I always describe myself as a dreamer. I live with my head in the clouds, plotting my future endeavors down to the specific details of my imaginary company’s business cards while simultaneously eating Thai food takeout from the to-go carton binge watching Gossip Girl from my countertop. I am constantly trying to merge my two diverging lives into one: silently mulling over the different routes I could take that would get me to success and happiness while stagnantly managing the totally delightful one that’s playing out right in front of me. I have a pulsating strike within me that is always yearning for more—both in what I have and in how I perform.
Wouldn’t life be fabulous if we could flip a switch and just… have it all together?
I usually consider my dream-centric tendencies to be a big blessing; always pointing me to see the optimistic opportunities that could result out of my daily failures. However, lately… my dreaming has seemed to hinder my potential growth to a serious fault.
Do you ever get so wrapped up in the idea of something that you want to happen… so much so, that you’re losing sight of why you wanted to get there in the first place? I was recently listening to one of my favorite wellness podcasts, That’s So Retrograde, and the girls had Hillary Kerr (Co-founder of Who What Wear and host of my other favorite pod, Second Life) as their guest and they had such an interesting conversation that spoke right to me.
They spoke so candidly about the very real struggle of getting so caught up in getting to your destination that many of us fail to consider what happens once we’ve gotten there. We spend all this time trying to get the things we want, but what happens when we actually get them?
Is life just going to be a never-ending cycle of always wanting more? Will I ever be satisfied with what I have, what I’ve accomplished, who I’m with, or how much money I’ve made? Will I one day reach the benchmark I’ve currently set, only to find that once I’ve reached it a new set of criterion kicks in that will then actually make me happy?
Is this just another form of insanity disguised as ambition?
Perhaps that’s the problem with people today, and clearly I am on that bandwagon—riding shotgun, no less. Maybe getting to the finish line of a goal isn’t what life is about. Maybe it’s really about the journey and the all-encompassing fear, excitement, and anticipation that fills it.
But that’s a tired idea, isn’t it? We’ve heard that before, many times. “Life isn’t about the destination, it’s about the journey.” So what, right?
Lately I’ve been really struggling with what to do with my life. That sounds like a weighty worry, I know—but it literally consumes my thoughts. Will I ever be as successful as I dream to one day become? Will I make the lives better of women everywhere or will I continue to watch Vampire Diaries every night after work, watching reruns of my favorite vampire teen drama like it’s a sport? “A girl surely can’t change the world from underneath her fuzzy blanket,” I’ll tell myself as I go to bed feeling deflated and unimportant. But then I realized that working on my life and who I am as a woman is something that will forever be on my to-do list. There will never be a switch I could flip that will suddenly have me feeling put together.
I think sometimes I try and rush the process. “I want to have it all, and I want it now” is a toxic mentality that I’m sure a lot of us struggle with. But we must remember that part of the process is learning about who you are and how you react to things. This pivotal stage of growth isn’t dooming us for a future we never wanted, but it’s preparing us for whatever great, fabulous, and wonderful things that are to come. You can’t be “put together” without getting to know all of your parts first.
Some things in our life will be temporary. Fad diets will come and go, bad haircuts will eventually pass, and we obviously know that peplum tops don’t really slay at the office like they did in the college bars. But there are some things in our life that we’ll forever be working on. Living a healthy lifestyle is a lifetime commitment. Being in a romantic relationship is a lifetime commitment. Self love is a lifetime commitment. They are things that we have to continue working on for the rest of our lives. And most likely, there will never be a moment that comes with a sigh of relief and a kick up of the heels where we say, “Ahhh. Okay, I’m here. I made it.”
That’s because our lives are a journey and our adventures along the way are the real destination.
So as you go through today and the next day, try not to get so wrapped up in how great things would be if you had whatever it is you’re searching for. Perhaps the most wonderful part of life is the adventuring along the way.
Live your life by what fills up your insides instead of what you think things should look like on the outside. And today for me, that’s sipping a maple oat milk latte, about to devour some fresh pasta from me and Bobby’s favorite Italian restaurant. What a beautiful gift!