“You aspire to great things? Begin with little ones.” ~ Saint Augustine
I used to write about how everything was changing all at once. I wrote about what life might look like after college, how terrified I was to be graduating college, and I tried to be as honest as possible about what being a 20-something really means. And I have to tell you, as a college grad, I now have to look back on what I used to write– about being scared of everything post-grad life was going to throw at me– and laugh my ass off.
My life is still essentially the same. I threw out the college classes and in moved a full-time job in the same city I grew up and went to school in. It was too good an opportunity to pass up, and I’m grateful for it every day! But sometimes I hold my breath as I listen to my friends start new adventures in new cities with new friends and new lives. And if I’m being completely honest, I have my moments when it gets to me.
I’ve always been a goal-oriented person. I’m a big fan of check-lists. I’m a bigger fan of checking off the boxes in those lists. But lately, the lists haven’t been so long for me. I have a lot of things I want to do in my life, but being so go-go-go, often leaves me feeling stuck. I am officially at the first standstill in my life.
It’s incredibly difficult to remember that we are so young and that 21 is barely any different than being 18. We can drink and make a fool of ourselves in bars versus high school parties in smelly basements. What a step up in the world! But in all reality, it’s hard to be our age. We still look to the future through rose-colored glasses, and yet we question our every move. We want to do everything on our bucket list but we also have to make sure not to screw up our entire life on the way. We have to balance responsibility with other people’s expectations (because let’s be real, we all do that), and we have to balance all of that with trying to find our happiness.
I was thinking about all of this in a moment of panic the other night and, as I said before, I realized my life right now is at a standstill. But I also realized, that in the midst of this standstill, I often forget to stand still. I forget to just stop and look around me, at the life and the family and the friends and the blooming career I’ve thus far built for myself. I forget to be happy that I’ve made it this far, and instead I dwell on what might happen in the future. I didn’t realize I wasn’t a total screw up until I texted my mom this past weekend excited that I could afford to pay all my bills. Sad as it is, that really made me happy.
Now, whether or not your life is at a standstill at the moment–even if your life just hit full speed– the best thing I can tell you to do is stand. still. Look around you. Count your blessings. Reminisce on the past and see just how far you’ve come, because I think we’re all doing better than we think. No matter where we are.