.